All posts by Molly Lyness

Pregnant Women Concerned about PP

(i.e. those who have had a previous PP or who have a bipolar diagnosis):

You can find APP’s insider guide: ‘Planning pregnancy: a guide for women at high risk of Postpartum Psychosis’ here & APP’s resources on bipolar disorder and pregnancy here. You can take part in a trial of a new interactive workbook to support women through pregnancy by emailing us here.

1. What will happen to my antenatal psychiatric appointments or preconception advice appointments?

  • In England, Scotland & Wales, there are plans in place for routine home visits and out-patient appointments to continue, but some appointments will be done by telephone or video call. We will add information from Northern Ireland when we have it.
  • Perinatal Psychiatrists say that birth planning for women at high risk of PP will in some cases be offered remotely but will still be thorough and comprehensive.

2. How do I get medication during this crisis?

  • In England, Scotland and Wales, medication plans for pregnancy and the postnatal period should be made with perinatal psychiatrists in advance to ensure there is plenty of time to get prescriptions filled. Talk to your GP, Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Team, or Perinatal Psychiatrist, to ensure plans are in place.
  • Women who are remaining on Lithium throughout pregnancy will continue to need the same degree of medical vigilance. Antenatal care is still “open for business” and obstetrics/ maternity and perinatal mental health will work collaboratively to ensure the safest possible antenatal care remains uninterrupted.
  • In Scotland, medication prescribing remains with GPs on recommendation of mental health services. We will add information from Northern Ireland when we have it.
  • You can phone your GP prescriptions line / psychiatric services and they can send prescriptions directly to your local pharmacy for collection. Some pharmacies are operating a delivery service for those who are shielding or self isolating.

3. What impact does Covid-19 have on pregnancy, foetal development or risk of postnatal illness?

  • Our best knowledge to date is that Covid-19 doesn’t seem to cause problems with pregnancy, and it is believed that having CV-19 is unlikely to impact on your baby’s development. Most pregnant women who develop the illness will experience mild or moderate cold or flu-like symptoms. Pregnant women with other health conditions (e.g heart disease, or if you usually are advised to have a flu jab) should be extra cautious as they may be more unwell than other women. It may be possible for you to pass coronavirus to your baby before they are born. But when this has happened, the babies have got better. There’s no evidence coronavirus causes miscarriage or affects how your baby develops in pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women have been placed in the ‘moderate risk group’ as a precautionary measure as not enough is yet known about the virus. This means you should follow guidance on hand-washing and social distancing. You can access up to date government guidance here.
  • You should still attend appointments and scans, unless advised not to.
  • You should still seek help if you are worried about your physical or mental health.
  • Maintaining contact with friends and family, and being active, can be very important to maintaining good mental health during pregnancy, so consider how to stay connected, and what you can do, within government guidelines.
  • The Royal College of Midwives and The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have produced some excellent guidance for health professionals and women, which is being regularly updated here and here. You can access the Royal College of Psychiatrists advice here.
  • We do not yet know whether stresses related to the crisis will impact on women’s chance of developing maternal mental illness. We know that managing anxiety and stress in pregnancy and the postnatal period is important. You can find excellent advice from Mind about managing anxiety and isolation here and from the Mental Health Foundation here.

APP are here for you. If you are a pregnant women with previous experience of PP or bipolar, you can talk to an APP peer supporter by visiting our forum or registering for email or video support here. APP also has a number of Facebook groups (e.g. a book club, an activities & wellbeing group, various volunteer groups) you can join.

Click here to return to the Covid-19 menu page

Postpartum Psychosis & Covid-19

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we know that pregnant women and new mothers have questions about what will happen to their care and how they should access services.

Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) has compiled information for: pregnant women with a history of postpartum psychosis / bipolar; women and families in crisis or who are developing psychosis; and for those recovering from PP at this time.

This is a fast-moving situation. Health trusts/boards across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are continuing to make changes to their services. We will update this guide as information becomes available.

Click the below images for specific information:

 

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

Connect with APP via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and follow the news on our website to find out more about what APP can offer.

Help with a research survey
We are working with colleagues at the National Centre for Mental Health to understand better the impact COVID-19 is having on people with mental health conditions. To find out more about how to participate in the NCMH COVID-19 survey click here

Join #thelippyrunner in her July campaign!

A huge thank you to Sian, #thelippyrunner, who is raising awareness of PP and supporting APP through her July fundraiser! Why not join Sian and #getlippy this July?!

Sian says: My story starts with a nomination to do the NHS 5k. So on the 19th of April in lockdown I decided to put on some lipstick for empowerment and to feel half human and to have a go. I did it and I haven't looked back since. I have run pretty much every day since. And every day the lipstick goes on. #thelippyrunner (follow me and my journey on Instagram) I was NOT a runner but have found a love for it that I don't want to give up. I wanted to find something for my mental health in lockdown and be more than mother, wife and teacher. I think a lot of women feel like that. This was something for me.

I've had messages off women saying how they don't have the confidence to get out there but that this has inspired them to. This is amazing and makes me feel so proud. Anyone can. Support each other and we all can.

