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post natal depression after anxious pregnancy- more common? how to cope?

(10 Posts)
Armadale Wed 19-Feb-14 10:52:53

I wasn't sure which area to post this in, please forgive me if I've picked the wrong one.

I was wondering if anyone can give me any advice about this or has experience of it.

I am currently pregnant (15 +6) and I am very anxious about the baby (it is my 6th pregnancy after 5 miscarriages). I have a counsellor who specialises in pregnancy loss who is helping me a great deal, but it is still a very anxious time for me.

Yesterday I saw my consultant, who asked me what plans were being put in place for after the birth?- I didn't really understand what she meant, but she said that recurrent miscarriage suffers, particularly those who have had a very late loss in a previous pregnancy, are very anxious whilst pregnant and are considered the highest risk group for severe post natal depression because of their histories.

I was a bit taken aback.

In my head, I'm anxious because of my losses and if this baby survives, that anxiety will all go away. The consultant clearly thinks otherwise. I have had an awful, awful couple of years and the thought of it continuing ad infinitum just terrifies me. The idea of feeling like this after the baby is born is almost too much to comprehend.

EddieVeddersfoxymop Wed 19-Feb-14 19:03:34

I had a terribly anxious pregnancy, and then it went off the scale when my DD was terribly poorly at birth. I had PND, badly, but was in denial for about 3 years before I sought help. I'm still not totally "over" what happened and probably never will be, but once I took my head out of the sand and got some help, I got there.

You are in a much better position - you and your health carers are aware of the potential risk and your anxiety. Make plans - think about making a "birth debrief" appointment afterwards with wherever you give birth. Going over my notes really helped me to understand how our situation seemed to spiral out of control. Of course, you will probably have a normal birth/delivery and might not need this debrief, but look into the procedure now. Talk to your GP about counselling afterwards, ask them what steps they would take.

Hopefully, you won't need any of this, but by being prepared and organised you will take away the anxiety of trying to cope afterwards with a fuzzy, stressy, sleep deprived head.

Armadale Wed 19-Feb-14 21:32:48

Oh thank you so much for answering, I'd given up!

Can I ask Eddie, what was it you did when you got help- what did that help involve that you found useful?

The birth debrief sounds like a really good idea, i'm doing a similar thing with my counsellor at the moment with my late loss and it is really helping me.

EddieVeddersfoxymop Wed 19-Feb-14 22:09:13

Not a problem! Didn't want to read and run, so to speak.

For me, the help was the birth debrief as I said, and a long session of CBT. The CBT challenged all the anxious thoughts, worry and negativity that I was carrying with me every day. I also did a lot of relaxation techniques and used Moodgym website when things got really bad.

To be honest, writing it down makes it sound easy. It wasn't - and it all surfaced again when my daughter was ill before christmas. The difference this time though was that I KNEW what was happening - in the 3 years after she was born I didn't know really what was going on other than I felt I was losing my mind. I've self referred again for CBT and am in control of the situation now. I'm making the move, I'm making the decision to beat it again and so can you, because you have the awareness now that it might be a problem.

Sorry to hear that you had a late loss, no wonder you are anxious. Talk to your GP - they can get an action plan in place now just in case you need it.

Armadale Sat 22-Feb-14 09:09:03

Hi Eddie,

Just wanted to tell you I have started the program on Moodgym, I had never heard of it before you mentioned it and I am finding it incredibly helpful, thank you.

I hope your daughter is well now.

Thank you so much for taking the time to advise me, it is much appreciated thanks

MrsMarigold Sat 22-Feb-14 09:15:38

I was extremely anxious when pregnant and have suffered PND - I recently went off my medication and totally lost it again - you need lots of support.

EddieVeddersfoxymop Tue 25-Feb-14 21:22:09

Glad to hear you're taking control and making progress!! Sorry for taking ages to reply. Good luck!!!!

beachesandbuckets Tue 25-Feb-14 21:33:32

Good advice here, but to offer a ray of hope. I was very very anxious in my pregnancy, due to mmc the year before, and having twins, was advised that the chance of me having pnd was significantly higher. However, when they got here, I was so utterly relieved that everything was ok and they were alive etc, I was on a high for the first 6mths and no pnd.

Suicidal5833 Wed 26-Feb-14 05:44:38

I'm slightly different to you I'm bipolar1 and there is about a 70% chance of having either a manic or depressive episode within 24 hours of giving birth. I had a episode after all three dc and because it's bipolar each episode gets worse. Now I know it seems like a very different story here but still thought I may be able to help. I was diagnosed bipolar following a particularly bad episode after dc2 birth but on dc 3 as everyone was prepared it made things much easier.

Here are some of the resources I had that maybe you could ask for I had a pychiatrist therapy to get rid of any excess baggage and two cpns. The cpns sat down and worked out what things had stressed me after the birth of dc 1 and 2 and said they were not to happen. So in my case having a large family when you are depressed or manic coming to visit constantly does not help picking the baby up when I was manic was a big no no.

The cpns and Hv visited every week through my pg and after the baby was born and I started to go on a episode my cpn even phoned my mum to explain the situation and to say that she needed to ensure there were no more visitors.

The point I am making is know ing that you have a high risk of being unwell after giving birth means you can take pre emtive steps to avoid stress. Which can in turn make things less severe.

Suicidal5833 Wed 26-Feb-14 05:46:46

Oh and make sure you have enough frozen ready meals to last at least two weeks. It really does make a big difference.

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