How long should I support my daughter... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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How long should I support my daughter for.

Bulb profile image

I have been staying and helping my daughter with her baby for 6 weeks since she was discharged from the mother and baby unit. Her support team want me to leave her now but I feel she is getting so much better with my help. She is doing alot more babycare now but probably wouldnt take any time to look after herself, with regard to eating etc if I left. Do you feel it is better to leave even though I still feel my support is helpful.

12 Replies
Lilybeth profile image

Hello Bulb

I'm sure your daughter has been very comforted having you supporting her over the first few weeks at home. It might be that the support team think you could also do with a break too? I was in hospital following my first PP for six months and unfortunately don't recall my mum visiting me there but I found her visits very helpful at home and also encouragement over the phone.

I think you will be able to keep in touch and support your daughter via phone or Skype, with occasional visits. There will be other mums here to share their experiences with you.

Take care.

Hazello profile image

Do the support team want to assess your daughter's parenting? Perhaps you could still support her but from more of a distance? I.e. leave her alone with baby for gradually longer periods of time? Or turn up with meals for her sometimes?

She perhaps needs a chance to develop her confidence as a parent. I certainly found I needed a lot of help at first but then sometimes it made me feel rubbish that I wasn't doing things for myself.

Ellie_at_APP profile image

Hi Bulb

That's really positive in a way that the team supporting your daughter feel she can manage on her own. Who are the team supporting her? Are they a perinatal mental health team, or general mental health team, or perhaps early intervention in psychosis? Do you know what level of support they will offer her? This will perhaps reassure you if you know what support she would be receiving?

I too had completely no confidence in myself as a mum, and had moments of feeling like I couldn't cope and manage, but actually being forced to being on my own and managing to cope (though it felt like such a struggle at times) helped my recovery because it helped me to feel more confident. But it is a delicate balance of giving your daughter space to get on her feet, and do everything herself, but at the same time supporting her when she really needs it. I wondered too (though I don't know how practical this is financially or distance wise) if you could visit her maybe once a week for a couple of days and stay over if you need to so she has most of the week by herself, and then a couple of days with you. Perhaps you could visit on some days her partner /husband is working? My parents did this, visiting me once a week for a day on a day that my partner was working long hours and so I was on my own for 12 hours. It was a godsend and I looked forward to it every week.

I also wonder if you could help her access some clubs or other support perhaps? mum and baby groups etc. I know that what I found most difficult was a lot of unstructured time with nothing planned. Perhaps you could help her look at her week and have a little plan each day. I also heard of someone saying their mum would just ring them each morning and check in, ask her if she had had a shower, and what she was doing, and that really helped her get through the day.

I hope at least some of this is helpful, Ellie

Dear Bulb,

I believe it is absolutely wonderful that you have been looking after your daughter.

My mum only was in the UK for three days and could not cope anymore. My partner had to be my full time carer for 6 month and then part time as he slowly re-integrated back to work.

I believe that the identification of severity of Post Partum Psychosis and its management including the after-care is very important. I completely agree with Ellie that you have to have clarification in how the professional support network wants to proceed and why those taken measurements will be of benefit to your daughter. A gradual process of independence is the way forward in order to develop your daughter's confidence. Everybody involved has to be communicating with each other including your daughter. If she is not ready for this kind of decision-making then it maybe a sign that mum still has to be on stand-by...but as suggested before maybe a gradual detachment, rather than abruptly.

Yes, trying to find out some baby groups, networking with other mums...pursuing some hobbies, time-out slots where others could step in etc...the arrangement of a care-plan could take those objectives into account...

You see, I remember crying out for my mum, but never knew she was there.

Wishing you strengths and vitality for whatever lies ahead...your daughter will recover and not forget that you have been her backbone.

Sabine :-)

Thanks for your replies they are very helpful. It is as you suggest a good idea to work on things gradually so my daughter can decide when she feels ready to cope on her own.

Hi, I can very much empathise with you as I have been supporting my daughter since February 2016.

I lived with them for four weeks and then ,as the medication became effective I moved back to my own house. Because I live close by I could be over very early in the morning for her husband to go to work and would stay with her during the day .

As she was improving we would take walks to the shops and park together with the baby in the pram . My daughter was too unwell to drive and anyway the logistics of car seat, transferring to pram and all the baby paraphernalia would have been completely beyond her.

I was advised by this forum that baby steps are what's needed and my daughter did make steady progress and gradually improved. We then started attending baby classes and as I was still needed to drive and my daughter still needed support I would also go along. As the weeks went on I gradually withdrew and would take an afternoon or morning break.

When your daughter is more confident she will show you that she can cope and will want you to carry on with your own life. This is what gradually happened with us.

As a teacher in another life I would tell parents that their time is the greatest gift they can give their children and I still believe that this is true.

Be there to support your daughter and also look after yourself.

I think it depends on your situation. You will know best i am sure. Ask your daughter, she will have some opinions of what might help too. Drs arent always right, but when we have psychosis we have to depend on them or all dont. She has been discharged and is totally ok in the community to be on her own even though she may not have long as she keeps taking medicine.

Do you live close by? If so it might be best to visit daily for short periods, then second daily etc so she feels like shes making progress. I would have loved my mum and friends to do practical things like cleaning and cooking instead of trying to take over my role as parent, including comments on whether sleepy/hungry and taking over bottle feeding. I wasnt very good at sitting and chatting. If you live far away, just spend time away from the house (go grocery shopping and take your time)

Thanks for your comments which have proved very useful. I do live along way away from my daughter and her partner is away for long days but I will just have to hope she manages ok and give support if needed.

Its a difficult one. Your daughter is very lucky, although it is the same for new mums help around the house is generally helpful. The only way to know what to so is to ask your daughter ?

Bulb - I am glad your daughter is back at home well, well done to your daughter!!!

Stay, my daughter recovered with us instead of a mother and baby unit after she had been sectioned for pp there is no time limit on assistance and if you feel she needs you as her mother who knows better! Our daughter was with us for 6 months and then came back for a bit of TLC two months later now back at work and doing good x

The answer is as long as you are able to and whilst she still needs help

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