Visiting MABU during Covid restrictions - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Visiting MABU during Covid restrictions

Madams1209
Madams1209

Hello everyone,

I'm new here, my wife was admitted to an MABU a few days ago and I am having some difficulty getting in to visit because of Covid-19 measures in place. There is a blanket policy at the hospital that there is no visiting on hospital grounds. However, I have read that family contact is an important part of the recovery and I want to make sure she has every chance to get better.

I'm looking for advice on how to establish regular visiting while covid restrictions are in place?

Thank you in advance.

9 Replies
Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Madams1209

I'm so sorry that your wife has PP and has been admitted to MBU. My name is Ellie, I'm the National Peer Support Coordinator here at APP and had postpartum psychosis myself in 2011, and was admitted to the mother and baby unit.

First of all, do be reassured that your wife really is in the right place. I can't tell you how important being in a MBU and with my baby was for my own recovery, and many women say the same. It was a massive part of my recovery.

But you are right, it was so important for me to have visits from my partner, and my parents too. I'm so sorry that the hospital has restrictions on visits. This covid time is so hard for families, I can't imagine having to cope with all the restrictions, as well as dealing with the traumatic situation of postpartum psychosis too.

I suggest you try to talk with the MBU, particularly perhaps the Ward Manager, and speak to them about your concerns around contact. Are there other ways they are supporting contact if it really isn't possible for you to visit for example? The unit, I hope, will be offering support to you, as well as to your wife.

I also wanted to let you know that we do have lots of information and support for partners which you may have found or not. We have a guide written for and by partners of women who have had PP. It's free to download here: app-network.org/partners/

I also wanted to let you know we have a Partners Facilitator, who can chat with you too, and partner volunteers (some who may reply to you here as well). I know it can really help to talk with another partner who has also 'been there'. Do email us if you'd find it helpful and would like to know more: app@app-network.org

And lastly the main thing I want to say to you is that your wife really is going to come through this and get better, all of you will come through this time. I know it seems really hard to believe at the time, as I imagine she is not herself at all and very poorly.

Take care, thinking of you, and please know you can write anything on here - any questions, worries etc.

Ellie

Thank you Ellie, it's really great to hear from you so quickly. At the moment feeling powerless and detached from what's happening is one of the worst bits as a partner. I'm afraid I have not had straightforward communication from the MABU and although I know they will be doing their best it is frustrating to be fobbed off. My wife has her first ward round tomorrow so I hope to hear clearer guidance then. She is already seems much more like her old self after a few good nights rest.

The plan is to listen to the treatment plan and hear how visiting might work and if they are not able to facilitate something, take it up with the wider hospital administration. I don't think it's the MABU putting restrictions in place, rather it's a blanket directive. There's also still a chance of Boris saying something helpful on Monday evening...

Thank you for the links, I will definitely look into them and have sent an email too.

Malta213
Malta213 in reply to Madams1209

Hi Madams1209. I am very sorry to hear your wife has needed to go into the MBU and I know how hard it is for you to deal with. My wife was sectioned last year and admitted to MBU and 2 acute psychiatric units for several months. I found the communication from the MBU unacceptable and didn’t know what was going on with my wife’s care. The only way I got to see her and be involved in understanding the treatment was to raise a complaint to the nhs trusts patient advice service.

Within days I was invited to attend a meeting with her consultant and attend her review meetings to see her. It is difficult to moan as the MBU do amazing work but the use of COvid as an excuse to exclude partners from being involved is unacceptable.

I hope you get to see her soon.

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Madams1209

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. Here you will find lots of support and shared experiences. I’m so sorry to hear your wife was admitted to a mother and baby unit which must have been very stressful. I had PP many years ago and was sectioned to mixed general psychiatric care.

It is very difficult with restrictions at the moment. I hope you will be able to connect with your wife’s care team so that you can find a way to support her and be part of any decisions made regarding treatment. Perhaps virtual contact might be possible, via a mobile phone (?) as I think it is important for your wife to know that you are with her, even remotely.

