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Is PND inevitable?

(10 Posts)
RubyRoseRed Tue 23-Nov-10 11:54:00


I am thinking way ahead here as we have only just started ttc but think its best to be prepared.....

I am a recovering anorexic and have a history of depression. Is it inevitable that I will also have to deal with PND if we are lucky enough to have children?

Is there any way to limit the risk if you think you might be susceptible?

Has anyone with a history of mental health issues not suffered with PND?

Advice greatly appreciated as I am trying not to let my worries ruin out time ttc.


GetDownYouWillFall Tue 23-Nov-10 19:21:38

Hi there RubyRoseRed no I don't think it's inevitable. Particularly if you have a history, you are in a better place to be monitored closely and you can also start getting the right support around you well before so that you can cope with a newborn.

Yes your chances of PND are increased if you have a history of depression. But it can also happen if you have no history.

I had no history of depression or mental illness, but suffered a very severe form of PND after birth of DD, which landed me in a mother and baby psychiatric unit for nearly 3 months.

It was totally unexpected as my DD was a planned for and wanted baby, I had a loving DH etc. Yet it still happened.

I'm now in a place where we want to TTC #2 (has been a long road). I believe that second time round I will be much better prepared. Also the MH professionals know me and know what treatment works for me now, so they may be able to stop it getting so severe, or even prevent it altogether.

That would probably be the case for you too... if you've been on medication that works for you, they could start you on it after you give birth and it could help prevent PND. Support is very important too i.e. having your DH and family around to help out with all the many practical tasks that having a baby demands e.g. cooking meals for you in the early days when you are too knackered to do it yourself.

Hope you have lots of luck and TTC soon!

BTW this board has been a wonderful support for me, as I've gone along on my journey post-PND. Hope it can be for you too.

doozle Tue 23-Nov-10 19:30:24

Not inevitable but it may make it more likely. Sorry ... I say this as someone who's suffered PND.

There are ways to manage it. For example, if you feel depressed during pregnancy, there are some ADs you can take, I believe.
And yes agree with previous poster that you'll be much more aware of the signs having suffered depression before.

Are you still on anti-depressants now?

RubyRoseRed Tue 23-Nov-10 20:23:59

Thanks for the replies and advice

I guess I am in a tricky situation as I have just moved away from where I was being treated for anorexia so wont have access to anyone who has helped me in the past. I am thinking about registering with a new dr soon to have a chat about my concerns with them.

I am not on any medication and haven't been for many years. Most recent treatment for the anorexia focussed on "talking" therapy.

My DH is always a huge support and knows some of the warning sign. I have put him through so much already I am desperately hoping I might get through without PND for his sake as much as mine....

doozle Tue 23-Nov-10 21:01:56

Ruby, that's good your DH is so supportive.

I reckon one of the most important things you can do when you have a baby is to try and build some kind of support network around you.

Friends, family or even paying someone as a mother's help will all be beneficial when a baby comes along.

I know that's why I'd try and do if I were to have another. Lack of support, I'm sure, was one of the reasons I got PND.

tallblonde Wed 24-Nov-10 22:07:42

I've been seeing a psychiatrist as I have PND, but haven't had depression before. She said I was no more likely to get depression in the future as it was a different illness to PND with a different trigger (something about the birth being the trigger that is specific to PND). So it may work the other way round - just because you have depression, there's no guarantee you'd get PND.
As far as I'm aware, with your history, you'll be monitored through your pregnancy and if you do start to feel depressed, the good news is that you'll recognise the signs and be able to get immediate help.

HeavenForfend Wed 24-Nov-10 22:16:18

Hi Ruby

My teens and early-to-mid twenties were ravaged by depression and anxiety, and for this reason I seriously considered never having children.

I had my first dd at 33, six years after beginning a therapy that actually worked, and suffered not a sniff of PND with her, or with dd2 two years later.

So it is not inevitable BUT I would say you need to be very, very confident of your support systems. A good three years distance between coming off medication and conceiving also alleviated many of my anxieties.

Obviously my GP and the midwife were aware of my history and, while they didn't ever press the issue, I think they kept a discreet eye on me. They didn't need to, as it turned out. Best of luck smile.

RubyRoseRed Thu 25-Nov-10 11:44:01

Thanks everyone

I know my DH will "keep and eye" on me and maybe the best I can do is try and stay mindful of where I am and as open and honest about that as I can be.

We are definitely ttc so I can't avoid it!

GretnaGirl Thu 25-Nov-10 11:51:27

RubyRoseRed I had depression for the first time ever while pregnant with my DS. I was treated with fluoxetine anti-depressant and kept on it for a year after giving birth. I had no PND (thank goodness)
I am now 19 weeks pregnant with DC2 and am back on the fluoxetine again and it seems to be lifting the depression. Hopefully this will stop any PND again this time. I think you need to make contact with a GP ASAP so that if you feel you need extra support during/after the pregnancy. The more prepared you are the better. You seem to have a great DH which I have found is crucial, along with other friends and family. Good luck ttc and I hope it all goes well for you.

reallytired Sat 27-Nov-10 10:55:24

"I am a recovering anorexic and have a history of depression. Is it inevitable that I will also have to deal with PND if we are lucky enough to have children?"

It is not inevitable that you will have depression. Although the chances of mental illness is higher for you than the average mum.

If you do get pregnant you can ask your midwife to refer you to the peri natal team and in some areas there is a communitty midwife who specialises in mental illness. Also tell your health visitor when your baby is born. Your health visitor can help keep an eye on you as well.

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