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Ante-natal depression - will it go away? Will everything be ok after the baby arrives?

(12 Posts)
euromum Wed 11-Feb-09 10:28:41

Would really love to hear from anyone who has experienced this. I am 24wks pg with dc2 and was diagnosed with AND just before Christmas. Apparently I have it relatively mildly but was still off work for about 6 weeks as just couldn't cope with the daily creche run or being in the office or anything really. Have recently been feeling a bit better and able to focus on the positives, but the underlying feelings are still there and the last few days I have been feeling myself going 'down' again, just feel taken over by the hormones and I don't know what. This was a planned and wanted baby but now I just feel like I don't want him after all. I can't talk to him like I did with dd when was pg before. I don't know how I am ever going to cope when I am on leave with both of them at home and am just avoiding thinking about it because I don't want to do it. We are quite isolated as my family are a long way away (we live in Belgium, they are in UK) and FIL is not that nearby and in any case has explicitly said he won't help with small children (MIL sadly died 2 yrs ago). We are the first of our friends to have children and few of them live near. Today I just want to run away. I am sure dd knows and it breaks my heart but I don't want to do this any more. I don't know why I feel like this but I just feel so desperate for everything to go away - and I don't know if I mean the AND or just everything.

I am hoping beyond hope that once ds is born I will not feel like this. But am also terrified of PND and just being all alone with them both and hating myself. Has anyone else gone through this? Is it normal to feel like this? I just feel so guilty. And will it go away - I can't believe that it will.

Thanks

divedaisy Wed 11-Feb-09 13:44:56

euromum - I will answer this when I get back from collecting ds from school. Just for now be assured - there is hope xxx

divedaisy Wed 11-Feb-09 15:48:26

Hi euromum - I'm back. Are you due in May?? If so please come over to our thread... there's loads of support there.

Anyhow, re your AND/PND... I am pleased you have been seen and have had it diagnosed - that means you are aware of what's going on with you and have the strength to acknowledge it. I had PND and when I eventually received councelling I was informed it had started anti-natally, so I fully understand how you are feeling.

There are some medications that can be prescribed for depression during pregnancy and I would recommend you speak to your doctor and see if he/she can give you something. Also I think you would need to be referred for councelling/therapy too. I recently found information on treatment research - if I can find it again I'll post it here.

How you are feeling is perfectly normal and the fact that you are talking about it is good. It is especially difficult if you have little or no support from extended family. Is your dh able to help you? Can you talk to him?

I understnad how you want this feeling to go away - it is a horrible fuzziness that you want to shake off - but it sticks there. All I can say euromum is that it will not last forever, but you need to speak again to your GP and expain to him how you are feeling.

Guilt is a natural feeling too, but you need to believe you are doing a great job being a mum. ANd you will love this new baby too - you just feel overwhelmed by everything and wondering how you are going to cope. Don't try to do everything - try to prioritise what needs to be done. If you panic about doing certain tasks try making a list of how to do it in stages.

I can also totally understand your terror of PND. But by acknowledging how you are feeling, even if you don't know how to explain it, is a great first step in getting it sorted.

divedaisy Wed 11-Feb-09 23:33:40

Euromum - I cannot find the research information I meantioned above. It was a report I noticed on 9th Jan on Bt Yahoo! News. From memory it strongly advocated the use of councelling asap from diagnosis even in anti-natal period. I strongly suggest you go back to your GP and do all you can - even bring your dh with you for support.

Because of my history of PND I too am terrified of it returning and because of this fear I spoke to my GP. She referred me back to the COnsultant Psychotherapist who I spoke to in Nov and he reassured me - he spoke also to a Consult Psychiatrist and between them they informed me of a plan of action should I find I need their help. I feel so much calmer because I feel it is in control. My GP also referred me to the Community Mental Health Nurse - I see her next week. I feel great at the minute, but I think that's because I feel I have the support I need. Try to speak up. It is hard when you don't have the energy or struggle maybe to explain how you feel and fight your corner if necessary.

I don't know how the Belguim system works, but it couldn't be worse than the NHS.

Take care, you will get better, it just needs time.... xx

divedaisy Wed 11-Feb-09 23:45:43

Found this: (Good reason to keep chatting about this on mumsnet)

"Health experts can be trained to identify women with postnatal depression and offer effective treatment, new research claims.

A report published on bmj.com also suggests telephone peer support - mother to mother - could halve the risk of women developing the condition.

Currently around 13 per cent of women experience postnatal depression during the 12 months following the birth of their child.

The authors of today's report warn, however, that the condition frequently goes undetected and untreated.

Their study of over 4,000 mothers from 101 practices in England analysed whether psychological interventions were effective in treating the symptoms of postnatal depression.

Practices were randomised so women received either a cognitive behavioural approach or a person-centred approach from specially trained health visitors or health visitor usual care.

Health visitors in the intervention group were trained to identify depressive symptoms and deliver cognitive behavioural or person-centred sessions for an hour per week for up to eight weeks.

