Action on Postpartum Psychosis

Second child soon to be due

Hi all been a while since my last post. Just wanted to update you all as i know from my last post there was some other mums to be. I just wanted to know your care plans and how you are in general :)

So im due 14th march 16 not long to go. Im starting to feel excited but obviously very anxious still. The plan so far is to have a professionals meeting in feb with everyone involved such as my family, care co ordinator, phychaitrist, midwifes, health visitors etc. To discuss what happens when baby is born and just generally talk and make sure everyone is on board and answer any questions anyone has. Its put my mind at ease as it makes it feel that there is some control in place. When i have the baby im hoping to stay in hospital up to 3 days and have a room to myself to get as much sleep as possible, im allowed to have someone stay with me. Even though a hospital is the least place to get rest i just feel better knowing that people will have a close eye on me. Im confident that my mum and partner know exactly what to look for this time, behaviour, mood, pressured speech etc.

Whilst this happens my two year old will be well looked after by family members. I will theb return home and recieve care from my care co ordinator that i have seen since being discharged from mother and baby unit first time round. I will admitt i have had a rollercoaster of mixed feelings and tearfulness. Ive had weekly sessions with a phycologist to get things of my chest which has helped. I have felt sad as my son has recently turned two and the day after boxing day is when i was first omitted to hospital. So this time teo years ago it all begun so to speak. And i always go through each step what would of been happening right now. Im not trying to punish myself but i just cant help remeber everything and go through it all in the detail by days and dates. I havent really brought alot for the baby i keep putting it off. I dont have any doubts of not bonding or anything. I just feel deflated and unable to be excited, i dont understand it really, perhaps my little boy turning two? Or hormones and just feeling upset of what happened before.

Im trying not to dwell on the past even though its hard. I still dont feel i have fully recovered from before. But i know the experience has made me a stronger person now even though i was a fragile mess once discharged. I think ive come a long way and being a new mum is a new challenge in itself let alone trying to recover from something traumatic and being mentally so unwell. Gaining weight and the worst for me being so so tired all the time from medication! I love being a mum, just hope i can stay well this time and enjoy my family and stay on track.

Take care


11 Replies

Good Morning Violet,

It's great to hear from you and well done for articulating so eloquently how you are feeling. It sounds like you have a brilliant care plan in place and you've got every possible box ticked in terms of preparing family and professionals for your second birth. It also sounds like you have made the ideal plans for your two year old as well.

I know exactly how you are feeling. I had PP in 2005 and then went on to have a second child in 2008, thankfully PP didn't occur twice. I have written quite a few posts about the stage you are now at, the understandable and natural anxiety you are feeling as you anticipate baby number two. The roller coaster of emotions is one hundred percent normal at this stage. It is a tough time psychologically and very hard not to let your thoughts slip in to 'what if' mode. I remember well, lying in bed at night reliving all that happened the first time around and worrying I'd have to go through it all again. That this is completely normal, of course, doesn't make it any easier to experience!

I had a bit of a break through with all the demons, memories, anxiety when I stopped trying to fight them and began to accept them. Switching from resisting what might happen to accepting that it may well happen again was somehow much more peaceful for me in the approach to my second birth. You've done everything you possibly can to prepare, everybody is ready and will be vigilant, now all you can really do is wait and see. Acceptance meant me saying to myself, I may get PP again, I may not and really, there is nothing I can do but try and stay in the moment, taking it one day at a time. I would tell myself, if it does happen again, I know I will recover, I know my daughter will be looked after and all the professionals are ready to help me if it does happen again. Switching to this mode of thinking helped me hugely and was easier than fighting the anxiety. You are meant to feel anxious, so let yourself and it's a big positive you have people around you that you can express all this to.

This forum is the other place you can be very honest too, so post away whenever you want to and feel free to ask questions too. We will also all be here in March Violet and will be able to support you through the early days after giving birth. You are right that being a new Mum is challenging enough in itself without adding PP to the mix! Knowing that all you are feeling is very natural is hopefully a big comfort.

A practical suggestion that may help...have you ever written down what happened first time? Perhaps it would help you get it all out of your head and down on paper, then you may be able to put it away in a drawer and lay it to rest for now, so you can focus on this second birth? Perhaps as you are pregnant and feeling emotional, just a shortened version, so it is not too time consuming or upsetting? May be you have done this already? I found it very cathartic to write it all down and as much as possible let it out, let it go and park it in the past where it belongs.

