Response to Tragedies in the Perinatal Period
We are saddened by the news of innocent lives lost. As advocates for pregnancy and postpartum psychosis (PPP) awareness, we cannot help but wonder if this illness was to blame when harm occurs at the hands of a mother within a year* postpartum.
Postpartum psychosis is a highly treatable condition that is considered the most severe of all perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. For this reason, we ask for greater awareness of this condition by all so that its symptoms can quickly be recognized as a life-threatening psychiatric emergency. PPP not only threatens the life of the mother but also that of children and others as well.
We also advocate for humane and optimal care of these mothers for the prevention of both trauma and tragedies. When tragedies do occur, we encourage understanding and compassion and channeling our shared grief into awareness efforts rather than prosecution.
We are also conscious that tragedies involving racialized mothers / families as well as members of other marginalized communities often do not draw the same attention by media and advocacy organizations. Our organization is committed to being a leader in guiding the conversation to the topic of postpartum mental health whenever a tragedy involves any mother within a year* of giving birth.
*We want to recognize that for mothers who are untreated, this period may extend past one year.
For further information on pregnancy and postpartum psychosis, or to find support for yourself or others, please visit:
National Maternal Mental Health Hotline
Pregnancy & Postpartum Psychosis Awareness Day
Action on Postpartum Psychosis (UK)
Postpartum Support International
Get Help: Postpartum Psychosis
MGH Postpartum Psychosis Project (MGHP3)
Consultations for Medical Providers (non-emergency)