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Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Sister

My sister got diegnosed with pp 7 days ago. Is there anyway we can push her to get on a mbu? as she’s in a hospital atm but really want her with her son. Thanks

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Hi Oldersister

I’m sorry your sister has been diagnosed with PP. I imagine she’s very poorly right now but she will get better and it’s great she has you supporting her.

An MBU would be the best place for her, are they trying to find her a bed? I hope there’s a bed available somewhere (and if not at the moment that one becomes available soon) and she’s able to be transferred. In the meantime I hope she’s being well looked after and starts to show some improvement soon.

Best wishes,

Jenny x

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Thank you for the reply. Yes she’s very poorly, there are no beds available atm, the doctor is so say pushing it but is there anything we can do to push it more? She’s in a hospital 2 hours ago from home but very slowly showing improvements. We just want her with her son ASAP. Have there been cases where someone has waited months for a mbu? Just lots of thoughts running through mine and my family’s mind atm.

Thank you lucy x

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Hello oldersister

I'm sorry to hear your sister has been diagnosed with PP. It must be a very worrying time for you but it is a temporary and very treatable illness. The MBU would be the best place for her to receive specialist care and be with her son. Just to reassure you that I had PP before there were MBUs and was sectioned to mixed general psychiatric care, where I made a full recovery, although I understand your concern as I was without my son at the time.

Have you seen the PP Insider Guides, "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" at app-network.org/what-is-pp/... which might be helpful? There is also a guide for partners. I'm sure your sister will be comforted by your care and support in these very early and frightening times for her.

It must be very stressful for you to watch your sister in distress but with good medical care and treatment she will eventually recover. I hope a bed becomes available soon.

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I know every case is different but how long were you in hospital for? My sister is making slight improvements every day and is now ready for a visit from her husband my mum and dad, she isn’t quite ready to see her son as she is still very confused on the whole situation. We just want her closer to home so we can visit every day, just waiting on a bed but the best care is the important thing.

Thank you so much for that reply it’s really helping

Lucy x

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Hello Oldersister

I have replied at the end of this thread and I'm glad all the replies here are really helping. Just to confirm the link for "PP Soup"is ppsoupdotcom.wordpress.com.

My experience is very different as my first PP was in the mid-70's and I was under psychiatric care for six months. It is a very confusing illness as for many of us it happened out of the blue but as soon as the right medication and treatment was found I was slowly on the way to recovery. I hope a bed will be found in the MBU soon so that your sister can be with her son. We are all here to support you .... take care.

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It’s good to hear your sister is showing some improvement. It must be so worrying for you and really hard that she’s so far from home.

I hope a bed becomes available at an MBU soon so your sister can be with her son. I’m sure it’s hard on you all while you wait but hopefully your sister is receiving good care in the meantime. Not everyone has the option to go to an MBU sadly but I’m sure they’ll be trying to get your sister a bed when one is available.

Take good care x

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Hi Oldersister,

So so sorry to hear your sister is poorly. Thinking of you all at this really difficult time.

I don’t know the average waiting time for a bed in an MBU, or your sisters individual circumstances. But you’re quite right, ideally getting your sister and her baby reunited is so important. Im sure the health professionals are supporting your sister and liaising with MBUs, that said, space in mental health units can be difficult as I understand it. Hold on, she can get better. She’ll just be trying to take each step at a time. She’ll need patience, you all will, but remember you have each other. And how lucky is your sister having you to look out for her! 💕

Look after yourself, it’s awful to watch your loved ones being so unwell I’m sure - but my family were a real anchor for me through my recovery, and I soo looked forward to my sisters / relatives visiting me, with plentiful hugs and news from home to distract me from my illness.

Thinking of you all. And congratulations to your whole family on the new arrival, I’m sure he/she is loving all your aunty cuddles if you’re nearby x

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I know every case is different but how long were you in hospital for? My sister is having her 1st visit tomorrow as she is now ready for it from her husband my mum and dad. Everyday she is improving slightly just still very confused. We just want her closer to home as she’s about 2.5 hour drive away, but the best care is the most important thing.

It’s hard for us all but we just can’t stop thinking about how she must be feeling and what she is going through.

Thank you so much for the reply it’s really helping us all.

