Story Book for Children Explaining PP - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

2,784 members1,988 posts

Story Book for Children Explaining PP


I've started writing two books for children that helps them understand about PP. I would love more ideas and inspiration for these books. I really enjoy painting so would love to do all the illustrations.

More importantly I would love to find out from you guys what you feel the most important messages to put in this kind of book would be.

The first is based on a family of animals and a pixie spell that goes wrong and creates muddled thoughts. The other is based on a family of people for slightly older children where mummy has to spend time in hospital. I am trying to make this humorous as well as insightful.

15 Replies

That's amazing. Good on you. Would be great for an older kid to read about or look at pictures of mums going to hospital for having a mental health problem. Would b cool If there were a way to somehow illustrate how mums have chemicals in there brains that are normally full but suddenly plummet to abnormal levels or a way to illustrate the same thing but with the mothers hormones. I don't know how you would do that in a cute way that wouldn't be so intense but ya know like with colours or something. Like normally the mum has all the colours of the rainbow 🌈 but her colours start running out after growing the baby and after delivering it and breast feeding it. And she needs some rest and help to get all her colours of the rainbow back.

I think this is a brilliant idea. My step daughter was 9 yrs old when I had my PP episode. When we sometimes talk about what happened, she says, 'you never let me hold O'. I try to explain to that I was ill, but obviously she doesn't understand. Also my biggest fears are my daughter going through it too. She is only 3 and a half now, but how do I tell her what happened? And she may get it too? A book is such a lovely idea. If I can help in aby other way, please let me know. Kind Regards. Anna xx

That's great, love the picture. I have seen a book for children about bipolar illness, "Mummy's got bipolar" Might be worth having a look. It's a very different style and tone to your artwork and story idea, which I love by the way. I have my own children now, but I am on here because my mother had PP way back in the 70s and it was never spoken about at all in my family. I would have loved to have had a book like yours to learn from. Having something like that available might be all it takes for some families to begin to talk about it, which I think is so helpful to children and parents.

LilybethVolunteer in reply to ipsofacto

Hello ipsofacto and Asppp13

Your post evoked memories for me when I had PP for the first time and it was never spoken about in my family either. Some years ago I had the good fortune to contact Prof Jones at APP who was doing research at the time. He was able to confirm my diagnoses (I had PP again in the early 80's) and it was such a relief as the unfounded guilt and shame I had felt for years lifted in an instant.

I wish there could have been such a book for my six year old son so that he knew although his mummy had shut down and was away from home I missed him every day and loved him with all my heart. I would also have talked about all the adventures we would have with daddy and his baby brother when mummy was better ......



What a lovely idea to write a book for children about PP. We have done some work on a guide about speaking to your children about PP (which I think is so needed), we just need some funding to complete it (as you probably know we have three other guides already).

I hope it goes well


Wow I just love this idea and your illustrations are beautiful!

What a lovely idea, good for you. My son was just under six when I had my episode after having my 3rdchild. It would be nice to make them somehow aware that they are not to blame in any way. My son often says things like mummy I think it's my fault, because...

I do reassure him that it's not his fault at all and that mummy was just unwell.


What a superb idea. I still have not told my son and do not know how to, even though he knows that mum is poorly sometimes ((after recovery of PPP). My partner is great with our son and they are both extremely caring. However, he is going to be 7 now and we are actually always matter of fact...a book would help tremendously.

I believe in my case it would be important to say that PPP and the type of medication, but also traumatic experience in hospital can lead to other mental health issues. My son is aware of my fears and anxieties, but does not know the cause. (obviously one has to think about genealogical/biological factors as well) I am just thinking of the Usborne books with lively illustrations and fascinating flaps. Especially the "see inside your body" and "see inside your head" could give you some ideas on how to illustrate ( about what has happened to us with regards to synapses, neurons, hormones ...when mum's brain gone wrong...

If you have more detailed questions I might be of help, because of my professional background as Educationalist and teacher.

Good luck with your project; absolutely fabulous

Sabine :-)

Hidden addition...what a beautiful picture...I suppose you are more of a figurative artist trying to focus on naive painting in order to simplify for accessibility and understanding from a child's perception...:-)


I'm thinking about calling it Understanding Mummy's amazing mind and tackling as much as I can of what's been suggested above as I can. Being an artist i love the idea of using colours. I actually love the idea of mother and child exchanging pieces of artwork during the visits to hospital and this helping to explain things. Especially as I used art therapy to help me on the road to recovery.

It's still proving quite tricky to get it at the right level for kids to understand so I might need a bit of help with that later down the line. Just to check if I need to make it a bit simpler. I'm trying to just give lots of clues that will steer parents into understanding exactly what the book is about. Also some proper chats between parents and child about why mummy was in hospital for so long after baby was born and very importantly that it's completely not their fault.

As a six year old with my mum having pp the hardest thing was understanding why baby sister was with someone else for three months, and dealing with the fears of mum being really upset and screaming and running out of the house during psychosis. I dont know if a book can help explain all of that (for me personally i didnt get to that level of stress). I didnt get nightmares but my sister did. Not sure if a book could explain all of that. Maybe linking in with a psychologist to help write the book may be good, and the book only distributed by pschologists personally working with children.

suzannah0 in reply to suzannah0

Btw i had plenty of discussions re mums mind from family. It didnt help me. I just need to know mum was sick i think and she would be well soon

Get in touch with another great author with works in progress....

My friend has written a book called 'my mummy and me: all about perinatal mental health problems ' which is aimed at children. It's really good even if I am biased! Xox

Hi Asppp13,

What a fantastic project! A lot of mums who have suffered ppp find writting about their experiences therapeutic, but you are going a step beyond thinking about a children's book. I love the focus on showing the inner world of the mum going through ppp, which is not easy to explain to adults let alone to children whose mum is not being herself. It would be nice to show that everyone in the book has an inner world of emotions, kind and caring, which dictate their actions, and that the mum's set of emotions gets highjacked by an imbalance of hormones, causing her to act in such a fashion. But the core of the mum remains intact and will be recovered with time.

Good luck with this beautiful project, I wish you all the best!


You may also like...