Emily's 1000 mile walk for Mums & Babies
Fundraising for APP
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At the start of 2023, I set myself a challenge to walk 1000 miles this year to support Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP).
Action on Postpartum Psychosis is a UK charity. They aim to make sure mums, parents and families are supported through postpartum psychosis – a severe, but treatable, form of mental illness that occurs after having a baby and affects 1400 new mums in the UK each year. They work to raise awareness of this serious maternal mental health illness to medical professionals and the public.
Why Action on Postpartum Psychosis?
I suffered from postpartum psychosis and severe postnatal depression and anxiety when our daughter Lucy was born in 2017. I was helped to recover through 2 stays in Nottingham Mother and Baby Unit (MBU). MBUs are amazing places. Mothers are cared for alongside their babies. They are staffed 24 hours a day by mental health nurses and nursery nurses and they care for the whole family. Nottingham MBU saved my life when I was at my lowest and helped me to learn to be a Mum to Lucy.
I was lucky. There are only 22 MBUs in the UK and they are small facilities with just 169 beds nationwide. There is only 1 MBU in Wales, 2 in Scotland & there is no MBU in Northern Ireland.
APP campaign for Mother and Baby Units (MBUs), so that mums affected by postpartum psychosis can receive the treatment they need without being separated from their babies.
Anyone can get postpartum psychosis. It is a serious condition but it is treatable and mothers do recover. I volunteer with APP to raise awareness and to say thank you to those who supported me. Through APP I have met inspiring, strong women who survived this illness and with whom I can share experiences. I can now say it was not my fault that I got ill and know that my daughter is kind, funny, inquisitive and was not affected by it at all. She knows Mummy had a poorly head when she was born but has no memories of my illness.
Walking is something which really helps my mental health and was so important to my recovery. I love being in the fresh air, enjoying nature, taking time to think, listening to podcasts and spending time both alone and with friends and family.
I know times are hard and If you are able to donate, I would be very grateful. I decided to sponsor myself and save a little bit each week to reflect the miles I've walked. APP will be able to make use of anything you are able to give and will make such a difference to mums and babies and their families in the incredible support they can offer.
Update - November 2023 - reached 900 miles on 14th November which is the anniversary of me leaving hospital in 2017. An emotional day and one which makes me reflective but proud of how far I've come in my recovery. I will keep walking for all the Mums and families in need of support.