Lucy x

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Hi Oldersister / Lucy,

I was first admitted via A&E back onto the maternity ward where I’d had my little one, into a private room with 24 hour psychiatric nurse supervision. I then went to an MBU, and was in there for two weeks before being discharged to the Community Mental Health team who I was under the care of for several months. Everyone’s case is so so unique and hospital stays can vary vastly I think. Just take each day as it comes. Don’t be disheartened if some days she is better than others. I had many ups and downs during my recovery.

So sorry she is so far away, not unusual for many mums to be admitted far from home as I understand it. But good that your sister is having her husband and mum and dad to visit. Small steps. Hopefully her medication will settle and time with the professionals will help her confused thoughts.

So sorry that this is all happening at Christmas time too. Thinking of you. And do continue to use the forum, there are many lovely people here to listen. X

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From what I have read we know it’s going to be a long road and it’s really helping me talking to yourself and others that have gone through it.

Thank you x

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Hi Oldersister

Sorry to hear your sister has PP. It's a very bewildering time for family. I hope your sister is able to access an MBU soon. It very much depends on location and beds available. I was treated in a general psychiatric ward as my PP was in 1997 and MBUs were pretty much unheard of then. It was very hard and very scary but the doctors did say that given the how ill I was I responded really quickly to the medications and care. Thinking on what helped me whilst I was in general psychiatric care little things went a long way to my feeling safer and more settled. I had as many of my own things around me as possible. My own duvet and pilliow from home. My usual music. A teddy that was my babys that helped me feel close to him. Things to do like adult colouring books and pencils. Cross stitch once I was quite a bit better. Favourite snacks and drinks although I wasnt really eating at first.

I really missed my son and didnt understand I would ever be allowed home again and it would have been so much better if I had have had more contact. I didnt get to see my baby much as my in laws were caring for my baby whilst my husband worked etc and my mother in law wasnt a confident driver so didn't visit. So definitely any time you can take baby to your sister I'm sure would be beneficial even if its a stressful environment to take a little one.

I hope you get plenty of feedback from staff to help you with your sisters recovery. Its a long uphill climb but each step is a victory and its lovely you are such a supportive sister

Well wishes

Teresa x

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I know every case is different but how long were you on a psychiatric ward for? Her husband my mum and dad are going to visit her tomorrow for the 1st time since she was admitted 7 days ago and is now ready for a visit but not quite ready to see her son. If she was closer to home we would all visit her everyday so she had as much time with her son as possible. It’s a very hard time for us all as im 39 weeks pregnant I’m trying my best to think positive. My sister has asked for little things from home like her water bottle and some magazines she usually reads so hopefully that will help her too.

Thank you for the reply all of them are really helping.

Lucy x

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Hello Oldersister

I just wanted to say how well I think your sister is doing after only being in hospital for 7 days. When I had my first PP I wasn't communicating at all so I think that's a very positive sign that she is asking for familiar things from home. As I was so ill, I was in various psychiatric units but this was a long time ago and treatment has improved so much since.

I hope the family's visit goes well tomorrow. Perhaps having a few photos of her son might encourage your sister to want to see him on the next visit? There is a brilliant blog which was written by a mum who had PP entitled "PP Soup" at ppsoupdotcom.wordpress.com which you might find interesting and helpful for tomorrow as there is a note about "What to say to someone with Postpartum Psychosis."

Congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope your sister's experience is not too stressful as you continue to support her so well. Take good care of yourself .... we are all here to talk if it helps.

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Hi Oldersister,

Im sorry I cant tell you how long I was in hospital for as its so long ago and hazy for me. I even asked my husband this morning and he can't clearly remember either. I'm guessing at about 4 to 5 weeks because I only had a total of 3months off work before I wanted to be back.

I hope your sister continues to improve and that she is well enough to see her baby soon. I can understand if shes not ready yet. I remember one time when my little boy was brought to see me ( and I was getting much better at this time) a nurse was really pleased because I had started to interact with him it sticks in my mind her comment and happiness as this meant great progress for me (he was 9months old when I became il) I found it difficult and whenever he cried I took it personally. I struggled to change any nappies because if he cried I felt that I was hurting him. If he spat out a weaning food I would panic and cry and not know what to feed hi. So I would end up feeding him fromage frais pots all the time as he loved them so was guaranteed to eat them so then I wouldn't feel a complete failure. It was a very difficult time and when I came home from hospital I needed lots of support to help build up my confidence in just being a mum again.

