Pregnancy Depression/Anxiety - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had similar symptoms when I was pregnant with dd2 and now I've started having them again. Unfortunately, I didn't even know there was such a thing as pre-partum depression (kind of like post-partum depression but DURING pregnancy instead of after) until after I had her. I thought I was just having natural problems with coping with an ornery 2yo and sore nipples and all that...

Anyway, I'm looking for anything that anyone knows that might help. I assume that most things that are okay for the baby are okay for my nursing toddler, but I have all three of us to take into consideration. I may call my doctor tomorrow but next week for sure to see what she says, but I'd like to kind of have some ideas from you gals too.

Thanks,
Amy
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#2 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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I don't have much experience with this, other than the infomercial course I took years before I got pregnant (Attacking Anxiety and Depression...it did the trick!). If you don't get many responses, you might try posting on the I'm Pregnant board for a wider range of posters. Hugs!
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#3 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 02:54 AM
 
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I had PND (prenatal depression) with DS, and was put on Zoloft. It wasn't too bad, although it kept me from feeling the highs as well as the lows. I had to go off it cold turkey when my Medicaid stopped 1 month postpartum, but thank goodness there were no ill effects.

If nothing else works, an antidepressant might help, but I'd seriously try lots of other alternatives before going that route. Do things that are good for your mind as well as your body. Do prenatal yoga, get lots of outside time, go play in the park with your LO. Pick up a hobby that you always wanted to try or that you've put by the wayside since having your first baby. Eat well and get plenty of rest. Sounds like no-brainer stuff, but it seriously helps.

I am very prone to depression and I've felt a few low points so far this pregnancy. But because I know more ways to fight it off now than just popping a pill (plus I am taking better care of myself and am in a better spot in my life than I was with my last pregnancy), I feel a lot better and am not succumbing to it as easily or as often. I immerse myself in my WAHM biz and try to stay busy and focused. I try to get lots of sunshine. I eat a LOT better than I did when I was pregnant with DS. When I feel really crappy, I watch funny videos on Youtube or just email a trusted friend and pour my heart out. And I eat chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

Chin up, hon, I've BTDT and it sucks. Thankfully, there is so much you can do about it, there is absolutely no reason to suffer. Talk to your CP and see what you can do to feel better.
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#4 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 04:35 AM
 
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I didn't know there was such a thing either, until I just read your post. Now I am googling it… wow!

I have been feeling good lately, but a few weeks ago… definitely the lowest I have felt in my life. I knew it wasn't just the morning sickness. Now I am going to try to read up more on this.
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#5 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 05:21 AM
 
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From the moment I found out I was pregnant I got deeply depressed, but part of that was situational. I didn't feel like I was prepared, I felt like a screw up for not planning this one like I meant to, and I'm still trying to make sense of my last birth. Also, I feel such an attachment to DD that I felt like I would lose my special one on one relationship with her too soon. At one point I cried and cried and told my unborn baby it was unwanted and just needed to leave. A few days of processing later I apologized and told him/her that we are happy to add a member to our family and we can't wait to meet him/her.

Over the weeks I've been trying to focus on the positive things, but a large part of the depression feels hormonal. I've dealt with depression in the past, situational and hormonal, plus I'm genetically pre-disposed to it, so I'm pretty good at not only recognizing the signs, but also recognizing the origins.

Right now I have this subtle underlying depression that can be easily triggered by dwelling on negative thoughts. However, I work in a drop-in daycare, taking DD with me, and we see a lot of babies. Seeing her interact with the babies in positive ways warms my heart and makes me feel like everything will be alright. Holding the tiny ones makes my heart leap! Spending quality time with DD and continuing to breastfeed her even if it hurts makes me feel like I'm doing the best I can with the time we have left of being just us. I look forward to this summer, spending time outdoors with her and watching her 2 year old personality blossom.

Creating a registry, reading empowering birth stories, joining this DDC, and making peace with my last birth have all been helpful experiences that get me in a more positive mode about this pregnancy. Also, being open with DP about my depression helped. We talked about my fears and also about the fact that it will just take time for me to feel better, and there is no quick fix. As my belly grows, my heart opens. It's one day at a time, but I'm in a much better place now than I was even two weeks ago.

With my last pregnancy I was afraid I'd have PPD because of my past depression experiences, but I found it to be quite the opposite! I was elated, the happiest I've ever been. I attribute this to the fact that I did have a homebirth and got that immediate love-hormone bonding experience, I ate a chunk of placenta just after birthing it, and then I exclusively breastfed the first 6 months. Doing all the things that release hormones in appropriate ways helped me immensely. That's part of the reason I'm still breastfeeding even though it's painful.

Sorry to write a novel! But when I was trying to research pre-partum depression online, I found very little information other than recommendations for medications. Depression for me has always been a call to examine my life and thought processes and figure out what needs to change. It can be anything from getting enough nutrition and sleep to finding the right positive affirmations.

I'm a proud mama of two girls! 4/30/06 Madeline, 09/25/08 Amelia
--**I'm here to share my mistakes and learn from yours**--
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#6 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really hoping that the time of year will help with this pregnancy. Both my other babies are winter babies (dec and feb respectively) and this one is of course september. I'm hoping that when I get these "episodes"? "attacks"? whatever you want to call them, that I'll be able to at least get out of the house and walk to the park. That should help the kids to get out of my hair and get me some (moderately) fresh air. I know that i am affected by the weather and this winter has been extra cold for us and I'm not handling it well. Add that to financial issues, dissatisfaction with being a sahm, little time with my dh (if you know what I mean) and the various illnesses that my kids have had this winter and I'm zapped sometimes.

I really don't want to do medication because I try to avoid it, but I know that if I don't find some things that work, that may be better than the sobbing/yelling explosions that I have when I can't cope. :-(
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#7 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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I don't have any experience with the depression, but I am suffering from panic attack producing anxiety this pregnancy. I had a great appointment yesterday and my next one is in ten days, and I've told myself that if I still feel this anxious before the next appointment, I'll seek help. From another friend who has BTDT, that I'm going to search out a cognitive behavioral therapist who can hopefully help me come up with logical "mind games" to play instead of just prescribing meds. Perhaps non-medicative therapy would help?

much love to you mama

kati , wife to josh , mama to j&d (7.31.07) marion (9.18.08), feeder of nanuq and gracie lou
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#8 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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Acupuncture and/or naturopathy.

I didn't know there WAS such a thing as pre-partum depression, but I am not surprised. I get it BAD. Really BAD. As in, crying, hysteria, anger-- extreme emotionalism that is not my normal behavior. It's really awful.

And as with my first pregnancy, it hit during first tri so I was already feeling like s**t: nauseated and exhausted. Plus during winter when it's cold and dark. Ugh. The combination is really devastating to my mental health.

First of all, IT WILL GET BETTER.

Secondly, GET HELP NOW.

Do not wait to ask for help. I made the mistake w/ 1st pg. of ignoring it-- just thinking that it was "normal hormonal" stuff and I just had to suck it up and deal with it. Well, I was miserable for at least twenty, maybe twenty-four weeks.

This time, I told my m/w about it, and she said, "You do NOT have to suffer for over half of your pregnancy!" You can see someone about this! Well, I happen to have an amazing acupuncturist who has helped treat me for emotional (and physical!) problems before, so I have made it a point of seeing him on a regular basis (once/week) this last month, and it has made a HUGE difference.

He's given me treatments to stabilize my energy. He's also talked to me about diet-- foods that overtax the gall bladder and kidney and how this can effect emotional states.

Besides that, sometimes when I see him, it's like the only time that I feel someone is totally taking care of ME. During the rest of the week, I'm taking care of everyone else: dd, dh, my job, my house, laundry, cooking...it's overwhelming. But when I go to acupuncture, it's MY time, and I'm the one getting nurtured.

I'm also getting more uncomfortable lying on my tummy, so I'll probably have only one, maybe two more treatments (back-lying only) before I switch to seeing our local naturopath, who is equally amazing with all herbal remedies.

If you don't already have a practitioner in mind, I would recommend going to your local health food store, or other trusted friends, and asking who they go see. It's totally worth it. You need and deserve to take care of yourself during this very taxing time...

