"Lack of support for perinatal mental health"
About: Devon Partnership NHS Trust / Perinatal psychiatry Devon Partnership NHS Trust Perinatal psychiatry EX2 5AF
Posted by spitfire (as ),
I got no support during my first pregnancy, despite having a recent history of mental health problems and being on prescribed medication (which I stopped myself because I didn't know if it would harm the baby). This was probably largely due to the fact that I saw 5 different midwives for my routine appointments during the course of my pregnancy. I suffered badly during and after my pregnancy, and was finally referred, but not to the perinatal team as it was almost a year after he was born, and given more medication.
I'm now pregnant for the second time and have a really nice midwife who has tried to access help for me, but the perinatal mental health team wouldn't even speak to me, they just wrote to me and said I'd had PND before and got over it, so they were cancelling the referral. I stopped my medication again this time when we decided to try for another because no one can tell me if it is ok for the baby, but they've just assumed that if I've stopped taking it I must be ok now.
My midwife has said that I can ring them and force them to see me, or she can intervene, but does no one understand how difficult it is to ask for this help and how if the door is slammed in your face you cannot face going back and knocking on it again. I know enough now to realise that the real danger with mental health is that you don't see it coming and even if you do you think you are being weak or stupid or wasting people's time -that's part of the illness. If I was well enough to be demanding to be seen I probably wouldn't need to be.....