York / north east England?: Hello, I'm... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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York / north east England?

ScaredToTry
ScaredToTry

Hello,

I'm considering pregnancy, but I know that I am at extremely high risk of PPP.

What services and support are available for women living in York? My GP doesn't know.

I'd like pre-conception advice to sort out my meds in advance of pregnancy, and to talk through what will happen if I become unwell during pregnancy, after birth, or with a young child.

I have a schizophrenia diagnosis, but I've been very well for several years now, only see my GP occasionally, built a 'normal' life, married a wonderful man who would be an excellent Dad. I very much want a child, and I'm of an age where it's now or never. But I'm terrified of losing the stability I've got. I keep worrying about all the worst case scenarios, becoming very unwell, losing custody of our child, and so on.

7 Replies
Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello ScaredToTry,

Thank you for your post and welcome to the forum where you will find helpful advice. I'm not sure what services are available in York but I'm sure other mums here will be able to advise you. I had PP years ago without any previous mental health issues and although it took me a while I did fully recover.

It's good that you have been well for several years now and have a wonderful husband. I can understand that you are apprehensive. I wonder if you have seen the PP Insider Guide "Planning a Pregnancy : A guide for women at high risk of Postpartum Psychosis" the link being app-network.org/what-is-pp/...? Within the pages you will also find details of Prof Jones, who is a Perinatal Psychiatrist and expert at Action on Postpartum Psychosis. If you can discuss your thoughts about having a baby with your GP he can then refer you, without charge, to Prof Jones and the Second Opinion Service. Based at Cardiff University but I think a Skype consultation is possible at app-network.org/what-is-pp/....

There will be other mums here with their suggestions but I hope this info will be helpful for now. Take care .... we are here for you.

Hannah_at_APP
Hannah_at_APPAdministrator

Hi ScaredToTry and welcome to the forum, I live in a similar area to you and know from when I was unwell there was no perinatal service, although I was lucky to eventually be treated in a small MBU in York, which has now sadly closed. I also accessed the APP Second Opinion Service and had a consultation (via Skype) with Prof Ian Jones when I was expecting my 2nd child (PP after my 1st) and found it incredibly helpful to feel understood when the professionals locally weren't sadly very aware of the illness. I know that my GP referred me and it was easy to do, the midwives and hospital where I gave birth really valued the information he provided in a write-up after the consultation too. I was lucky to remain well after my 2nd child and do not have any contact with mental health services any more.

I'm sorry to hear that your GP doesn't know how best to support you - would she/ he perhaps refer you to any local generic mental health services, or to Prof Ian Jones? The nearest MBU is now Leeds or Morpeth and they may offer some more specialist and local advice if your GP or local Mental Health team?

To share some good news too, thanks to recent funding announcements from the NHS, all areas of England will have specialist perinatal mental health services before too long (April 2019 is the date I think, although local services may vary slightly). Here is a link for info: england.nhs.uk/mental-healt...

I realise this is still a little way off though and if it's OK with you, I will send you a PM on here and if there are any more local things I can signpost to, please do let me know.

Take care, it's so positive to be thinking ahead and whilst thinking of having a baby can be scary and leave you apprehensive, there is some great support out there. All the best, xx

Hazello
HazelloVolunteer

Hi Scaredtotry,

Just to say that I had PP after my son was born completely unexpectedly and it was very difficult however I hope that if I have another baby one day it will be easier because the worst that can happen is I can get ill again... I survived it the first time, as did my son and I know what treatments were effective. I was separated from my son for a couple of nights which was traumatic but with the passage of time I can recognise that's what needed to happen and actually as upsetting as it was to be apart from him there's been no lasting damage from that. In fact what he needed was a Mum who's well so to enable that to happen we needed to be apart in the short term. I think what I'm trying to say is that there is a lot of uncertainty around pregnancy and birth and you at least have the advantage that you're alert to the risks and want to do everything you can to make them smaller. Which is a real strength and especially if you are able to be open with professionals then they can help you get and stay well.

Good luck with deciding/ trying to conceive.

Hazello

X

Thanks everyone.

I'm really hoping that planning pre-conception can get my risks as low as possible.

Hi scaredtotry i also suffer from schizophrenia I’m currently 16 weeks pregnant i have been off medication for the whole pregnancy and feeling good my community psychiatric nurse (CPN) has been amazing with information and a treatment plan if becoming unwell in the future and there is also a program called prams unsure if in your area that your midwife will refer you too when you are expecting good luck x

Hi just wanted to say, you can go into an mbu whilst pregnant, near the birth time. So you could always go in as a precaution for the early days of birth. The one I went in was actually amazing and the staff helped me so much, and Iv realised its not something to be afraid of. At least you have knowledge about the risks and the signs of becoming unwell. And will have lots of support in place I expect x

Hi,

I have bipolar and have had may bouts of psychosis in my 20s been stable for a while just wanted to reassure you that I was very high risk for ppp but with the right planning it can be ok I was told my risk was 1:2 but I’ve had two babies and got it neither time. I am under the perinatal team based at Morpeth and ha a ore conceptual counselling with them. Planning the birth is important there are loads of things you can do to reduce the risk around time of birth main thing is trying to get sleep in first two weeks my husband did pretty much all the night feeds and I think this massively helped me after I was out of immediate risk I did the nights and we took turns also to help us rest. I bottle fed due to my medication but this also meant I could increase my medication on the day I gave birth to give some extra protection I only needed to increase my meds for a protective effect for 4 weeks as it became apparent I was ok

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