14 November 2018

Staff nurse and former patient trains to run Bath Half Marathon to raise funds for Mother and Baby Mental Health Unit

Rosita Edwards

Mother of twins and staff nurse, Rosita Edwards, has begun training to take part in the Bath Half Marathon with the aim of raising funds for Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust's (AWP) New Horizons Mother and Baby Unit.

Rosita, who is a staff nurse at the Royal United Hospital, is fund raising ahead of the race which takes place on Sunday 17 March 2019. She's determined to raise at least £750 to help support the work of the specialist inpatient service provided for women struggling with their mental health in the postnatal period.

Following the birth of her daughters, Rosita found that she had become unwell with Postpartum Psychosis. After a brief stay at AWP's inpatient unit at Hillview Lodge, Rosita was transferred to the specialist care unit in Bristol. At the unit Rosita was able to recover and focus on her mental health and wellbeing whilst being with her new born daughters, a factor she cites as being key in her recovery.

Rosita said: "Without this unit I would not have been able to recover with my twins at my side. I still got to be a mum for my new born babies while focusing on my recovery. It's an amazing concept which helped to boost my recovery and let me adapt to motherhood.

"The New Horizons unit doesn't feel like a hospital, it's spacious, friendly and doesn't have a clinical atmosphere," she said.

The New Horizon Mother and Baby Unit offers a specialist inpatient service for women suffering from mental illness in the postnatal period, particularly when there are issues relating to attachment and when the mother's mental illness has an impact on her ability to care for her baby.

On the day of the race Rosita will have her husband and daughters, Mia and Sophia, now aged four, cheering her across the finish line.

If you would like to support Rosita's race and the New Horizon's Mother and Baby Unit, you can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rosita-edwards-bath-half-2019-headlight?utm_campaign=pfp-email&utm_content=Rosita-Edwards-Bath-Half-2019-Headlight&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_source=Sharethis&utm_term=zjBr22epe

If you are worried about your own, or someone else's, mental health and wellbeing during pregnancy, contact your GP, midwife or other health professional, who will be able to advise you on the health and support available.

Postpartum Psychosis is a rare but serious mental health illness that can affect a woman soon after she has a baby and should be treated as a medical emergency. Symptoms usually start suddenly within the first two weeks after giving birth. More rarely, they can develop several weeks after the baby is born.

Symptoms can include:

• Hallucinations
• Delusions - thoughts or beliefs that are unlikely to be true
• A manic mood - talking and thinking too much or too quickly, feeling 'high' or 'on top of the world'
• A low mood - showing signs of depression, being withdrawn or tearful, lacking energy, having a loss of appetite, anxiety or trouble sleeping
• Loss of inhibitions
• Feeling suspicious or fearful
• Restlessness
• Feeling very confused
• Behaving in a way that's out of character

The team at New Horizons also offers advice and liaison to professionals working with women in other settings in the perinatal period (pre-conception, antenatal and up to the baby's first birthday).

The team includes psychiatrists, mental health nurses and nursery nurses, health care assistants and an occupational therapist. The New Horizon Mother and Baby Unit has strong links with maternity services, primary infant mental health specialists, health visitors and children and young people's services.






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