I'm sure your visit to your sister will bring her some much needed comfort and will help speed her recovery.

Take Care

Teresa x

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Hi Oldersister

I hope your sister enjoyed the family visit today. Being away from home does make each visit from family very special. It must be a very hard time for you all but I hope with each visit you will be able to notice a slight improvement. I hope she will be closer to home soon when a bed becomes available.

Please take care of yourself too as it is very important for you to rest.

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Hello

Yes it’s went very well, the nurses couldn’t believe how much she improved from one visit which is amazing! She doesn’t believe everyone she remembers is real so my mum said the look on her face when she saw them was amazing. Once she is closer to home we will all visit every day! It’s all very overwhelming as i am also expecting a baby in a weeks time so don’t want to risk traveling too far incase I go into labour. I cant wait to see her but she has other family and friends to visit before she’s back in our home town which hopefully won’t be long!

Thank you for checking how today went.

Lucy xx

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Thats lovely news. I'm sure there will be a change to see at each visit. She'll no doubt have some bad days but will gradually get more good than bad ones. So hoping she will be moved closer to you all soon. Look after yourself too. Last trimester very tiring! Will the hospital allow phone calls? I had lots of loose change and was allowed to use a payphone to speak to people. We didn't have mobiles back then ha ha. I do remember the making phone calls was in the latter part of my hospital stay though once I was quite a lot better.

Lovely to have the update. Great news

Take Care

Teresa x

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Yes she can make phone calls, she doesn’t have her mobile on her but has been using the phone to ring her husband my mum and dad but only when she asks too. My other sister, a close friend of hers and her husband are going to visit again tomorrow so going to ask if they can give my phone number to my sister so she can ring me if she wants to. Hopefully have another successful visit tomorrow!

Lucy x

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Hello Oldersister / Lucy

Your sister seems to be doing really well considering its been just over 7 days since she was diagnosed with PP. I honestly couldn't string a sentence together at that stage so she is making great progress ringing her husband and family. Do you know when a bed might become available in the MBU? I hope the friend and family visit goes well tomorrow and that you are keeping well. Take care.

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Hi again, really good to hear your little update, it sounds like your sister had a good first visit. I bet your mum was relieved to see her again.

Thinking of you all, and your bump too! X

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Thats really great Lucy. Lovely she has another visit tomorrow too. As Lilybeth says its really promising that she is responding so quickly and positively to treatment. For me it was touch and go as to whether I was well enough to see visitors except my husband and my parents so it sounds like your.sister is making pleasing progress. I hope continuing progress lifts all your spirits and gives you all much needed reassurance

Best Wishes

Teresa x

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My sister is back in a mental health unit in our home town 15 minutes away from mums house, soo pleased! Unfortunately it’s not a mbu. I haven’t spoken or seen her but heard her on the phone to her husband earlier and she is still very confused and couldn’t understand why she was being moved, but will be worth it in the long run! My sister doesn’t think anything is real, she knows who we all are and remembers everything but can’t believe it’s true and keeps asking if her baby has been born, anyone gone through this? I know every case is so different. Going to visit my sister tomorrow if all is ok. Going to be very emotional but can’t wait to see her face!

Thanks again for all the support it’s really helping me talking on here!

Lucy x

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Hello Oldersister / Lucy

I think it's a step forward that your sister is back in her home town and nearer to visit even though not in a MBU. During my time in hospital I was transferred to various units although I wasn't as aware as your sister so I don't think I was phased by the moves. Your sister's total recall is amazing as I couldn't have remembered being sectioned and events leading up to it after only a little more than 7 days. As time has gone on I do remember and also have my medical notes to fill in gaps.

During my PP in both episodes, six years apart, I was worried that my sons would be harmed by someone. A moth would appear in the room, with a man's voice, telling me I was a bad mother and commanding me, growing in size every time 'he' spoke. In my notes it does say that when I was reviewed by the team, it took me a long time to get to the point of things I wanted to say. My thoughts though were usually about my delusions which plagued my recoveries and I was actively suicidal. Eventually though I was treated and fully recovered.

