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Mother and baby unit??

(306 Posts)
martha2013 Sat 04-May-13 19:19:25

Does anyone have any experience of such places? I'm 39+3 weeks pregnant with my very much planned and wanted second child. I have a diagnosis of bipolar and due to risks to baby have recently stopped my anti-psychotic. My psychiatrist thinks my mood is becoming high. I disagree. She is talking about mother and baby hospital after birth. I'm terrified and thinking of doing a runner!

SnapCackleFlop Sun 23-Jun-13 22:54:24

Martha, glad you're keeping going and that you're getting so much support on here.

I think all the posters have made really good and helpful suggestions.

I think working9while5 (sorry if I've got this wrong) is saying that you have to balance the effects for your daughter of taking the medication while breastfeeding agaisnt the effects on your daughter of you not taking the medication. It isn't as simple as protecting her best by not taking the medication while you're breastfeeding her.

It's so clear how much you love both of your children and I think you're incredible in how well and how much you're doing and contending with a nasty illness too (you're doing well by anyone's standards though I don't just mean doing well for someone who's ill). I know you are being really selfless here but sometimes it can be hard to see a situation clearly when we're right in the middle of it. I wonder if a friend of yours was in a similar position how you might advise them?

Also think the mortgage holiday is a brilliant idea. Maybe your husband could ring up and ask if it would be possible?

Also, would your husand's employers be open to him taking a period of flexible working time (if he can't take time off). Maybe some useful info here

Take care. x

working9while5 Mon 24-Jun-13 09:15:52

Yup. You put it more clearly Snap. I am having a sleep deprived week x

martha2013 Mon 24-Jun-13 12:22:30

CPN called my husband this morning. If I won't take medication as supervised by him they are going to section me. Guess I have no choice now. Just have to decide if breastfeeding with a dose of anti-psychotics is a better option than formula. Children's services don't need to see us though as they have no concerns so that is a relief.

lougle Mon 24-Jun-13 12:27:06

Can you get some medical advice to help you make that choice?

I think you are right, you have no choice whether you take the medication.

I'm glad that Social Services aren't concerned, that's positive.

SnowyMouse Mon 24-Jun-13 12:32:36

Good luck with your decision making, it must be very tough.

Khalessi Mon 24-Jun-13 12:49:22

Martha this is the tel no of the drugs in breastmilk helpline. The woman who runs it is a pharmacist I believe.

0844 412 4665

You will get better. Thinking of you.

martha2013 Mon 24-Jun-13 14:57:55

Advice is to continue feeding and the worst outcome is my little girl will get 2% of the dose I do by body weight and will be drowsy.

I'm so tired this afternoon I'm struggling to interact as I normally would with my son. I have put a film on for him and he had some lunch but I feel really guilty. CPN said over and over how poorly I am and that I am not anywhere near myself. I refused to accept that but the fact I cant pretend even for my son means maybe she is right.

hummusbaby Mon 24-Jun-13 15:38:21

If your problem is tiredness (among others) then changing to formula might be a better idea. Usually formula fed babies sleep better through nights. Breastfeeding also makes one tired.

working9while5 Mon 24-Jun-13 16:45:39

Really pleased about childrens services. How do you feel about breast vs bottle? You could introduce some bottle feeds and see how you go. My ds1 had to have formula from 9 days due to severe failure to thrive and he was still having breastmilk at a year. The solution is so individual. If you can have support with night feeds and sterilising bottles etc ff can be protective of sleep but bf can be useful for if you dont have energy or support for that, only you will know the logistical pros and cons for you.

In some ways at least now the med choice isnt yours you can just move on. You badly need rest x

Harriet100 Mon 24-Jun-13 21:54:53

Hi Martha
Get some advice about b/f from perinatal psychiatrist or pharmacist. There are ways to minimise baby's exposure if you are worried such as mixed feeding, expressing milk before taking meds or discarding feed with highest dose of meds.
I'm sure all will be well regardless but it can help to know you have some options. Baby having occasional bottle might mean you get a decent sleep too which could really make a huge difference to your energy levels.
You have had some tough decisions to make and I hope you start to feel better soon.

SnapCackleFlop Tue 25-Jun-13 01:14:24

Martha, I pleased that children's services are out of the picture because now you don't have to have that hanging over your head (and although it must have been horrible to go through they've confirmed that there is nothing to worry about regarding your children's welfare which we knew already).

I really feel that the medication will help you feel better when it's had time to work. I have taken lots of medications for different things and have/still am breastfeeding. Of course certain medications aren't compatible with breastfeeding but there is almost always a suitable alternative drug that is fine. The benefits to your daughter will not be diminished at all and in fact by taking the medication I really think you'll be enabling yourself to feel a bit better and be able to enjoy things more which in turn will benefit your daughter, son and yourself a million times over.

