Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Focus Group for Mother Baby Unit in NSW

Are you experienced a hospital visit as part of your treatment of perinatal mental illness in NSW? I am reaching out to see if you would like to be a part of the focus group for the following project. This is a very exciting paid opportunity to be part of the focus group planning the first public psychiatric Mother-Baby Unit (MBU) in NSW. At this time this opportunity is available to women who experienced hospitalisation as part of their treatment in NSW.

The first meeting will be held this month (August) which depending on everyone’s availability will hopefully be face to face, the location is TBC but they’re hoping to have it at where the MBU will be located (Newtown Royal Prince Albert Hospital). If travelling for meetings will be a problem please let Tracey (program manager) know as there may Teleconferencing options available. The intention is for the focus group to be an ongoing partnership with the planning team as the MBU is developed. However there is no pressure for you to continue if time commitments do not allow.

If interested in being having your say please get in touch with Tracey as soon as possible.

Seeking mental health consumers, peer workers and carers for participation in a focus group for the planning of a public psychiatric Mother-Baby Unit (MBU) in NSW

 

What’s the purpose of the project?

We are seeking the input and advice from consumers and carers for the planning of a Psychiatric Mother-Baby Unit. Mental Health-Children and Young People, NSW Health is currently writing a planning guide for a dedicated public psychiatric Mother-Baby Unit (MBU) in NSW. An MBU is a specialist mental health facility which accommodates pregnant women or mothers with their infants in times where acute psychiatric care is required.  MBU’s provide specialist care to empower the women’s recovery and support the development of an optimal parent-infant relationship.

 

Who are we looking for: female consumers, carers or peer workers who have had a lived experience of mental ill health during the perinatal period (pregnancy and up to 2 years post birth), including a psychiatric hospital admission in NSW.

 

What does it involve: Participants would be invited to participate in a single, small focus group for up to three hours at a venue in Sydney (to be determined). Participants will be involved in a discussion and asked to comment on questions, or express their views on the discussed planning guide. There will be no expectations for participants to read lengthy documents however a survey may be administered in addition to the focus group.

 

Are the consumers/carers paid: Yes, participants would be paid a fee of $30/hr

 

Contact Details: Tracey Fay-Stammbach, Program Manager Perinatal & Infant Mental Health, MH-Children and Young People, NSW Health.  Tel 02 9859 5330 or email tracey.faystammbach@moh.health.nsw.gov.au

 

Alice’s story

“She was convinced that she was communicating with her baby and the baby could communicate with her,” Barrett said. “The baby was part of her delusions and that is where the risk arose.”

Source: Antiques expert was restrained days before death, inquest told | Society | The Guardian

Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

Jessica’s story

I have heard of the baby blues, but this is something else altogether; this feels like the baby black and blues. This feels like oblivion.

People always ask me if I knew what was happening when I had postpartum psychosis. The truth is that I was painfully aware of what was happening. Until I started taking medication, and felt numbed, completely zombified, and lost two weeks of my life, I felt everything, and was utterly powerless to stop it or stem the irrepressible torment of my illness.

 The horror of what we went through cannot be denied, but I also want to share the tremendous love, growth and power that such a journey can engender.

The tremors of the psychotic quake still resonate throughout our lives three years later.

Source: Postpartum psychosis: ‘I’m a thing possessed, an animal. I am nearly sectioned twice’ | Life and style | The Guardian

 Read more of Jessica’s story on BBC Radio and her blog Mutha Courage.

Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

Mental health is not a luxury

[W]e need to shift our focus from the baby to the mother.

What I didn’t realise was that I often made it harder for myself. I felt guilty asking for help when I wasn’t coping. I put myself last, all the time. And I never acknowledged that by having a baby, I had also become a mother.

Caring for yourself at a time of huge emotional and physical change is important. It can feel contrary to your instincts, because you love your baby so much, and their needs are so great.

We can all help new mums learn to put themselves first. Don’t let them disappear.

We still need to care for and cherish our babies. But let’s shift our focus occasionally to their mother.

Source: New mothers need to know their mental health is not a luxury

Read the book Hello Baby! Everything New Mums Need to Know About Life with Baby by Heather Irvine.

Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

 

 

The Lessons from Perfectionism

So many of the pains in our world can be traced back to one simple concept – perfectionism. The idea that everything has to be ‘perfect’ to be right. In this episode, author, TedX speaker, mental mental health advocate and mama Lisa Abramson talks about her own struggles with perfectionism, and how it led her to a psychiatric hospital… and back to herself. – Happy Mama with Amy Tayor-Kabbaz.

Become so unwell, I went from normal baby blues and mood swings, some normal adjustment, trouble coping with being a new mum, lack of sleep, the hormones, the stress of trying to breastfeed… it felt like the world was ending and I as soon as I become a mum I had failed at everything I was supposed to be doing.

I wanted to know why did this happen to me? How did I make it happen? Was it my fault? What did I do wrong? This was a challenging part of the recovery getting over that and letting go, and saying sometimes there’s things bigger than us.

The combination of the hormones, the stress of being a new mum and then not sleeping just proved to be a toxic combination for me.

[If] you find yourself facing a maternal mental health disorder it’s not your fault, you absolutely  didn’t do anything wrong, there is nothing you could have done differently to prevent it, sometimes we just react differently to the situations at hand, and surrendering to that.

Say no to things that don’t align with your values and aren’t nurturing your wellbeing, getting more protective of your time.

Getting support is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength and self-assurance

It’s going to work out.

Source: Ep #19 – The Lessons from Perfectionism with Lisa Abramson – Happy Mama

Amy from Happy Mama donates 5% of subscriptions to her New Moon Mama Circles to PANDA! Here is recent Happy Mama article that resonated with me – Mother the Mother.

Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

 

Kultures

Making homemade coconut yoghurt is as simple as add the coconut cream, add the Kultured Wellness cultures, blend to combine and pop into a jar or 2, leaving it on the bench for 8 to 12 hours. Trickiest step was opening the cans!

KW coconut yoghurt culture set up

KW coconut yoghurt culture set up

It’s alive! It may look like it has split but my batch of Kultured Wellness coconut yoghurt has expanded with all the good bacteria in it. Simply stir with a wooden spoon and enjoy!

KW coconut yoghurt

KW coconut yoghurt

Best coconut cream to use for Kultured Wellness coconut yoghurt is Ayam, however the 400ml cans can be tricky to find. Best tip I got was to look in your local Asian grocery shop! Supporting local business and only 40c more than the smaller cans in the big supermarkets.

Recommended coconut cream to use

Recommended coconut cream to use

Simple yet highly potent, these cultures are very beneficial in rebuilding after the damage in our guts from our modern lifestyle. I am certainly feeling the potency with some die off symptoms from using the coconut kefir lately.

KW coconut kefir culture set up

Sale time with an EXCITING GIFT for you all! Beautiful Kirsty is excited to GIFT those of you who purchase the 3 for 2 culture sale, her workshop video as she knows there are many of you who are unable to reach her workshops or wish you could refer back to what Kirsty speaks about at these events. In this workshop Kirsty talks all things Gut Health, microbiome, fermented foods, pregnancy and also the story of how she got to where she is today along side her beautiful little family!! The workshop is valued at $49 so don’t miss out on this limited special bonus!! (Offer end July 6 2017). Tip: Share the cultures with a friend or keep them all for you and freeze the cultures till you need them!

If you would like some hand on guidance with getting to know your kultures, get in touch with me, your local Health and Lifestyle Mentor!

Further information

A Quirky Journey 62: Kultured Wellness Kirsty Wirth

Up for a Chat 154: Eradicating Parasites with Kirsty Wirth

Low Tox Life #42: The Many Personalities of Bacteria with Kirsty Wirth

 

Kultured Wellness

Babes and Picnics

Thank you Fi from Mumma Morrison for sharing my story today as part of her #RealMums Blog Series!

Earlier in the year I was so excited to be a part of May’s sold out Babes + Picnics SUTHERLAND SHIRE Mother’s Day luncheon. As a local shire mum, a mum who has experienced perinatal mental health and a PANDA Community Champion I was honored to be asked to be a guest speaker sharing my story of healing and recovery, and raising awareness of postpartum psychosis in our community.

L to R: Sarah, Fi, Karla, Julie

L to R: Sarah, Fi, Karla, Julie

It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to share my story of motherhood and postpartum psychosis, alongside Fi Mumma Morrison speaking about her journey of motherhood and postnatal anxiety and the loving Julie Clarke for sharing important information about postnatal depression, as well as proudly supporting PANDA.

