Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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past depression

past mental health issues when i was 16, i'm now 18 and due to have my first baby is a week or so, social services don't think i can cope due to my past history with depression and anxiety, but my life has changed since i was 16, and I've never felt more alive in my self knowing i'm going to be a mother, i have loads of support if i ever need it which i no that i don't anyway, but social services are referring me to a mother and baby unit, can i refuse this, will i be allowed to see family outside the premises, will they force me to go, will i be monitored 24/7, i hate being watched, it makes me feel so uncomfortable the fact that id have to change in front of someone i don't no or a camera for that matter, in this process they have not considered how it might affect the father to my daughter, in the 3 months i will be in the unit my family, and partner will miss out in part of her life which is breaking my heart, my partner has a support worker for the fact hes in debt with his rent etc, and she helps him with other life problems to such as furniture etc etc

i'm not sure what to do, i have a feeling being in the mother and baby unit would actually bring back my depression, for the worst, due to being watched 24/7 i think social services are doing this on purpose, they also said after i finish in the unit and i still have my daughter they will be finding me somewhere to live due to overcrowding in my parents house already, but i have no idea where they will be putting me and my daughter, they already new i was looking for a flat for me and my daughter to live in as soon as she was born, and i had all my family helping me with this, i was told by my social worker i'm not capable of looking after a baby after my dog died from a road accident, this has all been arranged behind my back without permission, and have only been notified about it today, and i had a meeting with them nearly 2 weeks ago now, and was told that it was discussed after this meeting, my partner and i are very unhappy with this.

what do everyone recommend

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Hi AmyJane - A big welcome to the forum, I’m so glad you’ve found us. What an exciting and yet nerve wracking time! So many congrats and good wishes for your pregnancy and the birth to come!

It’s no wonder you’re feeling unhappy / worried about the MBU prospect. It seems to me (just from what you’ve written) that it hasn’t been explained to you very well. I had never heard of MBUs until I found myself admitted to one with acute postpartum psychosis. To be honest I wasn’t really aware of anything during the first few weeks as I was so psychotic. But later on, when I became more lucid and aware of my surroundings, I grew to really appreciate the place and (almost) all the staff. They really are therapeutic places, where mums are supported to be the healthiest and happiest they can be for their babies. The staff there all do a bit of everything: helping with baby, giving support and advice on everything from skin rashes to making up formula. They really did hold my hand through some terrible terrible times and I am utterly grateful to them. My baby was so well cared for when I was too psychotic to care for him myself, and later on I was fully supported to step in and bond with him and then care for him 100%. This is not an easy place to be. It IS an acute psychiatric ward and yes there are aspects of security and monitoring which can make you feel watched/judged. But. It is all there to make sure all the mums and babies are safe, in the right place (in terms of getting them better), and recovering. Nobody watched me undress or dress, and I felt very respected in terms of dignity etc (much more so than in the labour and postnatal ward!).

I hope this helps alleviate some of your concerns. I would ask to have another meeting with your social worker, and perhaps a short “tour” of the MBU where you can meet the staff and see the facilities? You might also find the following short video helpful:

web.bestbeginnings.org.uk/w...

It may help you to focus on the positives, if you can: the extra help you will receive, the things like baby massage classes, child development sessions, occupational and art therapy etc etc.

Wishing you all the best for the arrival of your baby!

Kat x

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My daughter suffered from depression and anxiety when she was young. When her baby was born she suffered with depression and phycosis. We were so greatful she managed to get a place in a mother and baby unit. It helped enrich her ability to care for her baby. You are fortunate to be offered that care now, just in case the depression comes again. I am sure if all goes well you will be able to leave the unit as there are many woman who are desperate for a place.

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Hi Amy,

I’m writing from Sydney, Australia so systems may be different.

A good MBU is actually a precious place for your whole family to be cared for. At mine hubby could stay overnight with us, my older children could visit in a homely environment.

My history of anxiety/depression and my Dad’s bipolar were warning signs for my Perinatal Mental Health, but we didn’t have that warning/preparation.

I would suggest visiting the MBU, and know what supports are available if you do need them. Whether you go as a precautionary start, or know you can go there if things don’t feel right. Best to be prepared for all options, than to be caught off guard.

But you are right to have input to your own care and treatment plan. Ask if you can do a Perinatal Mental Health Plan, so that if you do become unwell your intentions for your care are documented.

And stay connected here, each step of the way!

Love and prayers,

LoveDEb

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