I found Action on Postpartum Psychosis as I wanted to raise money for women's postnatal mental health and this is only one area but a very important area that isn't spoken about. We need to #getlippy and change the stigma. This is not embarrassing. We need to talk, help and support one another and this amazing charity does that. I'm so passionate about it.

PLEASE PLEASE GET INVOLVED.

I would really like anyone to join in. This is a July fundraiser. Please follow the steps below.

PUT YOUR LIPSTICK ON 💋

DO A RUN (however long or short)

DONATE HERE(as much or as little as you can)

SHARE YOUR END PHOTO (upload your photo to Instagram and Facebook and #thelippyrunner and #getlippy)

TAG SOMEONE (tag someone you know to get this message out and raise awareness about this unspoken subject)

SHARE THE FUNDRAISING PAGE WHEN TAGGING (so the next person knows what they need to do)

You are also going to be put into a draw to win some amazing Body Shop lipsticks after you donate (please put your full name on your donation and you can be put into the draw)

This isn't just for women. Men come and support your wives, partners, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, aunties and nieces. Support your daughters for what they might go through.

At various points throughout I will share when I will be running so people can join in and run with me. I want to encourage people to get running and not feel self conscious. I will also be doing a final run on 31st July and I will invite anyone to come and join.

I will be running most days too and you can continue to follow my running journey on Instagram #thelippyrunner

I'm so thankful to be doing this so PLEASE support me and this amazing charity!!

Love from Sian Purdy Marr 💋
I am #thelippyrunner

Sian's amazing fundraiser, #getlippy, has been a huge success and had raised over £900 in aid of APP! A huge thank you to #thelippyrunner and to all who donated to support Sian's efforts!

If you have been inspired by Sian's fundraiser and want to start your own, contact fundraising@app-network.org - we would love to support your event!

Karen's 60th Birthday Triumph!

Huge thanks to Karen Savage who raised incredible funds for APP through her 60th birthday fundraiser!

Karen said: "We all may have a different story to tell but those suffering from Postpartum Psychosis have one thing in common is how very frightening this illness is and the speed that it can manifest itself! When I had my baby, APP was not as we know it today and there was no care network and I only wish I had the benefit of their peer support.

I suffered from Postpartum Psychosis (PP), which I can now freely talk about without the stigma attached that prevented me from disclosing what a nightmare this rare illness was for me and my family back in 1985! The time which should have been the happiest of my life, ended up with me on a psychiatric ward, separated from my baby. Had I not agreed to go in voluntarily I would have been sectioned. I was severely unwell, and it was only at this point I understood that something was very wrong but didn’t know what.

I had always intended to ask my friends and family who wished to buy me a present to celebrate my 60th birthday. To raise money for APP would be the greatest gift anyone could give me, I wanted to raise as much money as possible. Never did I imagine that I would be celebrating my 60th during a Pandemic and that my husband’s gift of travelling on the Rocky Mountaineer would have to be put on hold and that I wouldn’t be getting the kisses and cuddles from my granddaughter. Now more than ever charities are desperate for funds that would normally arise from fund raising events that have had to be cancelled or postponed!"

Thank you Karen and to everyone who donated via Karen's JustGiving page here, Karen's birthday fundraiser has raised an incredible total of £2225!!

If your birthday is approaching and you would like to set up your own birthday fundraiser, contact app@app-network.org - we would love to support you and celebrate together!

Emily walks 70 miles for APP!

A huge thanks to Emily Saunders who walked 70 miles and raised an incredible £850 to support APP!

Emily says: "I suffered from postpartum psychosis when my daughter was born in June 2017. I wanted to do something positive during lockdown and had talked about walking from my home in Sheffield to the MBU I was in in Nottingham as a sponsored walk. Clearly that wasn't possible during lockdown but I decided I would see if I could walk the distance during my daily exercise - 35 miles. I appreciate it isn't that far to walk in a month but with working 5 days a week and a toddler to care for, it felt like a challenge! I chose to do this in May to coincide with Maternal Mental Health Week. My partner challenged me to walk back again when I had walked 35 miles which I managed to do. I completed my 70 miles on 29th May. I did most of my walks by myself in the evenings but did some with my partner and our daughter, and two with 2 friends who supported me when I was ill and recovering (appropriately socially distanced of course!). I found new paths in the woods near my home, listened to some fantastic podcasts and saw some stunning sunsets. I was really emotional when I finished. I don't often say I'm proud of myself but I am for walking 70 miles in May and raising £850 for APP, for working so hard to recover and for volunteering with APP - I'm a regional rep".

A massive thank you to everyone who donated via Emily's JustGiving page here too! A fantastic achievement that Emily should absolutely be proud of!

If you have been inspired by Emily's fundraiser and want to get involved with your own sponsored walk, you can contact us at app@app-network.org

APP & Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week

Keep up to date with our plans for Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week!

