Just wondering how many PPD mamas dealt with depression before baby was born, either before pregnancy or during,,, Does depression during pregnancy mean PPD after? I have had 3 children prior to my new one coming up this month and never had PPD. I have dealt with regular depression for a long time (more of a low grade depression, not anxiety). I am starting to get a bit concerned about after baby comes, I am feeling very low and at times probably as low as I ever felt. Things in my life have never been this "depressing" but I also feel extremely hormonal and weepy, unlike previous pregnancies. The moods seem to come on quickly and without control, which is unusual and hard to deal with.
Did you have depression before birth?
When I went in for a pre-pregnancy consultation, I asked about PPD, because I had heard that your risk was increased for that if you have depression prior to getting pregnant. The OB/GYN who spoke with me told me that for most moms who have depression prior to actually becoming pregnant, they usually can take anti-depressants safely during pregnancy and this will cut down their PPD risk dramatically. She told me that Lexapro is one of the best ones to be on while you are pregnant, because it has fewer side effects than Paxil and Zoloft. They might be able to put you on a low dose and see if this helps.
Another thing that the OB/GYN told me that helps with PPD is breastfeeding, because it helps your hormone levels and stuff. My caregiver, Gerri, told me that when she was nursing, she didn't have any PPD, but after she stoped, she started to become depressed. So, she started taking Bach Rescue Remedy and doing yoga, and that helped her.
I was on meds for some conditions prior to conception. I did have a whopping case of PPD and was lucky that DH was out of work for a couple months and was able to help out. My main strategies were breastfeeding, making myself get out of the house most days, and making some new buddies. I tried to walk a few days a week, both for the exercise and the vitamin D (plus my baby loved it). Keep a close eye on yourself and don't hesitate to reach out if you think you are in trouble. My main symptom of PPD was feeling so incredibly overwhelmed and anxious, but I was very anxious prior to having this child, too. Good luck with your journey and congratulations for starting this thread and being aware of how your are doing. And good luck and blessings for your LO to come!
Thanks so much for the encouragement! I was taking celexa before I got pregnant with my 3 year old, and I stopped early in that pregnancy and had no PPD or side effects. I breastfed my LO until I got pregnant with this one, and I think the BF helped keep my depression away. However, now that I am dealing with pregnancy, hormones, and a 3 year old who is very demanding, I am having a hard time keeping it together. I know it is going to be really really hard when this baby comes (in 3 weeks!) because my 3 year old cannot even go into another room without me, he basically controls my every second of the day, has to be held all the time, or in his more rambunctious moods, is literally attacking me to get even more attention. DH is only marginally helpful when he is home which is only a few hours in the evening and has to have his break because he was the one who worked all day. I cannot fathom life after we come home from the hospital. I guess I will take it one step at a time and not worry about it, but I think the worrying is making me depressed already (if that makes sense).
Is there any way you could set up a schedule now for folks to come in and help you after LO arrives? Not just help around the house (which will be huge too), but also with your 3yo and to check in on you and your mental health. I had bad PPD w/ my first and with the next two I asked good friends to take turns calling me each day post partum. Fortunately, I never had it like that again. I recommend this for everyone!
Also, per your question: I did have times of depression in my life prior to parenthood, but a funny track record pregnancy-wise.
1st: happy during pregnancy, bad PPD
2nd: depressed during pregnancy, no PPD
3rd: depressed during late pregnancy, continuing depression (however, I think this was related to other issues...whole other story)
No idea what is typical.
Just please take care of you and think of things you can set up now that depression may keep you from asking for later.
Oh, and maybe a serious chat with DH re making a plan such as his taking babies immediately on arrival home. Him needing a work break doesn't compare to you needing a baby break. If he wants a good mommy for his kids, it's worth it. And some dads start to see that kidtime as a break...