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Postnatal health

6 week old baby, social services involved

39 replies

Violove · 13/04/2021 15:26

Hi,

I posted a thread recently about my partner having intrusive thoughts about harm coming to our baby, these have been so distressing that he has been suicidal and I had to take him to A&E on Sunday. They sent him home but we're obliged to tell social services.

Yesterday I had a visit from a social worker who said my partner can't be left unsupervised with our baby, this would mean he'd have to leave our property at night because me being asleep doesn't count as supervising him. My partner is 100% not a risk to our child so we were both mortified and of course this does not help someone who is already suicidal. The social worker hadn't consulted with the mental health team who are working with him and came to our house before the crisis team had been to assess him. I'm bewildered that they have reached that decision not knowing the risk from a mental health viewpoint. The crisis team nurses seemed as bewildered as us.

All of this led to him being hospitalised yesterday because he was a risk to himself as he was so low. He feels he is being made out to be a monster when he's done nothing wrong.

I'm terrified that this is all happening, our baby is so loved and well cared for. Anyone had any experience with things like this? I don't know what to expect next, I'm so scared they will stop him seeing our baby when he's discharged.

Sorry this is long x

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BigGreen · 13/04/2021 15:44

I'm really not sure about the social services involvement, but my DH was mentally unwell during my pregnancy and I just want to send you a massive handhold at this extremely stressful time Flowers.

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Springingintospring · 13/04/2021 16:26

Ahh jusy typed out a really long reply and its vanished!

Basically - no.
Social services are completely wrong, they have no idea what they're talking about.
Your partner is 0 risk to your baby.

I had exactly the same issues post natally, was convinced I would hurt the baby and was overwhelmingly distressed about it.
I had extensive support from A and E, and then perinatal mental health. They all said the same thing. My distress was proof I was zero risk to the baby. That is the nature of intrusive thoughts. They aren't real thoughts.

You need the mental health team to speak to social services and get them to back off because their attitude is not only wrong, it is damaging as it legitimises your partners thoughts. Instead he needs reassurance that he is no risk, because he isn't.

You also need to advocate for him. If some time apart from you and the baby is helpful for his recovery then fair enough. When I was in the deepest darkest time I didn't want to be left alone with the baby for example.

But more time with your baby, bonding time alongside his mental health support will be important.

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Violove · 14/04/2021 10:57

Thank you, it's hard isn't it. Hope your partner is doing well x

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Violove · 14/04/2021 11:01

@Springingintospring

Ahh jusy typed out a really long reply and its vanished!

Basically - no.
Social services are completely wrong, they have no idea what they're talking about.
Your partner is 0 risk to your baby.

I had exactly the same issues post natally, was convinced I would hurt the baby and was overwhelmingly distressed about it.
I had extensive support from A and E, and then perinatal mental health. They all said the same thing. My distress was proof I was zero risk to the baby. That is the nature of intrusive thoughts. They aren't real thoughts.

You need the mental health team to speak to social services and get them to back off because their attitude is not only wrong, it is damaging as it legitimises your partners thoughts. Instead he needs reassurance that he is no risk, because he isn't.

You also need to advocate for him. If some time apart from you and the baby is helpful for his recovery then fair enough. When I was in the deepest darkest time I didn't want to be left alone with the baby for example.

But more time with your baby, bonding time alongside his mental health support will be important.

Thank you so much for your reply, it could have been written by my partner, you have described it perfectly.

I'm doing all I can to try and show the social worker that he isn't a risk and explain the intrusive thoughts but he seems to see things very black and white. I've said the mental health professionals that have dealt with us have all backed what we are saying but he doesn't seem interested. So now my poor partner is in a room by himself at hospital feeling at his lowest and 48 hours in no Dr has seen him yet. Like you said, it's making him question his sanity and he thinks for all of this to be happening he must be some kind of monster.

It's so bloody stressful x
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TheThingsWeAdmitOnMN · 14/04/2021 11:05

I would go above the social worker. They're clueless & could make things worse. Whatever it takes to go over their head, I'd do it
Best wishes
X

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LadyOfTheFlowers · 14/04/2021 11:09

I used to have an all consuming fear that something absolutely terrible would happen to my second son from the moment he was born until he was about 4.
I was convinced he wouldn't make it to 4 years old due to some awful accident or abduction. No idea why or where it came from.
I was too scared to tell the doctor in case they didn't understand me so I just struggled on. I knew I wasn't a danger to him - I felt the world was - but I didn't want them to get the wrong end of the stick like seems to have happened in your case.
The fear was awful. All consuming. Depressing.