Following my second PP, as my first son was six and after I was stabilised, I did return home and received care from the Home Treatment Team. I had regular visits from my Psychiatrist, CPN, and Health Visitor. I think Social Services were also involved as I was very depressed. I remember at one stage commenting that there were too many people in the house! My recovery was still up and down and in times of crisis I would be admitted to hospital for treatment. I wonder if when your sister improves whether this Home Treatment option will be available?

I'm sure it will be very emotional when you see your sister tomorrow, so take care and make sure you feel well enough.

Best wishes. xx

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Hi Oldersister, wow, glad your sister has been moved closer to home. Sure that’s a big confusion on top of everything for her, but it’ll be good for you all once she’s settled a bit more.

On confusion... I thought I was going on a spa break when I was being transferred to an MBU, strangely my Psychosis had (with hindsight...) small bits of odd humour. Our minds do strange things.

Your post resonated with me, as when I was poorly I had a huge hang up on seeing family visits through to their end, not “missing” anything as in my mind at the time, seeing was believing again. Photographs played a huge role in helping cement real memories. My family took photos of almost every visit with me, even if I was sleeping. This won’t help everyone, but it certainly did / still does me.

I also felt that my brain needed “resetting” and all the confusion was my processing and piecing everything back together again. I reflect on it now, and I felt like a small child, desperately trying to find anchors and feel safe.

She’ll get there Oldersister, hang on tight to each other. And I really hope you get to visit her soon. Take care x

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That is really wonderful news Lucy. Although not an MBU being so close to home will mean family can pop in anytime. Bound to really help her recovery. I bet you cant wait. Its great that the forum is helping you. Thats what we are here for.

Regarding your sisters confusion it is hard to comment too much as like you say every case is a little different. I was very confused in the early weeks of admission but am unable to say how long this lasted as looking back timescales get blurred. I remember most of my illness very cleary but the timescale of everything for me is quite mixed up. I was confused about my son thinking that I was in some sort of home forever and never allowed to see him again. I had hallucinations and delusions and didnt trust anyone. I thought cameras were in my room and that people who had rucksacks or bags were trying ro send me a message to pack my things and leave. It really was a scary time but seeing family everyday helped as I felt safe and ok when they were there. Sorry I cant answer your question more fully. Maybe someone whose illness was more recent can answer for you.

It's nice to hear positive news on your sister. Keep posting on here it it helps

T x

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Hello Oldersister / Lucy

I'm so glad the visit went well and the nurses noticed the benefit the family's company had on your sister. It must have been very emotional for your mum to see her reaction. Hopefully you won't have to wait too long until your sister is closer to home.

It's good that she has lots of support from other family and friends so that you can stay close to home and try to relax. You are an amazing support to your sister and I'm sure the happy memory of today's visit will have made such a difference to her. Take care. xx

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Hello Oldersister,

I have been following this thread and it fills me with joy that your siss has such fabulous family support network, when times are extremely difficult.

I hope an MBU will be available fairly soon and it is going to be closer to home.

My heart is going out to you and your family and I share my compassion with your sister.

Sending you love and strengths.

x

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Hi Lucy,

I hope that your sister and you are doing ok, what a stressful thing to go through when you're about to have a baby yourself. Just want to send you warmest wishes.

So glad your sister is nearby now and if she's still pretty detached from reality she's in the best place in hospital, as hard as that is without baby. Hope they can be reunited soon.

Hazello x

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Hello

Went to visit my sister last night, was so nice but emotional seeing her. She’s very calm and seems like her brain is slowing getting back to her. Still finding it hard to believe if thing and people are real. Tomorrow she will be having her 1st visit with her son as she’s asking more about him even though she thinks he’s dead, so hopefully this will do her a world of good! Not expecting a miracle to happen over night but it seems like we are getting somewhere!

Xx

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Hi Older Sister

Thats lovely Lucy. Big hugs. Hope tomorrow goes well. Will be thinking of you all

Take Care

Teresa x

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Hello Oldersister / Lucy

Good to hear your update .... really pleased your visit went well and hope your sister will find great comfort in seeing her son tomorrow. I imagine it's so much better now she is closer to home. Take care, I hope you are managing to rest when you can. x

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Hi Older Sister,

I hope your sister coped with her visit today and that it was of benefit for her to be able to see her baby boy.

I was only able to cope with any visits for a very short period of time at first as it used to exhaust me.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas now that you have your sister close by and have seen her take the first big steps towards her recovery. Look after youlself and please try and get some rest over Christmas for yourself!

