A US mother seeking medical advice for postnatal depression has been left stunned after “being treated like a criminal” when a nurse called the police on her.

Jessica Porten, from Sacramento, California, attended an obstetrician follow-up appointment her husband had organised after she had been suffering from fits of anger following the birth of her daughter Kira four months ago.

But instead of referring her to a doctor where she could receive a prescription for her problem, a practitioner nurse decided to call the police as a “standard procedure”.

Ms Porten took to Facebook on Friday to reveal the horrifying moment officers arrived to take her to the emergency room where she endured a 10 hour ordeal waiting for further assessment.

“I thought it was very excessive, but I was told that the ER was where I needed to go to get help,” Ms Porten told HuffPost Canada.

The mother-of-two revealed when officers arrived they realised there was no apparent threat and she was allowed to drive herself and Kia to the ER, all be it with a police escort.

Ms Porten claims her clothes were taken from her while she gave blood and urine samples.

She was assigned a security guard to watch over her while she waited for a social worker until her partner Scott arrived to look after Kia.

“This was a 10 hour ordeal that I had to go through all while caring for my infant that I had with me. And that’s it. That’s what I got for telling my OB that I have PPD and I need help.

“I was treated like a criminal and then discharged with nothing but a stack of xeroxed printouts with phone numbers on them.”

She revealed other mothers have contacted her to say they’ve experienced similar scenarios, something Ms Porten believes needs to change.

Jessica is determined to make a change!

For support please contact PANDA National Helpline (Mon to Fri, 9am – 7.30pm AEST) Call 1300 726 306  or Lifeline 13 11 14

Have you experience anything similar to Jess?

Share your comments below

We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • You can be angry but never harm your baby.
    Sounds like the nurse didn’t want to help her at all. She probably made the issue a lot worse.


  • A cry for help turns into a call to the Police!?? ….. ludicrous!


  • I’m not surprised. I have had dealings with nursing staff/care workers where they lose sight of common sense and actually cause more problems. When this happens I think the patient should lodge complaints against that nurse/care worker so that they will receive better training and not cause more distress to people who are already vulnerable and seeking help.


  • How shocking ! What an failure of the medical system !!


  • that poor family, what an unhelpful way to treat pnd!


  • I read this when a friend posted it online. The part that shocked me the most was that during the entire ordeal she never once got to see a doctor. Thankfully that means its unlikely to happen here, because if you present at emergency they don’t let you leave until a doctor has seen you.


  • That is just appalling. Yes, the nurse needed to make sure mum and baby were safe – but that is not the way to do it.


  • Oh my!! That’s really terrible. Poor woman. She asks for help and that’s what she gets? This way women will stop facing the PND they have. And there will be terrible consequences for the mother and for the child.
    This happened in the US. Could it actually happen in Australia too, if a nurse thinks that’s how she should “handle” the situation?
    10 hours… :-(


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Add a photo
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating