Sonny Malhotra (Image used with permission)
When you have a baby there Is an enormous amount of pressure to be the most perfect mum in the world. No one tells you about all the unexpected guests that just turn up at the door to take a peek at the new addition to the family and the sleepless nights. Baby blues and stress are perfectly normal after having a child but what happens when the symptoms are more serious.
What is postpartum psychosis?
Postpartum psychosis is a serious but rare mental health problem that develops after you give birth. It is sometimes called puerperal psychosis.
Postpartum psychosis can be an overwhelming and frightening experience, and it is important to seek help as soon as possible if you experience symptoms. But with the right support, most people fully recover.
You may feel:
- excited or elated
- severely depressed
- rapid mood changes
- confused or disorientated.
You may be:
- unable to sleep, even when you have the chance
- unable to concentrate
- experiencing psychotic symptoms, like delusions or hallucinations.
When writer and illustrator Laura Dockrill first became a mum, the experience was life-changing – but not in the way she was expecting. She woke up on her first Mother’s Day in a psychiatric ward, without a clue where she was, separated from her newborn, with a diagnosis of postpartum psychosis. Since her experience, she’s been on a mission to uncover the psychological effects of bringing a small person into this world and smash the stigma associated with that. In 2020 Laura wrote “What Have I Done?”, a powerful memoir that explores the award-winning author’s struggle with post-partem psychosis.
Following up from “What Have I Done?” in March 2021 Laura Dockrill launches Zombiemum. Each week she’s talking to a different guest each with their own unique experience, either through being a parent themselves or their own childhood, for a deep dive into the topics that aren’t discussed enough including post-partem psychosis. Guests include Paloma Faith, Joe Wicks, Candice Brathwaite and Denise Welch.
Season 1 of Zombiemum will feature 11 episodes with episode 1 already released and is another example of Broccoli Productions’ core ethos and purpose which is to create content with stories that empower.
“Zombiemum is an extension of “What Have I Done?”, opening up the floor to have a much-needed conversation, to throw light onto the darkness. capturing truly lived accounts from real people that had done it and lived to tell the tale. It’s not just for new parents either, these are raw human stories told from the front lines covering many themes from a range of points of view about the human condition, stories that touch us all. Parents that have been through some tough stuff and made it out alive.
Post-Partem Psychosis – How to get Help
There are various organisations, support services and health professionals who can support your mental health during pregnancy and after having a baby.
These may include general health and pregnancy support services like:
- your GP
- antenatal care (with your midwife or obstetrician)
- your health visitor