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mental health issues and having another baby

(9 Posts)
namechangeranonymous Tue 11-Oct-11 16:59:29

Hi everyone

Can anyone share their experience/opinion on having a baby with history of minor mental health issues?

Basically, I have 2 DCs and would love another but since having them I have had a few panic attacks, obsessive thinking etc. I also visited GP about question mark depression but she said it wasn't depression.

I am worried that a 3rd child would turn these relatively minor issues (horrible though they are at the time) into more major problems, including impact on my relationship with DH and existing kids?

What do you think?

NanaNina Tue 11-Oct-11 17:30:31

I would be thankful for the two DC that you have, and not risk your emotional well being which could, as you say impact on your DH and your 2 children. Mind I am not a young mother, but a grandmother in late 60's so am out of touch with young mums and babies etc. I am not however out of touch with MH issues though, far from it. Maybe other young mums will be along who can look at your predicament from another angle.

Arcadia Tue 11-Oct-11 20:44:41

It's a difficult decision, and rather than just thinking about the difficulties you have had, I think you need to consider the bigger picture. For example,
How does your DH feel about it? Does he have anxieties about it too? Does he actually want more or is he happy with two? Are your anxieties based around your ability to cope, or are there potential financial difficulties/accommodation difficulties? Also, do you work? Do you enjoy it? If you don't work, have you been thinking about getting back into work? When would be a good time to do that? Age is another factor, of you and your existing children, for some people anyway. Also , do you have a good support network in place in the event that you do struggle, family nearby to help etc.?

What I'm trying to say, really, is that your decision needs to be wider than how you've framed it, because it is hard to know how your mental health will be affected by another child, random as these things are, and with all the variables involved (whether baby has colic, is good or bad sleeper, etc.). You don't want to feel held back by your issues now, only to look back in ten years time and regret that you could have done something differently. On the other hand, it may be hormones motivating you to want another and really you may decide it is not the best thing for you as a family.

I suppose no one can answer your question but your DH needs to have some major input because, as you rightly say, your relationship could be strained if you go ahead and your issues get worse.

PeterSpanswick Tue 11-Oct-11 20:56:19

Bumping for you!

I suffered with horrible anxiety and paranoia after having ds1 which only really abated when I took myself back to work early and lost myself in a whirlwind of activity, only to find myself unexpectedly pregnant with ds2 a year later!

The start of my pregnancy was an uncertain time as I was terrified the anxiety would come back and was constantly watching myself for signs which made the worrying even worse.

Ds2 is five weeks old now (so early days) and aside from the odd panicked thought I've had no signs of it returning yet. So no advice but know exactly what you're going through as am in the same position!

namechangeranonymous Tue 11-Oct-11 21:02:43

Thank you for taking the time to write, some good points to think about and indeed the kind of circle I find myself going round in - be grateful for what you've got and don't take the risk versus going for what I have always wanted. I do worry that I would look back and regret not having another child.

The bigger picture things you mention Arcardia would allow us to have another baby otherwise I wouldn't be considering it. That said, the most important one - DH's desires - is the least satisfactory insofar as he is not as keen on another as me but has said he would.

So I was kind of asking is the mental health thing a deal breaker given that I would have to be the strong one because I want it more than DH?

namechangeranonymous Tue 11-Oct-11 21:04:34

Thank you Peter and really glad things are working out well for you so far.

namechangeranonymous Tue 11-Oct-11 21:06:11

Cam I ask you Peter, how did you find your pregnancy and especially the days/weeks before giving birth? Do you know if there is any medication that is allowed to calm you if things get bad? Thanks

MamaMaiasaura Tue 11-Oct-11 21:06:19

I had severe PND with ds1. I recovered with help and counselling. I also undertooky nurse training and became a qualified my nurse. I also began a new relationship and nearly 8 years after ds1 I had ds2. I was concerned that I may get depressed again, but I made sure I was kind to myself, got sleep, talked things out, relax and not try and be superwoman. I was ok and felt more in control of me smile Also helped my situation was different. In a good relationship, financially secure and also emotionally mature.

I am expecting number 3 and fairly confident that I'll be ok. I know I'm at risk but I'm also self aware and those close to me are too. I think dealing with issues prior to conceiving ds2 was a huge help too

PeterSpanswick Tue 11-Oct-11 21:30:59

I think it was easier for me in that the decision had already been made for me iyswim. Truth be told I was very, very scared for my mental state when I found out I was pregnant and can remember bursting into tears one night and crying to DH that I never wanted to feel like that (the anxiety) again and what had we done, very, very negative stuff indeed.

Despite all that there was never any question that the baby was wanted and as soon as the shock had worn off, my body picked itself up and I actually started feeling really good and stable and strong, with only a small wobble towards the end when I suddenly started obsessing over our house being burgled and recognised the old pattern of thoughts. I didn't look into any medication as was nervous to "out" myself to hcps as someone struggling to cope (this was obviously the anxiety) but luckily the thoughts passed very very quickly. I know you can take certain over-the-counter like Rescue Remedy, though, if that helps at all?

I don't feel able to give any real advice as I'm no professional, just tell you what it was like for me and obviously you know that you are at increased risk but at the same time, second pregnancies can be very different. You are walking into the situation with your eyes more open, knowing far better what to expect and from the advantageous point of being able to prepare yourself I.e. talk things through with your DH, make sure extra support is in place, avoid potential triggers if you have any.

For me it felt that my body came through for me when I had the least faith in it and when I most needed it to. Hormones are powerful things and I have my fingers crossed that I will continue to progress well through the most obvious "danger period" and know how best to keep the more obsessive thoughts under control if they do happen to crop up again!

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