should i be ready for PPD? *ZOLOFT SAFE WHILE PREG? ADVICE??? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 05-19-2009, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had what i'd consider severe PPD with my daughter. I don't feel that I was an actual danger to her - but i was very angry, depressed, full of hate, had terrible thoughts of what i *could* do to her, I gave up all my friends, quit going out in public, gained a ton of weight, etc. I didn't realize i had PPD until it was too late - and i was never treated for it.

I'm 31 weeks pregnant and know that just because I had it the first time, doesn't mean i'll have it again...but does it put me at higher risk? In general, I have a history of depression (as does my dad), I'm a cutter - well, it's been a while, but less than a year...etc.

Should i get ready for PPD? I've talked to my dh about it - so he's ready (dd isn't his kiddo - and this is his first) but doesn't understand how i could be sad for no reason, kwim?

I don't currently have a doctor other than my obgyn. I'm on state health plan that'll run out 30 days post partum, although i think i can get on Dh's insurance since we just got married. I don't know what it covers though.

I guess i'm just wondering if i should already be talking to a doctor,letting them know my history and ugh, i don't know? Help!? Thanks...
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#2 of 28 Old 05-20-2009, 01:30 AM
 
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Your chances of having PPD again ARE higher so I would plan on it. I had PPD for my 2nd baby and then had some prenatal depression during my 3rd (have you had any of that?) and had mild PPD after the 3rd baby's birth. I think it was milder because of some changes in my circumstances; some people get worse because of the stress of caring for another child.

I would take some preventative measures if I were you. For example, taking B vitamins or other supplements, working really hard to get enough rest and natural outdoor light, having some people in place to help care for your 2 kids, etc.

Your OB can prescribe meds for you if you need them so I don't think I would worry about finding another doctor. (I'm interested to hear if others disagree.) Maybe ask around about a good therapist in case you need one? And definitely look into your insurance options so that you're not scrambling to sign up while in the midst of PPD.
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#3 of 28 Old 05-20-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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There's a book called:
What Am I Thinking? Having a Baby after Postpartum Depression by Karen R. Kleiman

I would DEFINITELY read that book NOW. Part of what it recommends is to set up a care plan for after the baby is born. Part of that care plan involves your partner helping you seek medical treatment if you need it and can't recognize that you're slipping into PPD.

You also need to bring this up with your midwife/doctor, and honestly, I'd line up a psychiatrist NOW. Just someone you can check in with. It really helps.

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#4 of 28 Old 05-25-2009, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know if i should just start a new thread...will anyone read this?

Anyway, thank you both for the advice.

I *am* depressed now...i have been off and on my entire pregnancy (and pre-pregnancy) and now it's just getting worse. I feel stressed and hopeless and guilty for feeling those ways. I have a doctors appointment on Wednesday - just a preg. check up. I tried calling my doc today but of course due to the holiday no one is answering.

I just feel crazy. And scared. Of everything.

I think i may have anxiety too...my dh is leaving again on business tomorrow morning, but i think i'm going to only stay alone for one day (until my doc. appt.) then drive an hour to stay with my parents for the rest of the week - i just don't think i can be alone right now. I feel like i'm not functioning - and i have my 5yo dd with me...i don't have the option of not functioning.
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#5 of 28 Old 05-25-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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I read this! Your title caught my eye because I've suffered periods of depression throughout my adult life, and I'm worried about getting PPD this time around.

Staying with your parents while your DH is out of town sounds like a great idea. Can you talk with your mom and/or dad about how you're feeling? I hope you have a good week!

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#6 of 28 Old 05-27-2009, 03:39 AM
 
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Oh, man, sounds like you need to do something about your problems NOW, not wait until postpartum! Yeah, hope you get some relief while staying with your parents! I would definitely start therapy as soon as you can. And maybe meds. I have heard of many women taking antidepressants during pregnancy with no complications. Maybe your parents can help make some phone calls for you? I bet your state insurance covers mental health--look into it for sure. Don't wait!

Anyway, you're not alone. My strongest depression symptom was the brain fried-can't solve problems-can hardly even move sometimes-kind of not being able to function. Sounds like that's what you're experiencing. Not fun and doesn't lead to good parenting, either. So do something, right away!
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#7 of 28 Old 05-27-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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I am feeling similarly as I'm pg with my 3rd and feeling incredibly anxious and fearing what will happen when the baby arrives.

I don't have any helpful words but I think being prepared and aware of what is happening and may happen is a really good starting point.

~ Mum to ds1 , dd : and ds2
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#8 of 28 Old 05-27-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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s: I wish I had some advice-- My husband and I are both terrified of PPD, and I feel like I'm already 'slipping' while pregnant.