All the Best

Teresa x

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Hello

Visit went well she didn’t want her son to leave which was very hard for everyone at the visit, i wasn’t there. Nurse spoke to my sisters husband and the next step will be a mother and baby, will find out more info when they have a meeting Thursday. Will keep you posted.

Thanks again for the support

Lucy xx

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That would be most wonderful Lucy. I do hope it won't be long now

T x

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Hi Lucy

Great news about your sister seeing her son. Hopefully it won't be too long to wait for a bed in the mother and baby unit. I hope you are resting as much as you can before your baby is due. Best wishes. xx

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Hello

My sister will be moving to a mother and baby unit with in the 1st week of the new year, so pleased! Everyday she is showing slight improvements and loves her visits from her son and all the family/friends. She’s still asking if everything is real when we visit but starting to show emotions and even started to laugh 2 days ago! I know this is going to be a long journey for us all let alone my sister but we are all staying positive! Hope you all had a nice Christmas.

Lucy xx

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Hi Lucy

That’s great news :) And wonderful your sister is improving and enjoying visits.

I can remember the intense confusion and paranoia I felt when starting to recover and not being sure what was real and what wasn’t. I questioned everything, it was exhausting. It’ll fall back into place, I’m sure the visits and contact with familiar things will help.

I hope things are ok with you too and you had a nice Christmas despite all that’s going on.

Best wishes,

Jenny x

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Hi Oldersister Lucy,

That is wonderful news. What a peace you must have, now that you know your sister is going to get the best care. I hope the MBU isnt too far from home for you all. It sounds like your sister is making great progress and I'm sure once she is in MBU she will do so well.

I hope now you are able to rest to some extent and concentrate on your own health too

Take Care

Teresa x

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Hi Lucy, I am so so pleased to read your latest update. Your sister is doing incredibly well in such a short space of time. To be moving to an MBU is a hugely positive thing, and in her time she will be able to help care and really bond with her baby.

To be laughing is fantastic news, small glimmers of her personality which I hope will grow over the coming weeks. My family described a breakthrough in my recovery which was when I started asking after people who I hadn’t seen. Before then I’d been so insular, and couldn’t think of anything.

Your sister will question lots and still be confused. Even when I was discharged from hospital and I’d known I wasn’t imagining things, e.g my neighbours talking in their garden, I’d still often ask my husband if he heard them too. Of course he had, but I was worried I’d hear things again. It takes such a while to build confidence and trust yourself again after things have been turned upside down.

Well done to your whole family for hanging in there. Sure you’re all exhausted, but knowing your sister is making progress will be such a comfort.

Thinking of you all. Xxx

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Hello Older Sister, I haven't written before, you have had so many wonderful replies. APP were such a help to me and I am glad that you found them too. I just wanted to say how wonderful to see small signs of recovery in your sister. I know that my daughter, in her brave fight, felt the support of her sisters and the rest of the family to be such a help. You and your family have been there for your sister and in no small way are helping in her recovery. PP is such a trauma and shock for all the family, at what should just be a happy time, you're being a great sister, do take care of yourself too.

Wishing your sister well very soon.

Best wishes Judith (a proud mother, grandmother) x

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Hi just to say I'm so pleased that your sister has seen her baby and is going to a mother and baby unit, it was definitely the best place for me when I was ill. The staff were very reassuring and calming.

X

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Hello Older Sister Lucie,

your support together with the family helps and is going to be vital for stability and routine of your sister's recovery.

I feel so passionate about appropriate care and mums receiving best treatment in a mother and baby unit, -something I did not experience in the South West of England.

Thus, it is fantastic news that your siss will be moving to an MBU and subsequently receiving best professional care together with her baby.

It is such a difficult journey for everybody involved.

What a wonderful Oldersister you are.

Wishing you strengths and happiness;

x

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Hi Oldersister

Wishing your sister all the best for her move, hopefully this week, to the MBU

A move may be unsettling at first but how wonderful that she will be surrounded with professionals who can help her gain confidence in being reunited and caring for her little one.

My PP was years ago and so an MBU wasn't an option. To hear your sister is going to get the best care, when you have been so worried for her, is wonderful.

I hope you are also well in yourself and that you can rest and look forward to your new addition now without so much worrying.

