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Is there anything I can do to avoid post-natal depression?

(10 Posts)
ButteryJam Tue 09-Apr-13 19:22:20

Hi,

Just to give you a bit of a background about myself: I haven't had depression prior to pregnancy. There is a family history of post-natal depression and bipolar. In early pregnancy, I did have pre-natal depression (self-diagnosed), but thankfully it went around 12-14 weeks and after that I was fine, and I put it down to hormones mainly in hindsight, and the consultant and midwife seemed to agree with that.

At 33 weeks, I feel like it is creeping up back on me, and I have recognised the signs quite early on, and I am working on it by relaxing more, trying to avoid thinking about it or getting myself stressed or worked up about things etc etc. I am thinking of speaking to the GP/consultant too and maybe asked to be referred to a counsellor (I was referred in early pregnancy but by the time the appointment came I was perfectly fine!) but I feel it is still quite mild, but I suppose I should? I'm just worried referral is going to take ages and maybe I should go to a private life therapist that I have worked with successfully in the past?

Anyhow, I am more worried about post-natal depression, as post-birth I may feel less in control and it may be more likely to happen then? How likely am I to have post-natal depression and what can I do from now to try and avoid getting myself in that situation?

Thanks! thanks

Saundy Tue 09-Apr-13 19:33:37

Hi it sounds like you're doing everything right by monitoring your situation & being honest with yourself.

I think it's really important that you speak to your GP & Midwife as even if depression isn't an issue the anxiety may be.

If you're concerned about the referral process your local NHS trust should have an IAPTS dept that you can self refer to & take control of the process.

It sounds as though you'll be fine. Good luck & congratulations smile

HavingALittleFaithBaby Tue 09-Apr-13 19:42:15

I've struggled with anxiety and depression in the past and am a tad worried now (I'm 38 weeks). I've been in close contact with my midwife and been offered regular monitoring (in fact from here on in I'll be seen twice a week) and my MW has offered to contact me regularly after I have the baby - daily if need be. I would speak to your MW about your concerns.

I did also read that taking an omega 3 supplement can help to prevent PND (sorry I can't recall where!). I find it definitely helps with my memory and skin and seems to help my mood. Might be worth taking some but technically they should be pregnancy safe tablets and you should check with your health practitioners before you take any supplements...

ButteryJam Tue 09-Apr-13 23:28:57

Saundy, thanks for the vote of confidence smile

Havingalittlefaith, thanks! I'll ask the midwife about the omega supplements, see what she says.

I'll definitely bring it up at both my consultant and midwife appointments.

SomethingOnce Wed 10-Apr-13 00:22:43

Get as much sleep as you possibly can in the first few weeks. That thing people say - 'sleep when the baby sleeps' - do that! smile

cupcake78 Wed 10-Apr-13 08:08:52

Fresh air each day! Sleep as much as you can. Vit b and omega 3. Try and get some social interaction, don't hide away!

Don't put too much pressure on yourself, let your standards go alittle and remember you need looking after as well as babywink

Get help fast if you start to feel bad. The sooner you get it the better.

ButteryJam Wed 10-Apr-13 08:35:05

Something, thanks!

Cupcake, since when should I start taking vitamin B and omega 3 tablets?

purrpurr Wed 10-Apr-13 08:41:49

Just wanted to say thanks for starting this thread, Buttery. I'm 36 weeks and a gibbering anxious wreck, but unfortunately I have such a bad history of anxiety and depression that I just feel I can't be open about how I feel or I'll lose everything. Natural ways to try to keep on top of it will really help so I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.

cupcake78 Wed 10-Apr-13 10:46:28

Speak to your midwife and check they are safe to use now. If so start straight away, if not you may need to wait.

Vit b can make your wee a very bright colour!

Both omega and b Vit provide your body with the things needed to make more of your happy brain chemicals and help restore energy levels. They aren't a miracle cure but it certainly can make a difference.

Ilovestackingcups Wed 10-Apr-13 13:41:01

Serotonin is the chemical which makes you feel more happy and balanced (I think) and is found aplenty in many foods, including porridge. If you're looking for a natural solution, I'd start with your diet, and as others have said, sleeping when baby sleeps, taking all the help available.
Don't be afraid to ask for help if you feel you need it. Depression is such a stigmatised thing, but remember you have nothing to be ashamed of.

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