Hugs and to you.
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#9 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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Like many of the PPs, I strongly recommend some kind of therapy--there are lots of types out there, and something is going to help. I would take this step before trying medication.

Pre-pregnancy, I suffered some depression, and I really meant to get some therapy "as soon as we had the money". Yeah, well, that day didn't really come! But I'm determined that I still need it--for the sake of my happiness, my marriage, our baby, etc.

My midwife gave me a list of resources, including emotional/psychological types of resources. Your provider probably has some recommendations, too.

I've actually read that pregnancy is a time when women are more able to make changes and grow through psychotherapy of various kinds--because we're more receptive to change.

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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#10 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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I am posting to let you know you are not alone. I suffer from prenatal depression. It helps me when the sun shines, I am much better, but these cold dreary rainy days just zap all of my energy and make me feel horrible.

I too am hoping that once the weather is better and I can get outside more, I will feel better.
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#11 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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I think i've been experiencing some of that. Depression runs in my family... both sides. So does Anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. And it's never been diagnosed... but i'm pretty sure ADD/ADHD runs in the family too since my cousin has it... and my sister I think might have it... and I think I have it as well. So yeah, fun mental health history in my family.

The depression was worse about 2-3 weeks ago. I think that's when it started to get bad. I started sitting around home and doing nothing. I wouldn't watch TV or read or clean or do anything. I'd just sit around and do nothing. I didn't want to go anywhere. I didn't want to do anything I normally do. It started to get better last week. I started going for walks... and that helped a lot. I'm afraid that I might relapse though when my husband leaves. Probably not right away... but sometimes while he's gone i'll just snap right back to depression. And it's always kinda sudden... nothing really brings it on... i just all of a sudden feel depressed. I go back to sitting around doing nothing and crying often. Hopefully my friends can help keep me out of it. My friend is coming to stay with me the day he leaves. Being depressed sucks. And it's really hard to just "feel happy" when you don't feel happy. I've heard that telling yourself nice things like "you're a great person" and "you're going to have a great day" helps. Except... when i'm depressed I do nothing of the sort. lol. It's like I just... check out. I forget everything I could do to make myself feel better. Almost like I don't WANT to feel better. It's so weird.

Rachel lady.gif, in love with my baby girl Abigailenergy.gifborn 9/17/08!
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#12 of 14 Old 03-07-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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Omega 3s from fish oil also helps me. Get the kind that is filtered for heavy metals. I take 4 capsules a day, along with paxil and some rescue remedy.
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#13 of 14 Old 03-08-2008, 12:26 AM
 
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Ok so I know this is not popular but I take Wellbutrin. I have been taking it since the very beginning. Prior to pregnancy I was taking Effexor for PPD, Anxiety and Post Traumatic.

My issue began with my 2nd pregnancy. 3 months of bed rest, a premature birth, stay in the NICU. Prenatal depression went on to PPD. It was not completely resolved when I got pregnant with #3. I again went on bedrest, was diagnosised with Post Traumatic, another premature birth, stay in the NICU and once again PPD. Now pregnant with #4, my OB expects more bedrest and another premature birth. For the first couple of months of this pregnancy, I cried everyday. I am in counseling now and am seeing some improvement. Each day is still a struggle and I am really worried that I will spiral as the pregnancy progresses to the point that I have to go on bed rest. But this little life inside me is completely worth it.

Sorry this has been such a downer. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Don't hesitate to get help.

Wife of 20 years to my superhero firefighting DH. SAHM to 2 boys and 2 girls (3 babies in Heaven- Baby # 5 5/2010 & Baby #6 8/2011 & Baby # 7 2/1013). Cancer Survivor 2011 ( Persistent Malignant Gestational Trophoblastic Disease)

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#14 of 14 Old 03-10-2008, 09:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipworth View Post
Omega 3s from fish oil also helps me. Get the kind that is filtered for heavy metals. I take 4 capsules a day, along with paxil and some rescue remedy.

Check on that paxil with your OB or midwife, I thought they stopped giving that during pregnancy.
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