He is 15 now and absolutely fine. The worst that's happened is a pulled muscle in all that time!

I do hope your poor DP can get the help he needs x

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Lineofconcepcion · 14/04/2021 11:12

I'm sorry but I don't agree with above. You need to show you prioritise your child above anything and anyone else and you don't appear to be doing that.

You need a solicitor to deal with this with you and advise you of next steps. I can provide you with a name of one who is expert in her field. PM me if you want the name.

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Appleandmangojuice · 14/04/2021 11:46

A mum of three here..
I have currently been sectioned 2 in a unit due to mental health reasons and I too was very suicidal...

I had the crisis team and 2 doctors and a social worker come out to my house to assess me, and had no issues regarding safety of my children. (Even tho I was extremely paranoid that they would take my kids) i was reinsured that they wasn't concerned of my ability to take care of my kids... and that they could see my children are well looked after off course with support of partner and my mother.

Just because I am going through a extremely hard time with myself doesn't automatically mean that I wanted to harm my children.

I don't think that is right.

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Violove · 14/04/2021 12:27

@Appleandmangojuice

A mum of three here..
I have currently been sectioned 2 in a unit due to mental health reasons and I too was very suicidal...

I had the crisis team and 2 doctors and a social worker come out to my house to assess me, and had no issues regarding safety of my children. (Even tho I was extremely paranoid that they would take my kids) i was reinsured that they wasn't concerned of my ability to take care of my kids... and that they could see my children are well looked after off course with support of partner and my mother.

Just because I am going through a extremely hard time with myself doesn't automatically mean that I wanted to harm my children.

I don't think that is right.

Hope you are feeling better soon, take care of yourself. I think our issue is more because of the intrusive thoughts around our daughter, they fear he may be a risk to her x
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Violove · 14/04/2021 12:28

@LadyOfTheFlowers

I used to have an all consuming fear that something absolutely terrible would happen to my second son from the moment he was born until he was about 4.
I was convinced he wouldn't make it to 4 years old due to some awful accident or abduction. No idea why or where it came from.
I was too scared to tell the doctor in case they didn't understand me so I just struggled on. I knew I wasn't a danger to him - I felt the world was - but I didn't want them to get the wrong end of the stick like seems to have happened in your case.
The fear was awful. All consuming. Depressing.

He is 15 now and absolutely fine. The worst that's happened is a pulled muscle in all that time!

I do hope your poor DP can get the help he needs x


Glad to hear you got through it, it seems like a common issue from the research I've done
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Violove · 14/04/2021 12:32

@Lineofconcepcion

I'm sorry but I don't agree with above. You need to show you prioritise your child above anything and anyone else and you don't appear to be doing that.

You need a solicitor to deal with this with you and advise you of next steps. I can provide you with a name of one who is expert in her field. PM me if you want the name.

Of course my daughter is the priority but it's just frustrating as I feel it's being dealt with the wrong way. There'd be no social services involved if it wasn't for his mental health, so that needs to be properly understood by them. She also needs her Daddy
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Plumtree391 · 14/04/2021 12:41

I don't know what to think but feel great sympathy for you and your partner.

Social workers can't win whatever they do so sometimes take what seems to be extreme action because they are afraid of the slightest risk. When you think about the criticism they get if anything goes wrong you can't blame them.

That doesn't stop you feeling bad about it and any of us would.

I hope it is all sorted out soon and that the treatment your partner is receiving is effective.

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imsoinmyhead · 14/04/2021 12:43

I haven't read the other thread but when you said he's having intrusive thoughts about harm coming to the baby, do you mean he's worries that he may cause harm or someone/something else?

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MyGorramShip · 14/04/2021 12:44

What treatment is he currently having?

And you absolutely need to make sure you do what the SW says until things are more clear.

Don’t be so naive as to think he isn’t a danger. MH or not, he could well be going by your previous posts.

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LIZS · 14/04/2021 12:51

If his intrusive thoughts extend to the baby coming to harm, whether you feel him capable of acting on them or not, it is sadly right to not allow him home overnight. If you do go against ss recommendation you may find yourself under scrutiny. Is there any family he could stay with short term?

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KindleRemote · 14/04/2021 12:54

The Social Worker is right.

