Has anyone suffered severe antenatal depression and gone on to have more children?(7 Posts)
I'm a regular lurker on here but have not really posted much but I'd be really grateful if anyone could offer some advice or tell me about their experiences.
I'll cut a rather long winded story short. I fell pregnant with my very planned and wanted son 4 years ago and from week 6 was completely smacked in the face by horrendous and traumatic anxiety, panic and depression. It was a terrible and very dark time for everyone involved and the situation wasn't helped by medical professionals around me who hadn't really dealt with antenatal depression before. After much to-ing and fro-ing, I was put onto 20mg Prozac at around 8 weeks which did absolutely nothing and then the GP increased it to 40mg at 24 weeks which completely did the trick and from then on I really enjoyed the pregnancy and had a good birth etc. I was able to come off the Prozac after my son was born and haven't suffered with any issues since.
I have no real doubt that the problem was caused by hormones as I have always suffered from mild anxiety/panic when on the pill previously and it would always abruptly stop when I came off it.
My dilemma now is that we would like to have one more child but I am torn between wanting this and an absolute fear of the same thing happening and feeling like that again. My GP has been very understanding and apologetic for what happened last time and has said that I can start on a low dose of Prozac whilst we TTC to stop the hormones hitting me hard and then I can increase them if I need to.
I'm so, so grateful to have my son here and he's completely brilliant but I don't want be selfish and put what I have at risk just because I would love another child. But I think I would be really sad if I didn't get to have another.
I'd love to know if anybody reading has had a similar experience or knows of anyone else that may have had?
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.
Hi Tixy, it is impressive that you are so clear about this! Also that the reason is recognised and your professionals are 'on board'. It does seem that every pregnancy is different but in your case it may even be worse should you conceive a girl as for some reason they seem to trigger a higher level of hormones to sustain the pregnancy... Hopefully your obstetric carers will scour the journals for any research or reports on what might ameliorate this but if, you do decide to go for it, you can be prepared and perhaps add on skills such as Yoga, mindfulness and meditation to give you an additional bulwark against the hormone onslaught! Personally it would help me to characterise them as powerful things surging through my body intent on running my pregnancy but far too busy with their important task to be concerned with what effect they had on my wellbeing... Recognising that they were not malicious I would think of the dreadful feelings as the wake from a speedboat hitting me whilst I was swimming off a beach on a lovely day. Something I had to gear up to cope with. Clearly it has to be your decision. All the best!
My experince is the other way round.. Had a fine pregnancy first time round, this time massive anxiety and depression. So I would suggest you try to maintain an open mind??
It must be hard having suffered so much the first time round, I could not go through this pregnancy again (but it is my second child and we are done as a family).
hi ... i had severe depression after having my first child got through it by letting people help me ... i didn't have any depression while pregnant though but i advice to look natural ways to help ... like trying yoga before getting pregnant and gets u mentally and physically ready ... calming tea such as chamomile on regular basis really does wonders and most important is fresh air ... each baby comes with difference packages so u never know what the next scenario is until you try it and keep an open mind about it all ... best of luck ... motherhood is never an easy task ... i can only relate to my 2 boys and tell you how much i was glad to go for another pregnancy seeing how much they have fun together . ALLLL THE BEST
Thanks for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate any experiences or thoughts that people have to share.
It's very strange being trapped between the instinct of wanting another and then hideous fear of what happened. I have an appointment with the gynae/obs at the hospital in Jan as my GP has referred me there to hopefully gain some more specialist advice.
And part of me feels selfish for even considering it and that maybe I should should count my blessings and focus on what I have.
Thanks again for your replies and please keep them coming!
I'm on my 3rd pregnancy, with my first (a boy) I felt better than I'd every felt, I've always suffered with mental health.
My second pregnancy ( a girl) I had such severe antenatal depression I was hospitalised for the last 4 weeks of pregnancy.
I'm now pregnant with my third, it's another girl, I'm 7 months pregnant and I can feel my antenatal depression is getting bad.
For me it all depends on the sex of the baby in carrying. With my boy I felt so good I came off all my meds, and with the girls I never been I such high doses of antidepressants.
After my second pregnancy I swore I would never put myself or my family through those dark places again, but accidents happen and I keep telling myself it's not forever, I won't always be pregnant, it's such a short time in myself and my kids life and the gift I receive at the end beats the 9 months of hell. It's terrible to talk that way but unless you've had antenatal depression people would never understand.
I have 2 months to go and everyday I say to myself 'this won't be forever' soon I get my baby and that will be forced x
I had such severe pnd after my first that I was on a dosage of anti depressants that is illegal now...! (80mg citalopram). I genuinely think the only reason they didn't put me in hospital was because I had my terminally ill gran living with me at the same time. It took me about 3 years to feel well again, I really struggled to bond with dd and the whole change of life that motherhood brings. I resented it. It wasn't what I expected.
Ten years later I found myself desperately wanting another child which was a surprise to me as I always said I would never want another. I was terrified of pnd returning and had an elcs because I didn't want another vaginal birth as my first had been traumatic and I was terrified about the whole thing ... But I desperately wanted another.
My second experience was totally different. I didn't develop pnd at all and loved every second of everything. I think knowing what to expect helped. I didn't need to take any medication at all.
Dd is now nearly 13 and ds is 3.5 and I love both of them more than anything. Ds has severe autism so he has changed my life totally in so many ways but amazingly pnd hasn't featured at all.
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