I am currently pregnant with my first child, and I'm feeling really at a loss as to how to proceed with my care.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (type 1) nearly 6 years ago, was hospitalized twice for mania, but have been symptom free for the past 4.5 years while taking lithium.
When I found out I was pregnant, my doctor suggested I go off my medication, which I did at 5 weeks, and I am now at 35 weeks having had zero symptoms or problems mood-wise so far.
What I'm struggling with is the fear of the postpartum phase. I desperately want to breastfeed my baby, but my doctor has been very strongly trying to convince me otherwise, and although I genuinely believe she is on the very cautious side (her first reaction when I told her I was pregnant was to suggest I should be admitted for the duration of my pregnancy!), I can't really tell if this is just her overreacting, or if I should be adequately frightened into skipping breastfeeding and going back on lithium right after giving birth.
I have an amazing support system, my husband will be home for the first month after the baby is born, I have been keeping a mood and sleep journal for months and will see my psychiatrist weekly after baby gets here.
Am I being overconfident in believing we could catch this very early on and, even if it does develop, I could avoid hospitalization? I'm ready for the possibility that I will end up in the hospital no matter what (we all know even if I take medication it is no guarantee) I just want more info so I can really weigh my options.
I'd love to hear about people's real experiences. Thanks for any help or advice!
**I am currently living in the Czech Republic, and unfortunately it isn't possible for me to change doctors (took me more than a year to find this one)