Your DH is clearly not well if he has been hospitalised due to his mental health. He is currently in a position where he is unable to care for himself. Therefore he is clearly not in the best position to be caring for a young child. Would you expect someone with a physical injury requiring a lengthy hospital stay to be able to get up in the night with a six week old? Of course not. He may not do anything to the baby, but what happens if he does something to himself when you are not there/asleep and the baby is left unattended as a result?

Social services are not always out to demonise people. They are focusing on the needs of your child. Your child needs someone who is well enough to look after them right now and unfortunately your DH is not.

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KindleRemote · 14/04/2021 12:58

If it gives you some context, my MIL is paralysed down one side of her body and she was advised by Social Services not to look after our young children unsupervised. Purely because she would be unable to act in an emergency situation.

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UCOinanOCG · 14/04/2021 13:00

Have the intrusive thoughts possibly involved him thinking he himself may harm the baby? Maybe he has mentioned this to professionals and you are unaware of it.

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HeartvsBrain · 14/04/2021 13:01

Hi OP, I am so sorry that your DP and you are going through this horrendous time. I have a suggestion, but it may be a stupid one, and instead of making your DP feel better it may make him feel worse? I just wondered if you have a 2 bedroom property could you get an inside lock for your bedroom door, and have the baby sleep with you whilst your DP sleeps in the other bedroom? I don't know if the Social Services would accept that, but if you think it could work, you could ask them? Good luck to the 3 of you in getting an outcome that benefits you all. xx

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Itsalwayssunnyin · 14/04/2021 13:12

I am so sorry you are going through this.

All I can offer is empathy and my own experience of this. I had post natal depression with awful intrusive thoughts about me harming my daughter. I was so distressed at the thoughts and they made me sick with sadness and fear. I had days and days on end where I could think about nothing other than these thoughts and how crazy I must be going. I am a single mum and was at a point where I was terrified to be alone with my daughter because of the intrusive thoughts.

I got counselling and remembered that my thoughts were unwanted and made me distressed which meant that they were not something I wanted to do - it was my brain operating out of fear. Total fear. I was convinced I had finally lost the plot and my daughter would be better off without me.

It is a process that takes time to get over - but all I can say is that your husband is very very unlikely to be a risk to your baby, as you know. If you can afford to, I would strongly recommended paying for private counselling and seeing if there is a local men’s mental health club he can join. There are some where I live and the men meet up weekly and they have done wonders for some of the men I know who have struggled with suicidal thoughts.

I wish you the best of luck. I know how heartbreaking this feels.

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ElsasFrozenVerucca · 14/04/2021 13:18

Social services have to be so careful because of shaken baby syndrome and how vulnerable babies are at that age. If a baby that age has an unexplained bruise they can be removed, if the baby was to be injured after a referral Then it would be deemed as them not risk assessing appropriately by allowing a parent who said he was afraid of doing that unsupervised contact. Dads are far more likely to shake their babies or injure them than Mums are. It's not personal, although of course it feels personal. But they will be following guidelines that say "if dad says he is afraid of hurting the bath in X way then he should not be allowed unsupervised contact" or "if parent presents to A&E with intrusive thoughts regarding X, Y or Z they must not be allowed unsupervised contact until they have been treated and are no longer under crisis MH services".
Just do everything they say, and hopefully before long your partner will be well again. But they do have to be so, so careful.
I do really feel for you in these circumstances it must be so worrying, and I really hope you have other support in your life. I am sure that things will get better soon. Good luck Smile

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ElsasFrozenVerucca · 14/04/2021 13:20

Is there anyone you could bubble with temporarily? If they could come over and have baby and let you sleep (even if it meant being nocturnal for a bit!) that might make things easier?
Could you go and stay with your parents/family for a while or could your partner?

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MrMeSeeks · 14/04/2021 13:24

This is awful. He is not a risk! If this was a mom they would not be doing this! Get back in touch with his mental health team, disgusting attitude by ss

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Calmingvibrations · 14/04/2021 13:27

Try this book - overcoming obsessive thoughts by Purdon

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UCOinanOCG · 14/04/2021 13:29

@MrMeSeeks

This is awful. He is not a risk! If this was a mom they would not be doing this! Get back in touch with his mental health team, disgusting attitude by ss

How do you know this? We only have OPs word. It is possible SS in conjunction with the medical staff have deemed him a risk. They have to act in the best interest of the child to safeguard them. I know it is hard but I expect it will just be for a short while until they can assess further and probably convene a safeguarding meeting to make further plans.
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