I've said before that I'm a LLL leader and I'd be very happy to help with anything breastfeeding wise if you would like me to and if it would help. Please pm me if you want to.

I also think it's great that you put on a video for your son and had a rest. Most new mums do this (i sill do sometimes and my youngest is 2 yrs)!

I hope it's ok to say this - i think that despite this illness you've veen functioning at an amazing level. The way you're able to articulate things on here and to think things through. I really think the meds will make things a little easier and will stop requiring the superhuman strength it must be taking right now to do things.

Take care. x

working9while5 Tue 25-Jun-13 08:33:02

I agree about the video!

When I was in those early stages and quite unwell I remember the intense guilt I felt about everything and anything but - realistically - nothing that most mothers would even think twice about.

I shouted at my ds1 one day and put him into the buggy as a time out because he refused to come out of the garden when ds2 was screaming his head off. I remember thinking this was The Worst Thing anyone could EVER have done to a child at any point in the course of history, how could I have been so useless, who gets cross with a two and a half year old etc. I really believed "normal" and "proper" mothers didn't lose their temper, get irritable, have moments it was all too much etc... this despite ten years working with children where I KNEW they did all this and more.

It is the illness that causes this level of guilt and the feeling that it's okay for other people to have weak moments but not for you.

You are doing everything normally and well you just need to take care of your self. Without self-care, we can't take care of those we love in the longer term... it is actually a MORE selfless act to take care of yourself in these circumstances than it is not to. It took me ages to get my head round that!

Thinking of you x

martha2013 Fri 28-Jun-13 17:13:17

Thank you to all you lovely mummies who have helped and supported me the past few weeks. This thread has been invaluable.

My daughter slept for 7 consecutive hours last night after never going more than 2/3. It felt so good to have some proper sleep.

I'm still having delusional thoughts, am pretty anxious and am still at risk of admission but am feeling more positive that I can influence the outcome for myself and my little ones. She smiled at me today, a proper smile and it felt wonderful.

SnowyMouse Fri 28-Jun-13 17:15:46

That's so good to hear martha smile

martha2013 Sun 30-Jun-13 20:55:01

Finding today really hard. Thoughts of suicide are over taking. Trying to fight them but I'm so tired.

scottishmummy Sun 30-Jun-13 21:33:34

Call the out of hours team, or go to a&e ask see psychiatric team
In office hours call your allocated team
It's hard having intrusive negative thoughts.hope this resolves

working9while5 Mon 01-Jul-13 09:29:11

How are you doing today Martha?

I wanted to share with you a strategy that I learned from a book on intrusive thoughts in motherhood:

1. Expect, allow and accept that fear/the thought will arise.
2. When it comes, wait and let it be
3. Focus on and do manageable things in the present.
4. Label your emotional reaction to the thought 0-10 and watch it fluctuate: arise, peak and pass away.
5. Function and appreciate how hard you are working, how much you are doing and every simple thing you do, from feeding the baby to having a cup of tea.
6. Expect, allow and accept that fear/the thought will arise.

I know when you are in the thick of it that this can seem impossible, but just take a leap of faith and believe that if you do these you will get through. One foot in front of another and don't forget to breathe as they say on some support threads here.

You have been doing an amazing job. Keep going. The other thing I used to do was also from that same book, it was where you imagine the thought is a hot coal in your hand and you just physically let it go: closing and open your fist to "let go" of the thought.

I'm thinking of you x

dontrunwithscissors Mon 01-Jul-13 10:30:01

Martha, if you're not already doing this, is there the slightest chance you can get a bit of childcare for your oldest? Even if it's just for a couple of hours for a couple of days a week? Or can your OH arrnage to take a few hours annual leave here and there?

I ended up doing this when I had PND (and subsequently diagnosed bipolar) with my youngest. I found a wonderful childminder (who we still use at the moment), who took my oldest for 3 mornings a week. It gave me a break, allowed me to enjoy my youngest, and I got the chance to nap a little. I ultimately had to put my oldest in care almost full time and my youngest went to the childminder a couple of mornings as I became soo poorly. It was either that or end back up in hospital and see them even less.

I felt guilty about this for a bit, but it was a case of being at home, rather in hospital, and actually be there and enjoy them the rest of the time.

We had never planned to pay out for so much childcare while I was off on maternity leave (and I went back straight to work on to sick leave). It sent us in to debt, which we're still paying off 3 years later. But you got to do what you've got to do in this situation.