Join us each day between Monday 4 May - Sunday 10 May. Here's what we have planned:

Catch up on Monday's topic - "What is Postpartum Psychosis?" here, where you can watch Sally and her husband Jamie discuss their experience of the early signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis with Ian Jones, Professor of Psychiatry and Trustee of Action on Postpartum Psychosis.

From World Mental Health Day, you can also watch APP in conversation with Catherine Cho, author of 'Inferno: A Memoir' here. Hear Catherine discuss her PP experience with Jessie from Action on Postpartum Psychosis.

Thursday's topic - "What support is there for partners, families & friends of women affected by PP?" is available here, where Kat and her husband Tom discuss their experience of postpartum psychosis with Giles Berrisford, Perinatal Psychiatrist and Chair of APP and with Ellie, Peer Support Coordinator for APP.

You can also watch Saturday's Facebook Live "#Honest Conversations" with Laura Dockrill, Dr Jo Black and Jessie here.

If you have been affected by anything in these films, need any support, or want to meet others, visit: https://www.app-network.org or contact us on app@app-network.org for more information.

#SupportingMumsDuringDifficultTimes
#MaternalMHmatters
#PMHPAccessingSafeSupport
#APPFutureMidwife

Nicola's fantastic 1000k Challenge!

Nicola Ball is fundraising for APP by asking her friends and family to join her in a 1000K challenge during Maternal Mental Health Week, 4th-10th May. The challenge will raise money for APP and awareness that PP can happen as often as 1-2 in 1000, yet it’s still relatively unknown.

As a team they are asking people to pledge, donate and share their challenge on social media.

You can keep up to date with Nicola's 1000k Challenge, see more great pictures of their efforts and donate via her JustGiving page here!

Nicola's sister, Stephanie Fitzson, is also hosting a Facebook fundraiser to promote their 1000K Challenge in support of APP. If you would like to support Nicola and her team via Facebook, you can also donate here! 

This is a fantastic challenge that has already raised a huge amount in aid of APP - Thank You Nicola and Team!

Here are some pictures of their challenge so far...

 

The doorstep photoshoot in aid of APP!

Huge thanks to Jo Bushell who is raising funds for APP by offering doorstep photoshoots to families along her daily exercise route.

Jo says: "Well, we had fun posing for our lockdown photograph! I do love an excuse to use a tripod 😀 Joggy bottoms have been my comfy clothing of choice since lockdown began so I didn't think dressing up in my finery would accurately reflect this period in time but it might be an excuse to get your glad rags on if you prefer!

If you live on or nearby Stewart Road/Hillside Grove in Chelmsford and would like to have a family photograph on your doorstep taken from a safe distance, that I can incorporate into my daily walk, please get in touch. I will be walking about 4pm today or next weekend. I will upload the photos onto my online gallery, where they can be downloaded for free."

Visit Jo's photography page here to donate, keep up to date with Jo's work or, if you live nearby, to arrange your own family doorstep photo with Jo!

Gina & Rayan join the 2.6 Challenge!

A big Thank You to Gina and Rayan who successfully completed their 2.6 challenge on Thursday 30th April, in aid of APP!

Before their challenge Gina said: "Rayan & I will walk/run/cycle to our Scottish Grandparents house which is approximately 2.6 miles away. No doubt on the way, Rayan will want to stop here and there to explore and maybe ask to be carried, claiming he has no energy left. At which point I will have to complete the challenge carrying him & his bike. But the journey will be picturesque along Kirkcaldy Esplanade and the Fife coastal path to their house. Once we arrive, we will Surprise Grandad with a box of chocolates and a hello that we haven’t been able to do since before the lockdown. Just a shame there will be no hugs, as we follow Government advice on social distancing, but it will be worth it to see the look on Grandad Aund’s face and raise money for APP."

Huge thanks to everyone who donated and support Gina and Rayan's 2.6 challenge via their JustGiving page here - a total of £375 has been raised so far!

If you would like to do your own 2.6 challenge or take part in APP's Active May Challenge (click here), contact app@app-network.org for more information about how APP would love to support you! Remember to follow government guidelines.

Darkness Into Light, the album raising funds for APP

"I wrote this album to try and help me to recover from severe post-natal depression and post-natal psychosis. It helped, along with medication, rest and loving support. This album documents my journey from mental illness to mental health, from deep sadness to overwhelming joy and gratitude, from intense darkness to light. For those suffering out there, I want you to know that you will get better, your child loves you, nothing is irredeemable, and what lies for you at the end of this tunnel (which you don’t ever believe will end) is more beautiful than you can ever imagine in your wildest dreams. Don’t give up. You and your child are connected by a love greater than you know and one day you will feel it in every part of your being."  Eleanor Dattani

If you would like to purchase or donate, visit:

iTunes (click here)

Bandcamp (click here)

Amazon (click here)

40% off all proceeds are being donated to the charity Acacia (Pre and postnatal depression support services) and Action for Postpartum Psychosis.

You can also listen to the full album on Spotify (click here) and Bandcamp (click here).

Click here to watch the music video for 'I've Learnt This Lesson Before', a song from the album.