As Ellie said earlier, there are helpful resources available. For example, the “PP Soup” blog, put together by a mum who suffered PP with input from other mums and professionals at ppsoupdotcom.wordpress.com/ includes “What to say to someone with Postpartum Psychosis” which might be helpful to read, for when you are able to speak to your wife?

I’m not sure if they have PALS (Patient Advice & Liaison Service) in mother and baby units to offer advice regarding contact. Perhaps you could contact your GP for help? I hope you also have support for yourself at such an early stage in your wife’s recovery. We are all here to lean on ..... take care.

Our daughter is currently in the same position - been in MBU about 4 weeks now. There is a blanket directive at her MBU too and it has been difficult for her partner and all of us . I can understand your feeling of helplessness. To be fair the MBU have been excellent at keeping us all up to date and, as she made progress she has gradually texted more and facetimed. Although it was really hard I think she really needed some 'down time' too just to rest. I'm really happy that your wife is showing small signs of recovery and that she will continue to do so. The first week of our daughter's diagnosis was a nightmare and a very frightening experience for us all but she is getting the help she needs and it's looking much brighter. I really feel for you not being able to visit but hang in there - things will get better. Our thoughts are with you, your wife and family x

Hi there

My step daughter has recently been discharged from the MBU & their visiting rules were just 2 people per week to visit ... but the same 2 people ... no one else & this was during Covid times too. The only time no visitors were allowed into the unit was when there were Covid patients. I agree that family contact is vital to her recovery so perhaps have a chat with someone senior at the mbu x

Hi and sorry for that what you going through,I been there last year.My visits was limited to drop off food (if they can accept) or any necessary thing by the nurse so in the first go I had no choice to see them apart from the camera and maybe through the safety net of the window .

Later on ,hospital policy made a still very strict allowance somewhere in the middle of the year like you can visit 2x a week for an hour which was not much but compare to nothing is a world.

So maybe you can talk to the nurses and ask for contact to the hospital headleaders.

Hope this idea helps a bit.

I wish you a quick recovery although you will need to be patient mainly because of these medicines takes a while to clear off from her body.

Take care of yourself as well!

EmiMum
EmiMumVolunteer

Hi Madams1209,

I am sorry to hear that your wife has been diagnosed with pp and that the covid restrictions have made things so difficult regarding visits to her in the mbu. I had pp in 2018 and was admitted to an mbu where I spent 2.5 months.

I am so pleased to hear that she is already showing signs of recovery, she is really in the best place at the moment, and rest is so crucial. As you well say, support from family and friends is also so so important.

While the policy is still in place, perhaps look for alternatives, which granted are not the same, but will alleviate at least some of your wife's isolation, video calls, phone calls or dropping small packages with things she'll enjoy, flowers for her room, favourite snacks, things to help pass the time, etc. It is so tough, and I am sorry you both are going through this traumatic illness at the worst of times.

I hope that the first ward round goes well today, with time she will be allowed home visits which will stretch out in days till she is finally discharged.

Be kind to yourself too and try and get some support in place, this illness takes a huge toll on partners and direct family, gather a good friend or family member when you feel things start becoming too much and have a good vent with them.

Take good care, we are always here to listen

Hi Madams1209

I see some great replies already. Sorry to hear your wife has pp, as a partner it can feel so isolating and as you say, powerless and difficult to know what to do sometimes.

My name is Simon and I'm the partner link at APP, which Ellie mentioned in her reply; my wife had pp a number of years ago and it was a complete shock to the system, when we finally got into an MBU, it was such a good step forward and really helped towards my wife's full recovery.

Covid has, unfortunately, added an extra dimension to the whole visiting piece! there's some good suggestions already in the replies and hopefully you'll be able to arrange to call, or even video call, with the Ward Manager at the MBU soon and be able to talk to them about your concerns and also to feel part of any decisions; really hope that can be arranged soon.

There's some great links and info on the APP website, again Ellie's link is a good place to start and I'd also be happy to catch up via the APP email as well.

All the best of wishes and take care of yourself and maybe we'll catch up soon.

Simon

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