At both six months and 12 months after the birth of their children, the mothers who received care from the specially trained health visitors showed significantly greater reductions in depressive symptoms than those who received health visitor usual care.

Mothers in the intervention group with depressive symptoms at six weeks were 40 per cent less likely to have depressive symptoms at six months than those who received health visitor usual care.

A second study published today also found mothers who received peer support had half the risk of developing postnatal depression at 12 weeks after birth. "

tellnoone Thu 12-Feb-09 00:04:32

Hi Euromum. I wanted to post but not sure I'll be of any help.

I was depressed while pregnant, it was for quite specific reasons. I had a boy already and found out I was having a girl which seemed to dredge up loads of horrible feelings about my own childhood and relationship with my mum. My thoughts and feelings spiralled out of control. I really thought I didn't want a girl and wished I'd never found out the gender. But when she was born I loved her so much it was amazing and the depression quickly lifted. So for me it didn't automatically mean PND.

Devendra Thu 12-Feb-09 07:10:55

Hi, I was depressed through both of my pregnancies. Dreadful feelings of misery and despair. I cried most days and was signed off work from around 20 weeks as I just couldn't function. I coped by taking one day at a time and trying to focus on things like eating properly and getting regular light excersise. Swimming every day helped a lot as I was able to zone out a bit. I tried to focus on the fact that it was not going to last..
Almost immediately following both births I felt much better and a sense of huge relief. But I do know some women go on to develop PND so that is a valid fear you have.
Try and focus on the small things, food, sleep, playing with DD. I hope you feel better soon.

euromum Thu 12-Feb-09 08:50:23

Hi, Thank you so much for your messages.

Divedaisy all that info looks really useful and I'm sure you are right about feeling supported, this is one of the things I feel worst about now. Dh is not great at helping - we are so different at dealing with these things that it's just really difficult - but he has said he would come with me to the doctor again so I think that is a good approach. No idea how the Belgian system is about these things but in general it's great so hopefully that'll help.

Tellnoone, I'm sorry to hear things were difficult for you. I don't like to admit it to myself but (for no specific reason) I was really hoping for another girl and was quite diasppointed to find out it's a boy even though I'm 'objectively' happy about it. But it's lovely to hear that things turned out well after your dd was born. And Devendra that is all really encouraging - I'm sure your focus made such a difference. I would love to find time to swim - thank you for the practical ideas!

Will head over to the May ante natal board too - I'm not so much of a poster here so far but maybe it would help to dive in a bit more... In any case thanks a lot, it's really nice that you all respond. Am feeling like today might be off to a better start already (fingers crossed).

divedaisy Thu 12-Feb-09 09:02:17

Euromum - We'd love to see you on the May thread - we're here!!

There are some here who are feeling a bit like you. And anyway - as the research suggests- it's good to talk! See you soon!

shootfromthehip Thu 12-Feb-09 09:09:36

Sorry- just found this thread and thought I'd tell you about my experiences of AND- I was bloody miserable to find out I was pregnant the first time and felt lke I had an alen living in me the whole time. That said I was excited about being a 'Mummy' and her arrival was deeply traumatic but truly wonderful. I have a history of depression and knew that I was NOT depressed the first time round however when I got pregnant again (this time planned) I slumped into a terrrible depression that scared the life out of me (my personal circumstances were utterly terrible though so I was torn between feeling like it was understandable and knowing that it was spiralling out of control).

I went to the Doc at about 24 weeks and was referred to a Psychiatrist. I was very ill in my 2nd pregnancy and was desperate to get the baby 'out'. I did not think about killing myself or harming my baby but I was really at my wits end and wanted to run away. What terrified me the most was the idea that I would have PND and social services would have to get involved. My DH was not supportive of me after the birth of our first child and our extended family gave me no help or support and took more than I had to give. I was so worried about the birth (having had a ECS and horrible time with DD) and was scared of losing my marriage and my marbles. I did see a shrink which helped and then had a really easy delivery which was brilliant.

The minute my new baby was put in my arms, my depression lifted as I had hoped it would and I felt like I was on top of the world. 2 yrs later I have had very little support from those around me but have been able to keep positive. I was lucky- my issue was being pregnant and when that came to an end, my depression did too (even though I lost my Dad when DS was 9mths- I have found my way throught it all). You need to keep a careful check on yourself afterwards to make sure you don't slump into depression but you will have a wonderful new person to get to know and that is amazing.

I know that your situation is very different from mine but I wanted to let you know that there can be light at the end of the tunnel. PND is not necessarily a given after AND and you can get through it. Good luck and keep talking about it- here or in real life. x

shootfromthehip Thu 12-Feb-09 09:11:37

sorry for all the typos- 2 yr old DS is 'helping' me type wink

divedaisy Sat 14-Feb-09 17:41:51

shootfromthehip - glad you are feeling good now.

Euromum - how are you?? Are you coming over to the May thread??

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