I have an appointment with a therapist. Is there a way you can see a therapist-- maybe through your insurance or work?

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#9 of 28 Old 05-27-2009, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I bought that book (what i am thinking...) the other day and hopefully it'll be here soon. Just the first few pages (available through the "look inside" link on amazon) choked me up

I saw my doctor today and she told me to take vitamin D3, iron and flax (well, fish - but i'm a veggie, so she said flax is okay). She also gave me a card to contact this therapist that specializes in this type of thing, as well as info for a perinatal/post partum depression group in my area that meets a couple times a week.

I asked her about actual anti-depressants, because honestly, I'm freaking broke and can't go buy supplements for a couple of weeks. I'm on Oregon's state insurance so anti-depressants (as well as therapy) are free until one month after the baby is born - but after that i'm on my own

Hopefully i can get on DH's insurance...although i'm not sure how good his insurance is.

The doc prescribed me Zoloft and told me to start out with 25mg a day for the first week, then go up to 50mg day after that. I just picked up my prescription and i have to say, i'm totally freaked out to take them. I read the side effects and it said it can harm the fetus ESPECIALLY in the last 3 months of pregnancy. it also causes irritability, loss of sex drive....i know i shouldn't be worried about loss of sex drive, but dh and i have a great sex life and i really don't want that to change. I don't want to harm my baby. My doc said zoloft was the only thing she really feels okay about prescribing during pregnancy and the pharmacist said it was really "mild".

I don't know what i should do. I feel like i should take them, but i feel at the same time like i shouldn't. I'm really confused. I just want to feel more normal - i don't want to change my personality (you know, other than the depressed stuff). I still want to be ME.

I need advice. Should i start a new thread for this? Should i put this in the pregnancy DDC thingamajig instead?

I really appreciate all the responses so far. Thank you mamas so much
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#10 of 28 Old 05-27-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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I saw my doctor today and she told me to take vitamin D3, iron and flax (well, fish - but i'm a veggie, so she said flax is okay).
Here are some veggie DHA supplements. We get the O-Mega-Zen3 Vegan DHA Supplement by NuTru. They're really great about their shipping.

Wife to geek.gif (08/03), Mom to energy.gif (10/05) and babyboy.gif (11/09).

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#11 of 28 Old 05-28-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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Oh, i wish I had seen this before. Yes, the zoloft is fine to take and very very safe. YOu should start on it now to have it going in your system by the time baby is born. It's very smart to have this protection and you are very smart to be thinking ahead.

You are at greater risk, but you are smart in getting prepared ahead of time. Definitely if you can, start therapy now so you have that support once baby is born. I would also plan on going to the group, if you can.

I think you are doing all the right things.

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#12 of 28 Old 05-28-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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i wanted to reassure you too that the medication is not meant to change you at all. it just boosts seratonin levels which, for whatever reason, are not optimal right now. it can be really scary reading about side effects, but everyone is different and soooooooooo many women really benefit from these medicines.

its so great that you're being proactive about your mental health BEFORE baby arrives. you are really doing yourself a huge favor.

Best to you, mama!

p.s. i volunteer for the PPD support group here in portland, and its really great. let me know if you need any help finding providers etc.
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#13 of 28 Old 05-28-2009, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for the support. I need it. I totally freaked out on my poor DH this morning/afternoon - and he's 2 hours away on business. It was his lunch. I feel HORRIBLE. He is *too* patient with me.

Anyway, i broke down around lunch and took the 1/2 zoloft (25mg) like the doctor told me too...i did take all the supplements i had handy this morning as well, but i was just feeling SO insane today and felt like i needed to do something NOW, kwim? I called the therapist as well, but no answer, so i left a message, i'll try again tomorrow. I'm going to try to make an appointment for Monday (DH will be back home, and it's his day off).

How long should it be before i start feeling...normal? (I mean, due to zoloft)

I already feel SLIGHTLY less spastic, i was able to get up and go to goodwill, then rent movies with my mom and daughter, i smiled and joked around a bit.. I'm going to go to the movies with my dad tonight (okay, seems like all i do is movies, lol, i swear it's not!).

My DH was upset that i was at my parents, but downstairs, alone in the basement...pretty much just zoning out and crying. So he asked me to PLEASE go upstairs and try to hang out with my fam. So that's what i'm doing. (well, now i'm on the computer - but they are all like 10 feet behind me...).