Looking forward to hearing the next heart warming news about your sisters reunion with her little boy.

Don't feel obliged to reply though. Just wanted to let you know we are still thinking of you and your sister and are here whenever you want to connect

Take Care

Teresa x

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Hello

My sister is not going to the mbu as the lady who was getting discharged isn’t well enough. Such terrible news it’s hit my mum very hard. Can my sister get help at home? Only been told this a few hours ago so haven’t spoken to any professionals yet. Can’t believe this illness is not more spoken of!

Had my baby girl New Year’s Day so got lots to keep me occupied.

Lucy x

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Congratulations Lucy! I hope you and your wee girl are adjusting well. Is she your first child?

So sorry to hear about the MBU bed being unavailable. Although it's not ideal her being apart from baby it's still probably better that's she's in hospital rather than at home if she's seriously unwell as it means staff can closely monitor her symptoms. When I was getting ill my husband became completely exhausted because of the demands I was putting on him and I think he needed the rest that me going in to hospital gave.

I know that it's upsetting as well for everyone to know that baby is not being cared for by his Mum but as long as he's being given loving consistent care it won't have any long term impact upon him. It's likely to be so distressing for your sister though. However I have been encouraged as time progresses by thinking that I was being a responsible parent by accepting that I needed to get myself well first. It wasn't my fault I was ill and it's not your sister's either.

Sending best wishes to all of you and hoping that another MBU bed comes up as that would be the v best option.

Hazello x

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Hello

My second baby I have a 4 year old son too! Feel so guilty I can’t help with my sisters baby but need to look after myself and my babies. My sister has lots of other family and friends for support!

I will ask him about parental/care leave not sure if it will cover bills ect.

We just need to listen to the professionals and see what the next option is.

Just feel like we’re not getting any where as we keep getting told the unit she’s on isn’t right for her but no where to move her!

Sorry if Im moaning a lot just so hard when we have never had to deal with the mental health side of the nhs until now and we just feel like she’s being failed by the systems from lack of beds.

Lucy x

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It's so frustrating. And although things are a lot better now in general compared with days gone by, it's still not good enough. It's upsetting to know that due to timing and bad luck your sister can't access the best available option.

I just remembered that now you can take shared parental leave after baby's first year theoretically too. It's hard because I'm sure he's so exhausted just looking after baby getting the right advice and help may be difficult. Union or citizens advice might help?

X

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Dear Lucy,

Congratulations on the birth of your own little girl. I hope she is doing well and you’re getting as much rest as you can for yourself.

I’m so sorry to read that your sisters bed in the MBU didn’t come through as you all, and I’m sure she too, had hoped. How awful. I do know that things can change quite quickly in this field so I’m imagining the MBU aren’t able to give a timetable for a potential admission for her. Really hard for you all.

Has anyone mentioned the charity Homestart to your brother in law. Just a thought but they are trained volunteers who can offer short term help to families. Including anything from running errands, help with housework, babysitting while he has a break. They don’t operate everywhere, but should come up if you google it. It must be so hard for him too. For all of you.

I’m unsure if the professionals would suggest your sister be cared for at home. It sounds as though the MBU was the next step on her care plan, but how awful to have such a painful wait. Really really hoping she gets there soon.

I hope your sister is now more stable and hopefully her visits from family are helping. Thinking of you all. Xxx

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Hello Lucy

Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your baby girl :)

I'm sorry to hear your sister isn't going to the MBU now. I can understand how it has hit your mum hard.

I think you can ask about help at home for your sister. When I was recovering from my second PP and as my first son was six, I had support from the Home Treatment Team. There was a Psychiatrist, CPN, Health Visitor and Social Worker who visited me on a regular basis.

Hopefully a bed will become available soon in the MBU so that your sister can be with her baby but I think help at home is a good idea while she is waiting if professionals agree. Take care. x

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Thanks for the advice, we just all want her back with her son but the right support! She’s been away from him for nearly 4 weeks now and her husband has to go back to work but is caring for their son there has to be another support plan apart from mbu to have mothers back with their baby?

Lucy

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Ps can he get parental/ carers leave from work?

