Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft) are raising awareness of help available for mothers suffering with postpartum psychosis – a condition currently being featured on TV drama Hollyoaks.
Postpartum psychosis is a serious mental health condition affecting one to two in every 1000 mothers giving birth across the UK, and mental health problems are a leading cause of maternal death.
This week it will be revealed in popular soap drama Hollyoaks that long-running character Liberty is suffering from postpartum psychosis.
Symptoms include hallucinations and hearing noises, paranoid thoughts, restlessness, and extremes of moods which can come on within hours or days of giving birth.
Mums experiencing these symptoms are encouraged to seek professional medical advice from a healthcare visitor or GP as soon as possible as rapid treatment is vital.
Partners or friends and family of mothers are also encouraged to be aware of postpartum psychosis to help spot signs of the condition and seek support if needed.
Whilst extremely distressing for those involved, the condition is treatable with the right medication, care and support.
The Trust’s Ribblemere Unit in Chorley is one of a small number of specialist national centres across the UK providing treatment and care for mums with their babies.
Dr Ayesha Rahim, Perinatal Psychiatrist and Deputy Medical Director/Chief Clinical Information Officer at LSCft, said: “It’s so important that mums are able to stay with their babies so that we can support and nurture their relationship with their new child whilst they receive treatment to get better.
“Providing this facility for the Lancashire and South Cumbria region and beyond helps to ensure mums don’t need to be separated from their child, or receive treatment many miles away from their partner or family.”
The mother and baby unit includes eight en-suite rooms, plus a sensory room for babies and regular activities are provided by trained nursery nurse practitioners.
For further information about postpartum psychosis and the treatment and support available visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/post-partum-psychosis/