Anyway, again...thank you all so much for the info, hugs and advice. It means so much to me. I seriously have like NO friends except my mom and dh...it makes things rough...it's nice having a place to talk
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#14 of 28 Old 05-29-2009, 01:52 AM
 
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you are NOT crazy, and you are NOT alone. so many of us have been there, and I promise you are gonna get through this and feel better soon. you are reaching out and asking for help, and that is such a huge thing.

have you called the support group yet? If they're anything like Baby Blues Connection in portland, there is a 24 hour hotline you can call, and someone will call you back as soon as possible. this was such a huge comfort for me when I needed to talk to someone who had been through PPD/anxiety. you can always call the portland group if you are not finding the help you need locally.

as for the zoloft, it does take a few weeks to really work. My psychiatrist had me ramp up fairly quickly in the beginning, so make sure you keep in contact with your prescriber who may want you to do the same. Once it started to work, it was such an incredible relief.

Hang in there mama!!!! we're all here for you!
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#15 of 28 Old 05-29-2009, 10:09 AM
 
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I would start taking the zoloft in the morning, with breakfast. If you wait till noon, it's easy to forget it.

It usually takes about 2 weeks to kick in, but some people (me included) feel better in days. So just keep taking it. What is the dosage you are supposed to take? You usually start at 25 mg, then ramp up slowly from there. So if you are supposed to take 50, then start at 25 for a week or two, and then go up to 50.

Also, there are some things that can start happening side effect wise. Don't worry if you get an upset stomach for a couple of days, and diarrhea. It goes away. You might not be able to sleep for a night or two, and you might feel slightly "amped" up for a day or two. But nothing scary or bad feeling. It's just good to be ready for those IF they happen and to know that they are from the meds and very temporary.

The reason you are isolating in the basement is your depression. That is NOT your fault and it will go away. Don't beat yourself up for it, but also do try, as your dh advised, to be with people. Try to go for a walk, make sure you can sleep and that you are well hydrated, and try to smile. Even the act of smiling boosts serotonin.

I know where you are, and I also know that the light is going to click on soon. Stick with the meds, and know that you are doing the right thing for you, your dh, your kids, and that new wonderful baby.

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#16 of 28 Old 05-29-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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I know where you are, and I also know that the light is going to click on soon. Stick with the meds, and know that you are doing the right thing for you, your dh, your kids, and that new wonderful baby.
:

:

I just read over this thread and just wanted to say you should be proud of yourself in how you're handling this--recognizing the problem, getting yourself the medication, ordering a book, talking candidly with DH and family. It's not easy to take these steps.
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#17 of 28 Old 05-29-2009, 10:37 AM
 
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:

:

I just read over this thread and just wanted to say you should be proud of yourself in how you're handling this--recognizing the problem, getting yourself the medication, ordering a book, talking candidly with DH and family. It's not easy to take these steps.
Totally. I was thinking this, too.. how smart you are being and proactive, OP.

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#18 of 28 Old 05-29-2009, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both so much for your kind words!!!

I already felt a little better yesterday after taking the zoloft - probably placebo effect considering it was like an hour (or less) after taking the pill, but hey, i'll take placebo over depression any day!

I took it again this morning. I'm taking 25mg to start for the first week - then 50mg. If 25mg's makes me feel better - do i NEED 50mg?

I'm really just thankful for this board...it's nice being able to "talk" to people
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#19 of 28 Old 05-29-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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only you and your doctor can decide if you will benefit from a higher dose or not. personally, i needed a higher dose to feel better. but i have definitely spoken to women who feel much much better at just 25 milligrams and stay there. so its very individual.

even if its a placebo effect for now, i'm so glad you are feeling some relief!
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#20 of 28 Old 05-29-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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Desiree-
I just started taking zoloft due to anticipated PPD (25 mg, will increase to 50 when the headache goes away!) and from what I've read and heard, this is such a low dose (pg women sometimes go on up to 200mg) it is not a real threat to the baby.
However the SSRI's "can" cause respiratory issues for the newborn so I think you should try to stay on as low a dose you can... if 25 works for you that's great.

mom to ds (6) + ds (3) and 11/22/09
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#21 of 28 Old 05-30-2009, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Desiree-
I just started taking zoloft due to anticipated PPD (25 mg, will increase to 50 when the headache goes away!) and from what I've read and heard, this is such a low dose (pg women sometimes go on up to 200mg) it is not a real threat to the baby.
However the SSRI's "can" cause respiratory issues for the newborn so I think you should try to stay on as low a dose you can... if 25 works for you that's great.
Thanks for the tip - i originally was going to try to wait until the baby was born to take them, but mentally i was just NOT well and didn't feel i could wait. I'm actually laughing again and not feeling paranoid, etc. It's GREAT.