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It's such a shame your sister is separated from her son but hopefully she is on the priority list for a bed, although I'm not quite sure of the procedure in MBUs. I was separated from my first son for six months as there were no MBUs then, so my husband and family cared for him at home. As I mentioned, six years later I did have Home Treatment care, being admitted as an outpatient to hospital in times of crisis. Thankfully, years later, I have a really strong bond with my sons as they now have families of their own.

I hope the professionals can discuss options for your sister. Do take care of yourself as supporting your sister and family must be stressful, as well as caring for your new bundle of joy. x

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Were you in a mental health hospital for 6 months? She is next on the list to go in mbu but just a waiting game again. I know it’s no ones fault just so difficult when there’s not much support around ppp.

Thanks again for everyone’s replies x

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Yes Lucy, I was under mixed general psychiatric care and transferred three times to other psychiatric units in that six months, but that was a long time ago. Hopefully your sister won't have too long to wait for a bed and can be nearer home.

Take care, we are all here to lean on. x

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Hello again Lucy,

Congratulations on the birth of your little daughter.

I just wanted to say how sorry I am that your sister has not yet got a place in the MBU. What a setback, how disappointing for you all, I can so understand how devastated your Mum must be, we never stop worrying about our children. It must be so difficult for you as you take care of your own little baby to think of your sister. As other Mums on here have said there are home care plans but as I understand it it varies with each area.

It isn't always possible but as a mum and grandmother I felt fortunate to be able to help when my daughter was ill, I wish that I could help out with your sister and baby too. Hopefully a place at the MBU will become available soon.

It's hard for you all but try not to worry too much, my daughter is now well, as are many lovely mums on the forum, your sister will get well too.

Judith x

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Hi Oldersister Lucy,

I'm a bit late to reply as this is the first chance I've had to sit and look at my phone.

Wow you have a baby girl. Congratulations x

Sorry to hear your sister hasn't been able to move to MBU. Can understand that was such a blow after being told it was likely. Try not to be too discouraged if she keeps making good improvements the aim will be to have her well enough to return home as soon as possible. This will take the form of once they think your sister is well enough they will first give her the odd day where she has a few hours leave and then returns to the hosiptal. This doesn't sound a lot but when i first took my few hours leave I just spent it at my mums playing with my son, changing nappies and feeding and as much I loved it I was also drained and a little relieved to return to the hospital. The actual stimuli of everything outside of the hospital was immense and I needed rest afterwards. Each day that I was given leave I got stronger though and eventually was allowed home for a weekend to see if I coped ok. This all lead up to my returning home.

I must say though when I came home I didn't have someone with me 100% of the time but each day b4 mid day my parents would call and either stay with us or take me and my baby to theirs. So i only had to cope with mornings by myself to start with.

I can understand the frustration but I think your sister would only be able to be cared for at home if there was someone with her to care for her and baby. To be home and be strong enough to cope whilst her husband works will mean she needs to be well on her way to recovery first.

They seem such long days waiting for your husband to return home when you're low and struggling with a bad day.

I hope you take some comfort from hearing how others have recovered regardless of whether in an MBU or general. Although we know that's the ideal and still hope your sister gets a place soon.

Take care of yourself and your little one. Such a lot of exciting but tiring adjustment in your family at the moment!

Best Wishes and thank you for updating in amongst all the hectic life with a precious newborn

Teresa x

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Hi Lucy,

I’ve not written to you before but just wanted to add my voice to the other fantastic ladies here who have replied and shared their experiences and support for you and your family.

I was separated from my son back in 2009 when I experienced pp and was admitted to a general psychiatric ward without him. It wasn’t at all the right place but it did keep me safe - and the pressure off my husband although of course it was then a different sort of stress and worry - until I was found an MBU place. Luckily this was after about 2/3 weeks and once reunited with my son I started making real progress with treatment and recovery although of course there was more time until I could go home. As others have said, some people are treated at home but in my experience it wasn’t possible. I know it’s hard but I hope that the professionals treating your sister would explore this if it were to a possibility, rather than MBU. Is there another MBU that can perhaps offer her a bed, although I know that distances are sometimes large? They are the best environment for women to be treated effectively whilst being with their baby. This link has a map with all the U.K. units on, if that’s helpful: maternalmentalhealthallianc...

Congratulations on the birth of your little one too - I hope things are going ok for you and that things improve for your sister soon. Take care, xx

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Hello Lucy,

congratulation on your baby daughter. I hope you and baby are fine.