It's brilliant that already you are able to recognise the experience has made you a stronger person and that you can see how far you have come. Whilst anxious, you really do sound like you're in a very healthy place. Big thumbs up!

Stay in touch Violet.

Sending you my very warmest wishes,

JonesieB x


Hi. Did you take preventative medication the second time? My consultant is very keen for me to this time but I was thinking of just seeing if I get it - I really hate taking medication! Sally x


Hi sally

This was an unexpected preganancy and so i was very worried about the fetus as i was taking sodium valporate which shouldnt be taken while trying to concieve. And quietipin which i have stayed on througout my pregnancy. I think the plan is to take sodium valporate again after baby is born. Im sure medication will continue to be reviewed depending on how im feeling my mood etc. Me too i put so much weight on whilst recovering first time round nearly 4 stone, it just doesnt help as it makes me feel so hungry. Iam concerened about this as ive stayed the same.weoght which makes me miserable. Hoping to start slimming world once baby is born.

Stay in touch



Hi Violet,

You seem to be very vigilant about planning for your new baby. I only have one but it seems so important to plan ahead. Now that you've been through pp you know what will help you return to health. I wish you luck in the next year with the new little one. Hope to hear an update later

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Hello violet

Good to hear your update ...... you sound very organised with your care plan so try not to worry though I know it's an anxious wait......

I'm sure you have seen on the forum that I had PP twice in the early 70's and mid 80's. When my second son was due I don't think we had a care plan apart from before the elective C-section I asked to be awake as I thought it would reduce depression ..... which is what I thought I had with my first son (although it was PP) .....

Thankfully times have changed so much for the better and some mums here, just like JonsieB, did not have PP a second time. I was ill second time around but I did fully recover eventually The forum is a good place to come with any thoughts or feelings you might have as we are all here to support you.

I hope you continue to be well ..... I think we are all much stronger having coped through the trauma of PP and are all here for you until March and beyond ......

Take good care and try to relax when you can.

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Hi Violet,

Thanks for coming back to the forum and sharing your update. It sounds as though you have great plans in place, and the meeting in Feb especially sounds wonderful to have everyone in the same room and making sure they are all up to speed.

I had PP in 2009 and had another child in 2013, with no recurrence of the illness. Like you, I had a care plan in place and was keen for everyone involved to know what had happened before and what we were trying to do to minimise the possibility of it happening again. I did struggle to access any MH support, as I'd been discharged and midwives, hospital etc didn't really seem to get it. My breakthrough came when I had a 2nd opinion consultation through APP with Dr Ian Jones (without having had a 1st opinion!) and he wrote to professionals involved in my care who then started to take it on board - or so it felt. When I was finally allocated a worker from CMHT he was able to liaise with hospital and make my care plan more official too.

Like you, I had a longer than usual hospital stay with private room and found it really beneficial. Having your Care Co-ordinator visits planned also sounds really good and the plans for your 2 year old. I too was really conscious of having things (and people) in place for my eldest so that he could have special time away from us, as well as meeting the new addition to the family. Something which really helped me was putting together a planner of where he would be and when, so he knew and was excited about it. We also did a plan of visitors, almost like a booking in system (!) which helped to avoid the short-notice drop-ins which can sometimes be so stressful. I know I came across as a bit of a control freak, but it was to keep things as calmed and planned as possible, which we found helpful. And anyone who wants to support you will completely understand. Having this in the care plan was helpful for us, as well as the options on treatment if I had become ill, medication etc too.

What you are describing with the rollercoaster of feelings and emotions are completely natural. I too had more than one occasion over the last few months of pregnancy where I had a good cry and said to my husband how terrified I was. I hope you are able to share this with your partner too, it's good to keep talking about things. Looking back on dates is something I know I did too, especially this time of year as I was in a MBU then too. With the passage of time, things will start to change, and although we never forget, the memories being to be added to with the happier things and you can be proud (and rightly so) of how far you have come.

I hope you continue to keep well and have chance to be a little excited about the new arrival as the time comes closer. We are all here to chat and share experiences, take care, xx


Hi Violet, lovely to hear about the care plan you have in place, I am so impressed with the support available these days. I'm certain anyone who has experienced the trauma of PP will be apprehensive about it recurring but you have the support in place which is fantastic.

