Lisa is mum to Finlay and Rowan. Lisa became ill after having Finlay in 2011 but wasn’t aware of the seriousness due to her lack of knowledge on perinatal mental health. After several trips to the doctors with no answers, it was putdown to being a new mum. Her diagnosis with postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis finally came two years later. Postpartum or puerperal psychosis is a rare condition. It affects 1 in 1000 new mums and is a mental disorder in which contact with reality is lost or distorted.
Had she heard of it back then? No. Was she informed that this was something to look out after childbirth? No. Did she know the signs & symptoms to look out for? No.Lisa believes that it shouldn’t have taken 2 years to receive a diagnosis. Lisa was never informed of how her mental health could be harmed during or after pregnancy. Her wish is that every pregnant woman and new mum has access to this information. She recently completed the Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale, something she wasn’t offered at the time. She scored 24. A score of 14+ means you should seek professional help as a matter of urgency. She also answered the Post Natal Depression scale and scored 23 out of 25. If you score 20 or more in this test you likely have a severe case of PND. You and your baby are already at risk and immediate steps need to be taken to get help. For some reason these tests were both missed on Lisa. She knows that she would have received help sooner had she been assessed and she may not have reached critical point.
Lisa has a degree in Biological Health Sciences and a master’s diploma in Public Health. She worked in Public Health for 15 years before recently taking up a post as a perinatal mental health ambassador for the NHS. Lisa talks openly about her experiences and has featured in National tabloids, Woman’s magazine, BBC Radio and local television. She is passionate about raising awareness of the signs and symptoms, in order to help other women recognise the condition and get help. She has a regular slot on BBC Radio Leeds and has written an e-book titled ‘Make up & Break downs’ sharing her story of early motherhood.