Information and support needs during recovery from postpartum psychosis.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • J Heron
  • N Gilbert
  • C Dolman
  • S Shah
  • I Beare
  • S Dearden
  • N Muckelroy
  • I Jones


Postpartum Psychosis (PP) is a severe and debilitating psychiatric illness with acute onset in the days following childbirth. Recovering from an episode can be a long and difficult process. The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the difficulties faced by recovering women and to inform the planning of post-discharge information and support services. A study was designed collaboratively by service user and academic researchers. Women with experience of PP were trained in qualitative research methodology. Service user researchers (SURs) led in-depth interviews into women's experiences of recovery. PP is a life-changing experience that challenges women's sense of personal and social identity. Recovery themes are organised around ruminating and rationalising, rebuilding social confidence, gaining appropriate health service support, the facilitation of family functioning, obtaining appropriate information, and understanding that recovery will take time. Women suffering from PP must be adequately supported following discharge from psychiatric hospital if we are to address maternal suicide rates. We describe a successful collaboration between academics and service users exploring the needs of women and their families.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-65
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012