I am sorry that the MBU place is not available at the moment. Obviously I do not know your location, but I believe Hanna's link of MBU map will give you some mind mapping and whether other places would be within your reach.

I needed around the clock care (2010) and even when coming out of the Psychiatric Hospital after 39 days I was in no state to look after my son yet alone after myself. As previously written by mums' experiences, home treatment is important for continuous recovery without relapsing. My partner was very fortunate to be able to take 6 months out of work and to look after me full time.

Of course assessing and evaluating best care has to be fine-tuned, tailor made and appropriate to the mum's and baby's need...Family network and professionals will have to work closely together.

- a care plan

- meds regulation and long term planning of weaning off process

- care coordinator

- health visitor

- GP

- Psychiatrist

- my partner as main carer

- his parents

I was unable to cope with friends, my partner communicated with my parents over the phone (abroad)… Between August till the following year February the only contact was my partner. Apparently my house was always very busy; I do not remember much.

Take good care of yourself...you are a busy mum, too.

xxx

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Hello

My sister has been having leave for a week now but just across the road from where she is sectioned as there is a Tesco with a cafe. I haven’t seen her for a week due to giving birth but mum said she is coping with that really well and looks forward to it.

Unfortunately the next mbu will be to far away, we’re in the south west bristol. Next meeting to discuss other options is Wednesday but my brother in-law has been advised to wait for a mbu atm.

Think my parents and brother in-law are finding it hard that we just need to take it day by day and every case is so different. Fingers crossed a new plan/mbu is set in place soon!

Thanks Lucy xx

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Hi Lucy, that is still progress for your sister to be having leave, even for short periods. Such an achievement that she can build on.

The waiting must be awful for you all, but hang on in there.

This too shall pass. X

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Hi Oldersister,

I am in the South West, too.

When I had PPP in 2010 there were talks of sending me all the way to an MBU in Manchester, something my partner could not have coped with. Just too far for my partner and family.

I am involved with the family stakeholder group for the new MBU in the South-West. Mums and families have been contributing in all aspects based upon their lived experiences. Luckily it is all happening this year and desperately needed.

Thinking of you and your family.

x

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Hi Oldersister,

That's lovely that your sister has been having bits of leave each day. That she can cope with the business of a cafe and looks forward to it is marvellous progress as Revans86 says. Its so hard taking one day at a time I can understand how hard this is for family waiting and not being able to plan or know what is going to happen. For your sister though things will feel different. For me when I was in hospital my concept of time was different. One day at a time was all I could cope with and began to feel a safe way to deal with things. Less worry and concerns.

Wishing you all the best and your sister some more steps of progress

Teresa x

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Hello

Got some fantastic news my sister moved in to a mother and baby unit today! It’s also close to home so she will have visitors everyday.

Thank you to everyone that has replied to me, it really has helped me through this awful time. I will keep you updated on how my sister is getting on!

Lucy x

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So amazing to read this update Oldersister, what a relief to have your sister closer to home!!

So glad to hear she’s in an MBU. Hope she has settled in ok, and her little one is enjoying cuddles! Not having to say bye bye each visit anymore, such a relief, amazing to have them reunited!

I took huge comfort and reassurance from my family inc my sisters, who are great with babies! It was invaluable having their positive words about me, helping me grow in confidence day by day in being able to care for my little boy.

Hope you’ll be able to visit her in between caring for your own newborn. I’m sure your sister will love seeing you interact with her baby too and being able to spend time with you. Enjoy those cups of tea together, she’s getting there. This is an incredible leap forward!

Xxx

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Hi Lucy

That’s so good to hear that your sister has got into a mbu and one so close to home! Just brilliant, I’m sure she’ll really recover now as she will get that specialist support and be with her baby.

I hope you are doing ok too,

Ellie x

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Wow that's great news Lucy :) How lovely that your sister will now be able to have her son beside her and receive specialist care.

I hope you are doing well with your precious daughter too. Take care. x

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Hi Oldersister

Great news! Very glad for your sister and you. I recovered in an MBU after my recent episode of ppp. Can't recommend it enough. Your sister is in good hands.

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Hello Older Sister,

That really is good news that your sister and baby are safe in an MBU,

a real step forward in her recovery and relief for her and all the family.

Hope that you and baby are well.

Best wishes x

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