Mom Diagnosed with Postpartum Psychosis Opens Up About Time Spent in Mother-Baby Unit During Treatment (Exclusive)

Hollie opens up about postpartum psychosis, getting help and what it meant to not have her bond with her baby interrupted in the process

<p>eastcoastmummy/TikTok</p> Hollie before and after treatment for postpartum psychosis


Hollie before and after treatment for postpartum psychosis
  • A mom of three experienced postpartum psychosis for the second time and decided to get help

  • Unlike her first time trying to get help, Hollie was offered the opportunity to have her baby with her during treatment

  • Hollie tells PEOPLE what it meant to her to have her baby girl and their routine as a constant

A mom having a tough time after welcoming her third little one took advantage of a unique resource presented to her.

Hollie, on TikTok as @eastcoastmummy, welcomed a daughter last fall. After the birth of her third baby, Hollie, who lives in the U.K., felt good about her growing family but quickly realized she was dealing with symptoms of postpartum psychosis. Per the Cleveland Clinic, postpartum psychosis is a mental health emergency where new moms experience a shift in their sense of reality, which can cause hallucinations, delusions, paranoia or other behavior changes.

"My pregnancy was a healthy one, but I had some anxiety due to previous pregnancy losses. Other than that, it was all okay. My delivery was a planned C-section and all went according to plan," she tells PEOPLE.

Since Hollie experienced postpartum psychosis in her first pregnancy, she understood the upsides and downsides of treatment.

"I remember there wasn't a mother and baby unit then, so I was separated from him and put on an adult-only mental health ward, which was awful," she says.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Related: Mom Gets Candid About Postpartum Depression: 'I Work Twice as Hard to Hide This Reality'

"By the time I had my second [baby], there was a newly established 'perinatal mental health team,' and they started to see me as soon as I was pregnant, as a precaution," she continues.

"Luckily, I was well after my second was born, but I was ill again with my third. [My medical team] wrote up a plan, signs to look out for that would indicate I was unwell, what treatment I would like and more."

When Hollie realized she was experiencing postpartum psychosis after delivering her third baby, she was offered a different option for treatment: a unit that allowed moms to bring their baby with them.

"I don't think mom and baby should be separated. If anything, it made me worse being away from my son," Hollie says of her first postpartum experience.

Although having that option available was comforting, it wasn't an immediate yes for Hollie, who was also concerned about how the rest of her family would fare.

"The mom and baby unit was mentioned to me when my baby was around 6 weeks old. I declined it at first because I didn't want to leave my other children," she explains.

"I agreed to try medication and remain home. However, this medication didn't help," Hollie says, revealing she lost over 50 lbs.

"At that time, they suggested the unit again. My husband agreed and he was able to take the time off work so I could go for treatment. By this time, my daughter was 6 months old," she says.

Hollie shared glimpses of the unit in a series of TikTok videos where she opened up about the decision and her subsequent stay.

"I was worried about the unit being too hospital-like, but it wasn't. It was like a home, with a cozy lounge, quiet rooms, a dining area, a kitchen we could access and play areas for the babies," she says.

"Each mom had their own room with a cot for their baby, and their own ensuite. The environment was very welcoming. The staff really took the time to get to know you, your food preferences, your specific routine with your baby and what helps you relax."

"They also operated a 'time-out' system where if you needed some time to sleep or just to be alone for a while, they'd look after the baby for you. They also ran baby groups and would do things for the moms, such as pamper days and film nights."

The experience was noticeably different for Hollie than her first time getting help and she believes it made a difference in her healing.

"I definitely got better a lot quicker having my baby with me. The staff encouraged me to be as independent as possible with her. I think if I would have been hospitalized without her, then gone home to her, I'd have struggled with a routine, and that could have affected our bond," she says.

"I think moms would definitely benefit from this program. No mom and baby should be separated in the postpartum period and a lot of moms suffer in silence because of that fear."

She was also grateful for the ability to be able to see her husband and older kids as she got the help she needed.

"The ward was very good at allowing my other children to visit whenever and let them come up for family meals and other activities," Hollie says.

Hollie also expressed gratitude for the UK's National Health Service (NHS), which enabled her to get this treatment.

"Financially, I'm in the U.K., so this unit was thankfully NHS funded," she says. "Honestly, I only have positive things to say."

Hollie says she'll share the memories and her experience with her daughter one day, when the time is right.

"I've got lots of little keepsakes — hand and footprints made, little poems given to me by staff and more — that I'll keep in a memory box to show to her one day," she says.

Cementing that memory is also what led Hollie to share her experience on TikTok.

"I shared this on TikTok really as a digital memory to show my daughter one day. I didn't expect so many comments," she admits.

"The comments have all been very positive, but there are also a lot of sad ones from American mommies, saying they have nothing like this in the states. I hope that changes. This could be a lifeline to so many."

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.