Having a baby and coping with a serious mental illness are major life events which turns your world upside down and I agree with you about emerging as a stronger person. My experience of PP occurred 33 years ago but it always remained as a dark shadow in my mind and I have never been able to talk about it with anyone. It was by chance, I found the APP website and it has meant so much to be able to talk about it and share experiences.

Anyway, all the very best to you and I hope all goes well. Love Vee Xx

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Hi Violet, I had PP in 2004 after my first child and went on to have a second child in 2008. I had a preventative care plan but not as good as yours, which sounds really comprehensive. The 3 days in hospital with a single room and good support is exactly what I did and it really helped me bond with my baby, stay calm and sleep plenty. Someone with you will be even better for helping you rest and have somebody you know to chat to, and for them to monitor your mood. Although none of these things can guarantee you won't get ill it'll give the very best opportunity to spot any issues as early as possible. You should be really proud of yourself for being so organised and engaged in that planning. I know it's really hard to have to think about these things when you want to just be looking forward to the baby, but it's so important so it's really great that you've prioritised that.

Try not to be too hard on yourself about how you "should" be feeling right now. I think that if they were honest, many women toward the end of pregnancy would say they don't always feel positive about what's ahead, and that's without the very real and very scary added complication of PP. It's also very natural that our PP anniversaries will trigger us to remember our trauma and grieve for the experiences that we missed out on. But I can say that in my experience that lessens over time, and fully coming to terms with it all is a longer term recovery process. It's such early days for you after your PP, and it's great that you can recognise how strong you are and how far you've come, as you really have done brilliantly. Enjoying being a Mum after the difficult start is amazing progress in itself.

I know that stuff like gaining weight can really get you down but I know plenty of mums (including me) who gained lots when they were pregnant/their kids were young, with or without medication, and many managed to lose it over the years if they wanted to. It's an area where society/media gives us really unrealistic images when we ought to just be taught to be proud of what our bodies have achieved in growing a whole new human being.

It really sounds like you're doing all you can to stay on track, and I hope things go well for you over the next few months. It will be great to hear how you get on.


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Dear Violet,

Sharing honestly, we had every precaution and plan in place for my 2nd child but the illness still could not be kept at bay.

The bit I really struggle with in hindsight, that I wish we could have planned for somehow, is the how to communicate when communication becomes a struggle because of the illness.

There was a point at which, everyone around me declared I was ill, and stepped in to act. But I still had opinions and concerns to express, and they were unclear/disregarded because I was ill. As hard as it is, discuss the point at which you will accept you are ill. How you will try and communicate if things are wavering, eg agreed phrases, photo cards, etc.

And if you do get ill, what you really don't want to miss out on eg daily photos with your baby, a diary with assistance to record baby's milestones. Particular visitors who are encouraging and understanding.

Still being treated as yourself, not just as an ill person!!

Hugs and prayers for all you're facing,


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Hi deb

Thanks for that. That really has made me think about aomething eles..i will definatley make sure that it is requested by myself that more photos are taken of my baby and 2 year old together. As i feel there isnt many of my first son. I suppose it was such a distreasog and upsettibg time for my family but you dont realise how quickly babies grow and change within a matter of weeks!!.

Im so sorry you had to go through the illness again. I hope it was not as bad the first time.round and you did and still recovering quickly and are remaining well in yourself.

Take care x


Hi Violetx,

Thanks for your update on your second pregnancy and for keeping in touch.

It sounds like you are doing exactly the right thing by talking to professionals and getting your care plan in order, so that everyone involved knows each other and has the opportunity to get questions answered. It's great to hear that you are feeling confident with your partner and mum being able to help with looking for signs if you do become unwell again, so you can quickly get the support needed to get better again. Well done for getting to this point, I know that all the meetings with all the different people involved can bring on many different emotions, you're doing so very well!

It is encouraging to read the posts above this showing a mixture of experiences with second babies, some that didn't get pp again, and others that have had it again but have recovered. The best thing you can do is to be prepared, which you've already been doing, and then take things as they come, knowing that everyone is supporting you at every stage.

The forum is such a great resource for chatting to others for advice, do keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on.

Wishing you all the very best,

Jessie xxx

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