Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

OCD or anxiety in pregnancy

(12 Posts)
Mummytono2 Tue 29-Apr-14 09:42:15

Hi all

You'll see i have a number of posts recently worrying obsessively about numerous things. Having mice in the house, eating pâté etc etc

I've suffered from anxiety and OCD for nearly 15 years and an struggling with bad panics a lot right now.

Anyone else experiencing the same thing? Anyone had any advice on how they cope??

Cupcake11 Tue 29-Apr-14 09:53:10

I've suffered with anxiety on and off throughout this pregnancy too so I really feel for you.
All I can say is each thing that gripped me with panic only lasted up to a week before it passed and I could think rationally about it again.
I know it doesn't help much at the time but remember your hormones will be playing a massive part in it and it's hard to think as you normally would about things.
I always found talking through what was worrying me, no matter how silly it was helped to relieve some of the burden.
It does get better the further along you are - although I'm due tomorrow and am deflecting my anxiety onto other things at the moment so I guess I need to take my own advice!
Hope you start to feel better soon.

squizita Tue 29-Apr-14 11:01:03

I have clinical anxiety about pregnancy following recurrent losses.

Strategies I have found that help are:
-I mentioned it to my MW. My DH mentions it to all staff. This makes them less likely to say something worrying 'off hand' and explain things calmly. (E.g. "your baby has a big belly. (Pause and husband eyeballs them) This is not a medical problem, it suggests they'll be average or bigger at birth which is good.")

-I got a bit of CBT about it. Helped enormously.

-Support through MN (but choose your sites/forums carefully! Some babycentre can have panic mongers on them).

-I read books by respected professionals only! Not any mad lentil weavy or tinfol hat stuff.

-I discussed with the perinatal psych nurse how I would end up reading things so not to say not to! She suggested (and showed me) a selection of very reliable sources. For example: buying a pregnancy book by a well known Dr Such as Prof Regan, the NHS website, Mumsnet etc. About 4 sources which are moderate, average etc'. It was suggested whenever I get tempted to google or saw a Daily Mail terror-story, I read the opinion of the 'moderate' source instead. I must say this has worked very well indeed for me: instead of being scared of any caffeine for example, I know that I can have 200mg a day and if I go over now and then it's harmless because I have this from a reliable source.

Hope this helps! smile

starrynight123 Tue 29-Apr-14 15:09:40

I have anxiety problems and have done for 14years. I've also got emetaphobia (fear of being sick) and even feeling nauseous triggers panic attacks. Sod's law that I have hyperemesis so I've been a complete wreck during my pregnancy - am at 25wks - and haven't been able to go to work for 3months now. Thankfully I can work from home and my GP and work have been really understanding. But, it's really tough. I was referred to the hospital's mental health unit after my first midwife checking-in appointment, but apart from a letter saying they have received my referral, I haven't heard anything. I'd really like to have CBT again because it helped me so much last time, but I can't afford it privately this time around, and the NHS isn't helping me at all :-(

honeyharris Wed 30-Apr-14 11:07:17

I've been similar during my pregnancy and unfortunately haven't really found any way to combat it. Reassurance from medical professionals seems to work to some extent, internet resesrch just feeds it. I had a referral to perinatal mental health nursr but all she suggested was tapping which I can't help feeling is bollocks, although apparently works for some women. Also suggested low dose of antidepressants which wasn't going to work for me as it would be another thing to be anxious about!

freakedmum Wed 30-Apr-14 15:15:57

I have ocd, and was referred to a perinatal mental health clinic, who advised me to go back on my medication. I haven't decided whether to yet, even though they say it won't harm the baby (sertraline is what I've been on), i would still prefer to get through the pregnancy without meds, as it just seems unnatural to be on meds with a baby inside me :-(. I am 29 +3 now and have felt a bit more able to deal with stuff the last few weeks, but i feel your pain OP x

ithoughtofitfirst Wed 30-Apr-14 15:31:02

Bless you. I have generalized anxiety disorder and I wouldnt wish it on my worse enemy.

Have you been referred for CBT or counselling? It's the only thing that helped me really. I still wake up in a cold sweat some days but its so much more manageable.

starrynight123 Wed 30-Apr-14 22:42:55

My GP mentioned that there is at least one anti-anxiety medication that you can safely take during pregnancy and even while breast-feeding. Given that I still haven't heard back from the hospital's mental health unit, I may just give that a go because I'm now 6months along :-(

livingzuid Thu 01-May-14 07:30:38

For anyone who has had it recommend to take medication - please do take it. I have bipolar and if I had gone with my instinct to not continue with medication then I think I would have ended up very ill indeed. I'm so glad I took it.

The risks are incredibly low and really, no matter what we do in pregnancy there will be a risk from somewhere. I've been on medication for bipolar, hypothyroidism and hg and without all of that the outcome would have been dire.

The way it was explained to me is that the impact of increased cortisol on me and my baby due to my mental health was a far greater risk than my lithium. I won't bore you with detail but the first trimester was beyond stressful and I was nearly put under hospital psychiatric intensive care because my medication had dipped so much.

There's always going to be stress and that's natural, but with a pre existing condition it is something some of us need to be wary of and not take steps to have any excess of smile

So don't think it's wrong in any way to take something if the doctors have advised it to be better. There's no point in suffering needlessly.

OP, do go and discuss this with your midwife or gp. There may be a specialist midwife trained in psychiatric issues and also maybe a perinatal psychiatric team in your area. At the very least it helps to talk it through with someone smile and hopefully you are in a more helpful area than starry

livingzuid Thu 01-May-14 07:31:59

starry sorry posted too soon I can't believe you are still stuck with that!

balenciaga Thu 01-May-14 07:35:07

I had anxiety really bad in my last pg

Was convinced something would go wrong and tbh I didn't stop worrying til my baby was born (she was fine)

I had a mmc of twins last year which I think triggered it, I just couldn't believe things would go right after that

livingzuid Thu 01-May-14 07:48:20

Also easier said than done I know but try not to worry smile our babies are such resilient little creatures. If I think of the amount of McDonald's I have put into me over these last 8 months (on many days the only thing I can keep down, why???) and diet coke which has been my life saver, or going on a plane, I can send myself into a tailspin over the impact!

But now at nearly 37 weeks it doesn't seem to have had any adverse impact. She's in the 90th percentile and has long legs which must come from the Dutch side of the family smile

So my point is that everything is on your side for you to produce a healthy, happy baby in a few months smile I found that the thought of the statistics in my favour really helped get me through the first trimester. Then you'll see your bump grow and movement later on and it's wonderful. Every stretch mark I get I take as a good sign that she's blooming. Cream didn't work for me grin but I embrace them rather than hate them as it's such a visual sign of her growth.

I didn't find going to extra scans helped much and I'm scanned every 2-3 weeks. I find them hugely stressful and can't look at the screen until dh tells me it's OK which, particularly at this stage when I can feel her thumping away, is quite absurd. But other women seem to find booking extra scans reassures them that the baby is fine. I don't know if that would be an option for you?

thanks

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now