We believe that all expectant parents should be given information about postpartum psychosis during pregnancy so that they can recognise PP symptoms early and access specialist treatment quickly.
- Free toolkit for anyone providing education and support to parents during pregnancy.
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A YouGov survey carried out by APP in 2021 found that only 6% of expectant parents were given any information about postpartum psychosis at their antenatal classes. We believe this must change. We know that rapid access to specialist perinatal mental health treatment supports the best recovery, and that recognising the symptoms of PP early can save lives.
We work closely with people affected by PP to build the case for antenatal education through sharing the real stories of women, partners and families. Our stories show that lack of awareness of PP has led to significant trauma, delays in seeking help - and for some, tragic and preventable loss of life.
We surveyed over 160 antenatal education professionals to find out about the barriers to talking openly to parents about postpartum psychosis during pregnancy. 88% of respondents said they do believe PP should be discussed in antenatal education, and 46% told us that they currently do talk about PP.
Some professionals felt that PP was ‘too rare’ to include in antenatal education, or that any women at risk of PP would be known to specialist perinatal services during pregnancy. In fact, around 1400 women in the UK have PP every year, and 50% of women who develop PP have no history of mental illness. Many educators felt that PP was 'too scary' to talk to expectant parents about and lacked confidence in their own knowledge of PP.
As an expert charity, APP has excellent platforms to overcome these barriers through health professional publications and websites, conferences and training. APP’s antenatal education toolkit supports professionals to explain what postpartum psychosis is, how to seek help, and to offer reassurance of recovery. As we continue to develop the toolkit we will include video tutorials from experienced antenatal educators and suggestions from parents about what they need to know.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2271 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd - 23rd February 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).