I am proud to be a PANDA Community Champion with these lovely local ladies sharing our stories at the B+P Luncheon. It was a pleasure to speak with local member Melanie Gibbons MP about the experiences new mums have with perinatal mental health, and the need for more support in NSW for mums who go through severe postnatal depression, anxiety and postpartum psychosis not having access to a public Mother Baby Unit. Thank you Fi and Karla for putting together such a supportive event of connection, supporting PANDA and bringing awareness to perinatal mental health issues.

L to R: Fi, Sarah, Deborah, Melanie, baby Audrey, Ashleigh

L to R: Fi, Sarah, Deborah, Melanie, baby Audrey, Ashleigh

PANDA‘s new website is now live! As a PANDA Community Champion I am proud to have been given the opportunity recently to assist in the development of the new site around postpartum psychosis, helping to ensure the content was accessible and reflected the voices of us mums and families who have experienced postpartum psychosis. Take a look at panda.org.au/info-support/postnatal-psychosis/

Head over and read my interview with fellow PANDA Community Champion Fi at Mumma Morrison as part of her #RealMums Blog Series!

Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

 

Hannah’s story

‘I was in my own personal, living hell. But when I came out the other side I felt so misunderstood. Now, I really want to help other mums who might be going through something similar.’

‘But I didn’t know what postpartum psychosis was or even recognise my own wife, she was that bad.’

Source: Hampshire mother sectioned with postpartum psychosis | Daily Mail Online

 Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

Nina’s Story

Having had no previous mental health issues she was diagnosed with Postpartum Psychosis 8 days after Heidi’s birth and was sectioned under the mental health act. Nina agreed to be interviewed for this blog to tell her story of Postpartum Psychosis illness and recovery, and to raise awareness.

I was tired and in pain. I was feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable and wrecked. I was looking at the other new Mums they looked so happy, they had their little angels whereas I felt on edge, permanently. I was so upset but nobody asked me how I was feeling or coping.

The postnatal Midwife was less able to detect how ill I was because she didn’t know me.

I listened to music and made myself go out of the house. My memory was still poor though, I couldn’t remember what I had done the previous day so I started to take photographs.

If my mental health had been discussed more in general and if I had been told of the warning signs of postpartum psychosis in the antenatal or early postnatal period we may have been able to notice the signs earlier.

Source: Postpartum Psychosis -Nina’s Story – Birthing Mamas Blog

Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

Amanda’s Story

For my fourth episode I sat down with my friend Amanda Taylor to discuss her journey through postpartum psychosis, depression and anxiety. Amanda shares her vulnerable story with such bravery and authenticity. Her goal in sharing her story is to bring awareness to postpartum illnesses and help other moms know that they aren’t alone if they are dealing with any of these illnesses. We also talk about how you can help someone you know who might be experiencing a postpartum illness. I hope you have a better understanding of these illnesses after this episode.

Pregnant with my fourth baby…felt like another routine pregnancy, my health was great, everything was good, there no reason for anything to go off track

All seemed normal, things just got progressively with worse just mentally with me. From my perspective everything was great, I thought life as so great, I was overly joyful, everything was amazing. My husband took me to the emergency room 12 days after birth because he knew things were just not right… I left with the diagnosis of postpartum psychosis.

Dealing with all of the postpartum, I was 100% not myself

Remember thinking everything made perfect sense. It’s a bizarre state of mind, it’s not healthy, rational or real.

It was the most painful moment as the police officer escorted me and then my husband walked the opposite direction to go home and I was all by myself.

I think of hard it was but how much good was in that

I was at the lowest point in my life when I could do nothing…we can’t do any of our struggles, it may not be postpartum psychosis but whatever the struggle is, we can’t do it alone and we got to have people around us, fighting with us and for us and alongside us

Coming up on the one year anniversary and I still didn’t feel like Amanda at all, I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t feel normal…I needed more help in where I was at the time

There’s a lot of times our counsellor said this is the perfect grounds for divorce, it’s too hard for anyone to walk through so its easy to say I’m done… and my husband never took that approach, what an opportunity I get to fight for my wife and kids

Source: A Mom’s Story : Postpartum Psychosis Amanda Taylor’s Story [Ep 004]

Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

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