WHAT IS THE HONEYCOMB HATCHER?
Welcome and a big hello! You’ve found the Honeycomb Hatcher, established in 2019 as a result of my personal, direct necessity for practical resources to assist with planning a future pregnancy, having been affected by Postpartum Psychosis with my first child 3 years ago.
Postpartum Psychosis is a rare and severe form of postnatal mental illness, classified as a psychiatric emergency, and affects approximately 0.1% of women.
Onset of symptoms includes high moods (mania), low mood (depression) and psychotic tendencies (such as confusion, hallucinations & paranoia) which typically occur within 2 weeks of childbirth.
The acute phase can last several weeks, but with the right medical help it can be a very treatable illness and many women go on to make a full recovery over time.
Half of all Postpartum Psychosis cases happen to women out of the blue, with no previous psychiatric history, although women with a history of bipolar disorder and other dispositions towards mental health illnesses are at very high risk.
Sadly, many early warning signs are missed by healthcare professionals, as it can be difficult to differentiate between Postpartum Psychosis and other common emotions that occur after childbirth that materialise as a result of hormonal fluctuations. This often prolongs access to the right treatment, which can be a very traumatic experience for women and their families.
With that in mind, is there any great surprise that the prospect of having more children and going through it all again brings about a degree of uneasiness and fear?
Let’s face it, with up to 50% chance of a similar experience occurring in future, the statistical odds are daunting and it’s very natural to question whether having been there before, you can face this challenge again.
If you have decided to take the plunge, like me, you may have noticed that there is very little guidance on how you can confidently move forward and plan your pregnancy positively if you’ve been affected by a severe mental health illness such as Postpartum Psychosis.
Are there any ways to avoid it? How can I learn from what happened to me historically? Who can I turn to for advice? What could I do differently this time around to mitigate key risks? Could the effects be less severe if it comes back? Are there any methods to recovering more quickly?
Not only was I unable to find that many solutions for helping women affected, I realised that partners and their families are also desperate to help and need support too, and we’re lacking a community to share best practices to improve the postpartum experience overall.
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That’s where the Honeycomb Hatcher comes in!
This website was “hatched” to provide support, encouragement and hands-on strategies for women, partners and medical professionals who want to help plan for the best birth experience outcome, if you are faced with a high risk pregnancy and the prospect of contracting Postpartum Psychosis.
My approach for achieving this is to offer honest, practical tips via planning tools and nuggets of advice to help you mitigate key risks, by sharing the groundwork from my personal experiences, medical research that I’ve come across and alternative wellbeing techniques that I’m applying myself during my own journey aimed at achieving a happy, healthy birthing outcome.
As the saying goes “forewarned is forearmed”, and whilst unfortunately there is no magic formula to guarantee that you can avoid Postpartum Psychosis, I invite you to join me for the ride as I try to optimistically side step fate. I will be sharing my thought process to reduce my anxieties in the build-up to birth, ways I’ve attempted to promote inner calm & wellbeing pre and postnatally, and importantly shared techniques to communicate my wishes to healthcare professionals by factoring in practical preparation techniques throughout my second pregnancy. For partners, family, friends and medical professional, I’m offering you some suggestions on how you can support your loved ones during this process as it’s often hard to know what questions to ask, what to say and how to be useful throughout the recovery process.
My hope is that the content herein helps us all to break down barriers affiliated with Postpartum Psychosis, as we should not be held back from the personal joy and fulfilment that can come from growing your family because of the impact that severe mental health illnesses that are often outside of your control can have on women and their families. With that said please explore my site, get in touch with your feedback and I wish you luck and happiness with your planning!
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Honeycomb Hatcher will only send relevant information about our services to you, including support information, personal experiences and research that will help your journey in the postpartum psychosis world. We will never send your information onto third parties or spam your inbox!