A Mother's Mind
An exploration of postpartum psychosis through the stories of three women whose lives were profoundly impacted following childbirth.
The stories of young women who have suffered from postpartum psychosis.
For Jessie and her partner Ross there was nothing about her pregnancy to suggest what might be lying in wait for her just days after the birth of their son. From everything having been as normal as the mother and baby books would wish, she was hit by a severe mania that led to her being separated from her child and then sectioned.
The diagnosis was postpartum psychosis, a rare but potentially devastating mental health issue.
Quite how sudden and life-threatening it can be was experienced by Fiona who somewhat miraculously survived her own episode, just hours after leaving hospital, where her prematurely-born daughter was, happily, safe in an Intensive Care Unit.
Having become pregnant again, there's a high chance that postpartum psychosis will re-occur - as it did with Amy whose two boys were born seven years apart. She and her mum now can't help but see the funny side of the hallucinatory episode that overcame her on her first trip outside the house - to the local Co-op.
Postpartum psychosis affects one or two women for every thousand births. It comes on very quickly and, usually, recovery will be similarly quick. But for some, it will be fatal.
Jessie and Ross, Amy and her mum share their stories and we hear from Fiona about surviving her first episode and anticipating the imminent birth of her second child.
With thanks to Action on Postpartum Psychosis.
Music by Hannah Dean and Will M Hall.
Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4