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pregnancy and depression

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi Mamas, I read some old threads about this issue that helped, but I would love some up-to-date advice and support. 

This is pregnancy #2. I have a toddler. Dealt with depression last pregnancy, but was able to manage and didn't have a toddler in the mix. I was considering putting my children up for adoption today, just to give you a sense of how helpless, incapable, exhausted I feel at times. 


I have never done meds and honestly haven't done a lot of herbs for depression either. Whenever I ask an herbalist for what to take during pregnancy I get something like this: work on lifestyle, cause strong herbs are not recommended in pregnancy or nursing. 


But I am really drowning here. A lot is complicated by a husband with multiple mental health issues (bipolar, adhd, traumatic head injury to name a few), who is in thick denial and unwilling to address his issues. divorce is definitely on the table. In the meantime I am feeling depressed and overwhelmed. 


I have childcare 3 hours a day almost 5 days a week, yet I still feel incapable of providing the stability and nurturance my daughter needs. 


Please share suggestions and stories. 

post #2 of 4

I'm sorry I don't have any experience to share, but I hope I can help a little. Support is really important for decreasing depression during pregnancy and postpartum. It's good that you have part-time childcare.  Talking to folks here and getting virtual support could also be helpful.  Good for you for reaching out.

I would be careful taking herbs unless they are prescribed by someone knowledgeable.  Herbs have an effect on your body and they should be considered in the same way you would consider taking a drug.  All that being said, many women do take psychological medications during pregnancy.  There are medications that are considered safer than others and it may be better to take them after a certain point in your pregnancy.  Having a sane mom is important to your toddler and the baby.  Can you talk to a counselor or your OB or midwife?  That is a good place to start.  My sister took anti-anxiety drugs and when she found out she was pregnant, she immediately stopped them. She had a really rough pregnancy.  Maybe if she had worked with someone before she got pregnant, she could have had an easier time.  I give this example just to show that having a plan and a professional to help you with it could make your pregnancy better. 

I'm sorry you're feeling so depressed.  I hope you can find some relief soon.  In the meantime, try to take it easy on yourself.  I don't think you're incapable at all.  You are doing the best you can.  And you are not helpless, you are reaching out for help right now and I hope you find it.

post #3 of 4

I was on SSRIs for depression before my pregnancy, and went off them during. It was definitely rough, I'm still off the meds but breastfeeding and wearing my baby has helped my mood a lot.

From what you say, though, it seems like a lot of your depression is situational, not necessarily a manifestation of a chronic mood disorder. Not that you don't have depression, but if you're starting at a lower baseline and then adding life stress in, that can definitely feel as bad as the worst clinical depression.

Since you aren't going to get anyone to prescribe herbs, and you haven't gone the med route yet and I doubt pregnancy is the best time to start, I would think counseling would be the number one option for you, especially since you are having relationship issues. Have you done talk therapy in the past? There are also options like EMDR, or massage, acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy, all safe during pregnancy.

One thing I found helpful in finding a therapist is to use the Psychology Today find a therapist tool, where the therapists have written a little bit about themselves, what techniques they use, what they specialize in, what insurance they take.

In my experience, a psychologist who uses cognitive behavioral techniques was the most helpful in stopping negative thought patterns and making me feel more in control.

post #4 of 4
Hi CalmCenter,

So sorry you are struggling; depression is such a challenge, and the mere fact that you are reaching out to this thread is a fantastic sign.

Counseling is a great option if you don't want to treat your mood with meds (it is amazing what some good talk therapy will do).

Acupuncture is also great for helping with these issues.

If you do think you might want to consider meds, feel free to ping me. I'm not comfortable sharing my story publicly, but do know that there are options for you.

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