SnapCackleFlop Tue 02-Jul-13 00:39:59

Martha, I've been thinking about you and hope that things are alright.

I've learned so much from this thread. I hope that the horrible thoughts have eased - can you think of them as a troublesome symptom (which they are) in the way someone with an illness might experience vertigo or nausea temporary paralysis. It's just a crappy thing that you have to manage until it passes but it isn't you. It might just be a sign to take more rest or get out for a walk or have a cup of tea with a friend but it's not you any more than a migraine or a hemorrhoid would define you!

I think Working9while5's exerices are great. I think most of us could benefit a great deal from them.

Hope you're alright and that you'll post when you feel able to.

Take care. x

working9while5 Tue 02-Jul-13 22:57:04

Thinking about you too xx

martha2013 Wed 03-Jul-13 10:19:20

Thank you again for your lovely replies. Sorry I don't respond individually, I know it's lazy of me but it's not that I don't read and appreciate your words, I am truly grateful for your support and advice.

Sleep and routine are improving here and although some days are harder than others I think I am coping ok. The professionals involved seem more relaxed and have backed off a little and the risk of full blown psychosis has passed I think.

I have to decide whether or not I go back to therapy. I have had long term psychotherapy with a psychologist for many years. We stopped our sessions just before I gave birth with the intention of meeting again after 8 weeks which is fast approaching. Our current work was surrounding my childhood and how I developed the problems that I have. I hoped that if I resolved this a little I wouldn't blame myself so much and feel like such a failure. As I had been very stable this sort of thing was manageable but I worry that it would be too stressful to resume right now. On the other hand it seems a shame not to accept the help. My other problem is a practical one, I'm not sure how comfortable it would be taking the baby along!

working9while5 Wed 03-Jul-13 15:43:49

Hey Martha, sounds like you are having some more stable moments if not days at least!

I took my ds2 to appointments weekly from the time he was 10 days old. He basically just breastfed through for ages and then I brought toys and sort of did the therapy sitting on the floor. My therapist was very good about it. I had to do some nappy changes and stuff like that, and some days he was whingey and it wasn't exactly ideal but the moments I really remember are times when I was talking about serious stuff and he would start giggling and my therapist would be trying to stifle a laugh. It was actually quite healing in some ways because it can take the heat out of some of the hard memories. At other times it probably intensified them but it was fine. I have two appointments left (finished regular therapy when he was just about seven months and had just started crawling, on a thinned schedule now) and he won't be coming to these last ones with me.... but it honestly was surprisingly fine. I found it very supportive, even the hard down'n'dirty work because it's already there in your head on some level so it's good to just begin to make headway. I thought it would be weird breastfeeding in sessions but the therapist is a good one and it didn't bother him so very quickly it didn't bother me.

working9while5 Wed 03-Jul-13 15:44:43

And no need to apologise about not naming people, it's not an issue at all x

martha2013 Wed 03-Jul-13 21:01:00

Thank you, your replies are so thoughtful and helpful I just didnt want you all to think I don't take it on board. I taking just hard to hold names etc in my heads right now!

It was strange having therapy when I was pregnant, sometimes I'd be really upset and she would give me a couple of hard kicks. It was comforting in a way. It is good to hear your experience is such a positive one and I hope your last two sessions are successful. I imagine coming to the end of therapy brings a mix of emotions for you? I'm impressed you were able to feed during a session, not sure I'd have the confidence to do that.

working9while5 Wed 03-Jul-13 22:11:17

I wasn't really that confident! When I started I basically arrived in a complete and utter panic (had to travel on the bus and was at that stage more or less convinced that this was massively dangerous to my baby) and arrived in a total STATE, sweating/hyperventilating/flushed/flashes in my eyes... so obviously ds2 picked up on it and started screaming and basically it was just going to have to happen or my head would have exploded from him screaming!

I have to say the therapist was so absolutely not batting an eyelid about it that it really helped. I once had to feed him with the psych and I didn't like that at all, felt v uncomfortable. I didn't really know if I would be able to go to therapy with ds2 but it really was fine and I'm so grateful I had the opportunity now at this stage. Although we had it in the Mother and Baby Unit in case he needed to be taken out if he wouldn't settle, we never needed anyone, it was just me. I think because I was unwell and basically in the house all the time apart from that appointment that helped bizarrely as it was a novel place for ds2 so he was always transfixed! I can barely remember it, it seems unreal that I did so many sessions!

I haven't quite grasped therapy will really end! I am doing an NSPCC PND group at the moment which is really good as there are people there very similar to myself, also have just done a Mindfulness course... so still have a lot going on but will find it weird to be cut loose in September!

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