I think i'll wait this week out and see if i'm still feeling pretty well...then i'll call the doc and ask her what she thinks about sticking at the lower dosage.

The headaches are zoloft related? I've had one all day - mild, but still *annoying*. I wasn't sure if it was the hormones or zoloft. Oh well, it's worth it for me!
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#22 of 28 Old 05-30-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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I'm glad the meds are helping you so far. They were literally lifesavers for me.

One statement in your original post bothers me though.

Quote:
so he's ready (dd isn't his kiddo - and this is his first) but doesn't understand how i could be sad for no reason, kwim?
It's not "no reason." Ever. It's a hormonal and brain chemical imbalance. The reason may not be patently obvious to an observer, or even the person suffering with it, but it is a legitimate reason. Just like insulin deficiency is a reason for diabetes.

Please don't think I'm picking on you. It's just such a common thing I hear about depression and it irks me, so every chance I get I try to mention that in the hopes that that statement, or something like it, will be the answer that springs to mind when family members or friends are unsupportive b/c they don't understand what's going on. I feel like there is this pervasive societal pressure that since we have a happy healthy baby we shouldn't feel depressed that keeps a lot of women from getting the help they may need.

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#23 of 28 Old 05-30-2009, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad the meds are helping you so far. They were literally lifesavers for me.

One statement in your original post bothers me though.



It's not "no reason." Ever. It's a hormonal and brain chemical imbalance. The reason may not be patently obvious to an observer, or even the person suffering with it, but it is a legitimate reason. Just like insulin deficiency is a reason for diabetes.

Please don't think I'm picking on you. It's just such a common thing I hear about depression and it irks me, so every chance I get I try to mention that in the hopes that that statement, or something like it, will be the answer that springs to mind when family members or friends are unsupportive b/c they don't understand what's going on. I feel like there is this pervasive societal pressure that since we have a happy healthy baby we shouldn't feel depressed that keeps a lot of women from getting the help they may need.
Oh, i totally understand the hormonal/chemical imbalance part of depression - as does my DH and family. I'm just saying - for an outsider, or someone who has not experienced depression (beyond occasionally feeling "blue") - it might seem like there is no reason behind my depression. And really, there IS no reason other than the imbalance...if not for the imbalance, my life is pretty much perfect.

I'm just thankful the meds are starting to make me feel better. I can't wait to be totally balanced and able to fully enjoy my life!
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#24 of 28 Old 06-02-2009, 06:58 AM
 
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I'm so glad the meds are working for you. The headaches will end. Please don't pressure yourself about the dosage--25mg is a very low dose for zoloft. Take enough to get the full benefit.
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#25 of 28 Old 06-03-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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Please stay in touch with your doctor about dosage. Even 50 mg is a low dose, relatively speaking. (The maximum dose is 200+ mg.) As long as your OB/Midwife knows that you're taking Zoloft, they'll be OK with it and can watch your newborn. For the health of yourself and your current children (and your unborn child) it's better to be treated. Really. Those stress/depression chemicals can affect your unborn baby's brain. (That's why I'm prone to anxiety/depression -- my mom was severely depressed while pg with me.)

I was on a high dose of Paxil (3x the starter dose) when I was pg with dd. She had no respiratory distress or issues after her birth. She was a little 'jittery' the first day or so, but that passed. She's now 5, sharp as a tack, highly emotionally sensitive and intuitive, imaginative, physically coordinated, and when I don't want to throttle her (she's pretty intense at times), a delightful child.

note too that you might need an increase in dose after the baby is born. Sometimes the hormonal swings of delivery REALLY make your moods swing too. I had to go up a dosage. I'm back down to a starter dose now, and am looking at finally weaning off. But I'm in no hurry. Really.

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#26 of 28 Old 06-06-2009, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's so great to know that I'm not alone! Hearing other mom's stories is definitely reassuring me that I'm not making a huge mistake.

I upped my dosage a couple of days ago...I've been having a little nausea and some headaches though...I'm guessing they're just side affects and will wear off shortly (hopefully).

I'm prepared to up my dosage again after the baby is born...assuming I still have insurance. I need DH to try to get me on his insurance ASAP, because my state coverage will end 30 days postpartum
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#27 of 28 Old 06-09-2009, 12:36 AM
 
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I just wanted to say that your thread really helpped me to get my own help while pregnant as did the mama's on this forum I am also happy to hear that you are doing better

Glenn bouncy.gif 11*09 Joe 4*04 peace.gif Me praying.gif & Hubby geek.gif

 

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#28 of 28 Old 07-06-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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Yes, thanks for the therad.

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