…no longer referred to as ‘a phenomenon’; an extraordinary, unexplained event that defies explanation?
…understood? It’s not rare, it can happen to anyone, from any background, any educational level, often out of the blue. We fully recover & go on to live regular family lives.
…free from destructive myths & stigma? It doesn’t turn us into monsters. It doesn’t make us bad mothers. Women with postpartum psychosis rarely harm themselves or their babies.
…identified early & correctly? Postpartum psychosis is an illness in its own right & has its own challenges, needs & treatment. It’s different from postnatal depression.
…out in the open? When will we be free to discuss it anywhere, at work, at the school gates without feeling shame or judgement? When will it be discussed in families & not hidden for generations?
…discussed in antenatal classes? Knowing that it exists, has a name, is understood & accepted would have big impact. Detection would be earlier, treatment would start sooner, fear would be greatly reduced & recovery far smoother.
…humanised? When will women be referred to as ‘women’ and not ‘interesting cases’? We are everyday women, not different, damaged, weird, or objects of fascination.
…represented genuinely in the media? When will articles give a balanced & real view, instead of the constant morbid fascination of the minority, darker experiences? We are great mums with strong, loving bonds with our children.
…treated correctly? When will pathways into care be smooth with health professionals knowing the correct care needed, where it’s available & how to provide it? When will Mother & Baby Unit beds be available to all women who need one, no matter where they live. When will new mums stop being treated in general psychiatric wards & separated from their newborn babies?
…prevented? When will all pregnant women be screened to find if they’re high risk? When will tests be available, if ever, for all pregnant women to discover if they’re susceptible, so they’ll be aware & precautions can be taken?
…taken seriously? When will more funding be provided for research & information gathering to give a clear, full picture & answer the many current unknowns. When will specialist perinatal mental health teams be provided in every area? When will more Mother & Baby Units be opened, rather than closed?
…no longer a leading cause of maternal deaths? When will mums stop being let down & get the treatment they deserve outlined in national guidelines? When will the preventable, needless tragedies end? When will husbands stop losing their wives & babies stop growing up without their mums?
It’s all possible.