When the mother needs psychiatric care

When the mother needs psychiatric care

Sandra was a woman who loved family life. But a month after she had her fourth long-awaited child, a daughter, something begins to change with Sandra.

– She could go to the fridge suddenly and pour out all the milk products because she was convinced that it was life-threatening for the children to drink the milk, says Sandra’s sister Christine.

Sandra’s husband finally calls for emergency psychiatric help.

– When I found out about this, she was already in inpatient care. And I was really shocked because she was completely as usual a week earlier.

Will be admitted to a closed ward

Sandra has had a childbirth psychosis. She is paranoid, scared and expresses that it would be better for her family if she did not exist. A doctor assesses that there is a risk of suicide and Sandra is admitted to inpatient care with a watch several times an hour. She will be enrolled in the department in Gubbängen in Stockholm for a little over three weeks. During that time, she injures herself on at least three occasions. Since Sandra is not allowed to see her baby in the ward, she is instead allowed to go for walks. It is after a walk like this that Sandra’s man calls the department and says that he is worried about her, that she is even more confused and talks strangely, as he puts it.

– But then they still reduced the frequency of inspections, the next morning I think it was. So that then they looked at her once every half hour, says Christine.

After that, what happens is that their world collapses. Sandra hurts herself so badly inside her room that she later dies from the injuries.

Few regions have a special care plan

The head of the ward that Sandra was admitted to believes that it is a difficult balancing act to bolster the patient’s desire to be left alone with the need for care you see, that it is also about building trust in being able to continue to provide care. They have learned from the tragic event.

– There we have done the best we can to explain, not only what happened but also how we should understand it and what we do now, he says.

Caliber has taken a closer look at the case of Sandra, but also what the care of those affected by childbirth psychosis looks like in Sweden. It should turn out that few regions in Sweden have a special care plan for newly delivered women who need psychiatric care.

Reporter: Malin Marcko.





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