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2nd Pregnancy Following PND - Advice?

(7 Posts)
magicstatue Thu 21-Aug-08 10:10:56


Does anyone have any words of wisdom and reassurance for me? Basically, following the birth of DS (now 3.2) I suffered with very severe PND, ending up spending a few months in the Mother and Baby Unit in our local psychiatric hospital. It's been a long, hard road to recovery and, unsurprisingly, has put mine and DH's marriage under a lot of strain. However, things have improved a lot and I'm no longer on medication and have also been told by the therapist that I've been seeing that they don't feel there's more for them to do now, which is good news.

So things are going along all right now BUT both DH and I feel that our family isn't complete yet and would like to try for another baby. The instinctive, biological part of me is fine with this but the rest of me feels often quite tearful with terror about the whole thing in case it happens again. I'm not sure that our marriage would survive another bout of PND and I don't know how I would be able to go through it again, this time with another child (and one who's old enough to know what's going on). I know that PND does not necessarily return and I don't want to not do this just because of fear, but I can't see a way past it now.

I expect that this has been talked about a lot in other threads so sorry if I'm just going over old ground again, but I'd be very grateful if anyone can offer suggestions, advice, experience, point me inthe direction of other threads etc. Thanks

Mummyfor3 Thu 21-Aug-08 10:22:59

Hi, Magicstatue,
as it sounds like you were quite ill after your 1st DS's birth, congratulations on a good recovery! I think you are only wise/sensible/prudent to consider what another pregnancy/baby may mean for your mental health.

The bad news is that, as you may know, having had 1 bout of PND you are statistically more likely to have similar problems again than somebody who never had PND/depression before, although it can of course happen to them as well.

The good news is that you are experienced whether you want to be or not smile. The advantage of that is that you are well aware of early signs when things go wrong and you have a chance to have support systems in place BEFORE you become unwell.

Sorry, have to run off to feed hysterical DS - will be back for more!

Bottom line, IMO, if you would like another child, your previous illness should not be reason to stop you.

Mummyfor3 Thu 21-Aug-08 10:56:24

Sorry about that, hungry gannet now happy!

So, as I was saying, there are some risks with a subsequent pregnancy after PND, but then isn't life a risk??

My advice would be: try not to worry about something that may never happen too much beforehand. At the same time, make preparations for the worst case szenario early.
It sounds like your area is well looked after in that you had access to a mother and baby unit; this is not the case everywhere in the country. Make contact with whatever Mental Health Professional you had contact with in the past as soon as you know you are pregnant. They may wish to follow you up throughout the pregancy and of course once the baby has arrived.

Enrol as much support for yourself as possible for the post-natal period: friends, family, cleaner/doula/mother's help if these are an option financially, HV if you found nice/useful/helpful. I am sure you can think of others.

Is your DC in nursery? You are right, she would be old enough to realise mummy is not well, but also old enough to have things explained to her: "Mummy is not feeling well, but she loves you, and she loves the baby. She will get better again".

I have no personal experience, only professional, so all of the above are just general remarks and may of course not apply to you (that's the disclaimer done smile). Just like every woman/mother is different, every pregancy/baby is different (sorry, horrible grammar) and there is no way of predicting with certainty how things would go for you the next time, so you would have to be willing to accept an element of risk.

Having said that, with the right preparation and asking for/ getting help EARLY if things were to go pear shaped, it can be possible to have a better outcome.

Hope this helps. Now it is up to you and your DH.... V best of luck!!

magicstatue Thu 21-Aug-08 11:59:08

Hi Mummyfor3, thanks so much for your messages and advice. I'll get in touch with health professionals ASAP and discuss with them so that I have support. You're right about the experience part of it - I think the lack of knowledge or experience was a big factor in my depression last time, so any subsequent times I would at least not have that to the same extent.

Thanks again, very grateful to you smile

ReallyTired Thu 21-Aug-08 15:11:21

I had moderate to severe postnatal depression. I wasn't actually hospitalised although I did see a CPN. I basically gave up eating as I was so depressed and I think its a miracle that I wasn't hospitalised.

I'm pregnant and I am due in April.

I was advised to aim to give birth to the baby in spring. I always find the long winter nights depressing. Also try and avoid any extreme life changes. For example when I first son was born I gave up work, moved area, got married and we had problems with the house.

jaspersslave Thu 21-Aug-08 21:47:34

hi, i had bad pnd after birth of ds1 and was terrified when i became pg with dc2 that it would come back especailly like u say u have an older child that will no what is going on but thankfully it didnt return although i did have some bad feelings but i think i had learnt to deal with them

i have just given birth to dc3 3 weeks ago and again i worry that it could return.

i feel that u cant let such a horrible illness that affects ur life so bad then go on to stop you having what u want (another gorgeous child)

im really glad that i took the risk of it coming back again.

i say go for it but get the support on side first

magicstatue Fri 22-Aug-08 11:47:15

Thanks everyone, it's great that you've all gone on to have more children and not let this horrible illness beat you! You're all so right about the need for good support all the way through - ante and post natal. Thanks again

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