Mental health in pregnancy(9 Posts)
I have Post traumatic stress disorder and came off medication because I am pregnant and I had a rough time first 6 weeks still up and down
I basically wanted to know what your experience with mental health is and pregnancy and beyond
Hello, and congratulations on your pregnancy!
I have PTSD too although I was not taking medication or any other kind of treatment for it when I fell pregnant. It is pretty mild and relates to historic events- however, my midwife and consultant had concerns that pregnancy and birth may be triggering to my particular type of ptsd, so I was referred to the maternity unit clinical psychology team where I have had some really excellent help and support. They will continue to see me after birth. I got the appointment straight away, and I have found it really excellent. I have a range of birth options available to me, and they are working with me really collaboratively to help me ensure that this isn’t as scary a time as it could be- I had been worried they’d be bossy in a ‘doctor knows best’ kind of way, but that hasn’t happened at all. I’d really recommend that you look into getting this additional resource if it’s available to you.
My experience is that it is good to tell your midwives\hospital about it at the earliest opportunity then if at some point in your pregnancy you want eg extra scans, extra reassurance etc, more support from a midwife \health visitor, CTG monitoring etc or anything extra because your mental health is suffering with the standard care or a brief answer to your question, then you can use it to explain why you need the extra help. Unfortunately I think it varies massively BTW health professionals, how sympathetic they are towards mental health problems and how much they take it seriously but I think most understand that even without a mental health problem pregnancy can be very worrying and all women need reassurance and support. After my first pregnancy the anxiety I had through pregnancy developed into OCD and having a baby meant I could get CBT therapy quickly which really helped and made a huge difference to my life. For me the challenge has been to overcome my worries of being a nuisance and prioritise doing things to help with anxiety\OCD because I know if I don't I could go downhill, and to be less ashamed of having a mental health problem in general - now I'm much more aware that loads of people do and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Congratulations!
I agree with April in that you need to tell your midwife as early as possible. In my experience, my midwife has been amazing so far.. You would think it was private paid for care! She'll see me at the drop of a hat and never seems like she doesn't have time to listen (to the same things over and over!) And she arranged 2extra scans in the early weeks on top of my dating scan.
I also see the professionals that were involved prior to my pregnancy which means I see at least one person a week which is so good for my anxiety. I see my midwife every two weeks.
Day to day it is hard, I feel guilty for not enjoying what should be a wonderful time but in my more rational moments I can see the end and a time when I can go back to my medication.
I think midwives have had a bit of a shake up with regards to mental health in the 10 years since I last had a baby. They seem to have a more sympathetic approach and alot more time to deal with women struggling.
I wish you an enjoyable pregnancy and a healthy baby. I hope you get any support you need. Congratulations!
I'm currently 5 months pregnant with my second, three years ago when I found out I was pregnant with my little girl I made the decision to come off Prozac at 8 weeks, I saw a scaremongering programme and went cold turkey overnight… probably wasn't the best idea, I was recovering from a bout of pretty awful depression (always been prone to severe anxiety and depression). I was in a state for a while, coming off meds combined with crazy pregnancy hormones in those early months were a bit of a messy mix. I had all sorts from the shakes to joy and terror all in one, lots of sleepless anxious nights… but then something strange happened at around 3-4 months, things just evened out. It was like my body was saying 'right your a mummy now lets sort this out', although you'll still be emotional your hormones will even out insanely in second trimester and I sailed through the rest of that pregnancy focusing only on the little girl I was carrying. Put every ounce of energy you have into her and staying well for her (or him) and it will give you a lot of strength, you just need to get past the next couple of months. You've done really well coming off the meds, it's damn hard to do and it's totally natural to struggle for a little while, this is such a hard time but things will get better.
Thank you for your help and sharing with me 💐😊
Thinking about changing my midwife 19weeks +1 and my midwife is not someone who I want to talk to as she is very rude and I feel comfortable around her I have seen her twice and she singed a lot of things off in my pregnancy notes that she never discussed with me which made me miffed as she pooped on anything I asked the first time I having consultant led care to but I hope to be brave enough to ask to see mental health midwife as my PTSD relates to rape so the very thought of being half nude or examination s anywhere other than at home with my DH puts my panic mode in gear
Very sorry to hear about that Kim, also shame you have got one of those midwives - I had one like that with my son. Hope you manage to change but if not in my experience the labour ward and maternity assessment midwives are a whole world apart and usually super human. I think usually it is v rare that you would have to be semi naked before the end of pregnancy so you have plenty of time to get the right help and put things in place to help you. Perhaps you could ask them about the possibility of having only women health professionals at the birth? I know some people like water births because they feel more protected underwater, I guess there are things to consider with all the ways you can give birth to see what is possible to help you feel more comfortable with each option. If you feel like you might not be brave enough to tell your consultant you could try doing it by phone \letter? Or you could ring the hospital and ask to speak to the mental health midwife. Maybe a tour of the labour ward and postnatal ward would help you to work out what help you need. Just ideas, congratulations again
Congratulations on your pregnancy. I'm so sorry to read about what happened to you. I was similar to you with regards to examinations and being undressed and didn't want male staff to be around. When it came to labour I didn't think about it at all, but that was my experience. On reflection I should have asked to be referred to speak with a consultant because I was less than 12 months since my last depressive episode. I saw them for this pregnancy and it did reassure me more. If your Midwife isn't facilitating it then perhaps speak directly to maternity unit. I agree with April's suggestion to write a letter if you can so that you might feel more comfortable. Perhaps a friend, family member or do could come with you when you talk about it, if that feels more comfortable.
Also, there are medications that you can take in pregnancy that may help with how you are feeling.
Pregnancy is really difficult even without mental health difficulties so do take care of yourself.
Ask for a referral to your nearest perinatal team, they can offer lots of support X
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