The following is a statement by Bipolar UK:
Bipolar UK response to media reporting on forced caesarean and continued separation of mother and child
The forced caesarean and continued separation of mother and child is, we believe, unprecedented.
It is sometimes the case that if someone is very ill they are unable to consent to a medical procedure which those caring for them consider is urgently needed. But officials should make every effort to consult with the family before decisions are taken, a procedure made more difficult in this case because the woman was only on a short stay from Italy. Moreover, if there were continuing concerns about the care of the child, one would have thought Italian social services would have been involved in determining what was best for the child.
Women with bipolar may become unwell during pregnancy and are at high risk of becoming ill following childbirth. The majority of women recover fully, they manage the impact of the illness through strategies involving medication, health care, therapy and self management and they are good mothers.
Notes for Editors
Bipolar – The Facts
Bipolar UK has a dedicated leaflet “Bipolar, pregnancy and childbirth” available to download at http://www.bipolaruk.org.uk/assets/uploads/documents/information_leaflets/bipolar_uk_bipolar_disorder_pregnancy_childbirth.pdf
Between 600,000 and 1.2 million individuals in the UK (1% to 2% of the population) have bipolar. The impact and devastation of bipolar are not about the sufferer alone. Including parents and partners for example, bipolar affects over three million people in the UK today.
Compared with other mental health illnesses that have a similar or lower impact, treatment of bipolar is still hampered by misunderstanding and severe stigma.
It takes an average of 10.5 years to receive a correct diagnosis for bipolar in the UK. The 2012 survey by Royal College of Psychiatrists, Bipolar UK and Bipolar Scotland for the first Bipolar Awareness Day in 2012 suggested this could be as long as 13 years.
Please refer your readers to www.bipolaruk.org.uk or they can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and 020 7931 6483.
Bipolar UK can provide case studies, interviews and comments from the charity and individuals affected by bipolar.