I had my baby girl almost 11 weeks ago. We were discharged from the labour ward to be readmitted to our local MAFU for 3 weeks. The gas and air from labour left me feeling very disassociated, which soon gave way to a deep depression.

Fast forward to now: my mood has been steadily deteriorating for the last 3-4 weeks. Was really high for 3 weeks, with obsessional thoughts. The last couple of days, this has given way to depression and anxiety.

My psychologist is suggesting readmission to MAFU or respite care at home (basically a babysitter for a few hours here and there, as well as having a registered mental health nurse visit every couple of days- i think). I have till Wed to decide for next Monday's admissions. I'm really leaning towards going back into the unit, but it will be really hard on my baby (not being able to bedshare, moving 'home' monday-friday, changes in environment constantly).

I really don't know what to do. my perception of my daughter is really freaking me out (complete ambivalence most of the time), my moods and behaviour are terrifying, but my husbands not too keen on either options. we're trying to stabilise with meds and therapy but im still feeling so out of control!

anyone help?

15 Replies

  • Hello BrokenChloe

    Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. My PP episodes were a long time ago but I can relate to obsessional thoughts leading to depression and anxiety.

    I think being readmitted to the Mother and Family Unit would be a good idea as you will receive specialist care 24 / 7. I can see what a difficult decision it is for you and your husband though. After my second PP I was sectioned to psychiatric mixed care as there were no units available so long ago. I was eventually discharged home and treated there as my other son was then six years old. I fell into a deep depression which seemed endless.

    I was visited at home by a Psychiatrist, CPN and Health Visitor on a daily basis. I have read from my notes how challenging I was at the time, my moods ever-changing and I was a risk to myself. In times of crisis I was admitted to psychiatric care for treatment. At other times I was watched 24 / 7 by my husband and family. Had there been a Mother and Family Unit it would have been a much better place for me as specialist care would have been available around the clock. I think it will also relieve some of the stress your husband and family feel as you will be safe in the Unit.

    I hope you can weigh up all the other advice you will have here. Whatever you decide we will be here to help you.

    Take good care of yourself.

  • Hi Broken Chloe

    Congratulations on the birth of your baby! I'm sorry to hear though you're not feeling well, and are struggling with depression and anxiety. You will come through this and get better. It's really good that you are receiving professional support, with medication and therapy too. I found therapy so helpful.

    It's hard to advise you what to do, I guess I can only tell you what happened to me. I was in a mother and baby unit for four months. I had acute psychosis and then went into a deep depression that took quite a while to fully recover from. I did find the MBU really helpful, just to have staff on hand when I felt completely overwhelmed, as well as all the practical advice around looking after my baby.

    I'm not sure your daughter will be really affected by being in the unit, she will still be with you, I don't think babies care so much where they are as long as they are well cared for, which she would be. My son is now five, a wonderful, sociable, confident, creative boy who I really believe was completely unaffected by what happened. Do you think you will feel safe enough with the support at home? Is your partner around a lot? Are there friends / family members who can also be with you when you don't have the professionals there?

    I can understand being worried about your perception of your daughter - feeling ambivalent. But it's very clear you love her dearly and want the best for her. It's not you, it's the depression - I certainly felt like that - numb and disconnected from everyone and everything.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful, I hope that some people may write with experience of being supported in a similar way at home.

    Take care, write whenever you need / want to X

  • I found my baby copes really well with change. A lot of things like eating and sleeping happens innately with babies, they don't need to be taught. Saying that I was distraught when my sister in law cared for him overnight, I want only my husband to do in future.

    Do what feels best for you...I found I knew my illness best and what level of support I needed (hospital vs home care) at which time, no one else knew as best as me and I had to trust myself that I knew what was right.

  • Hi BrokenChloe,

    Thanks for your recent update and I am sorry to hear that things are difficult at the moment. I hope whatever you decide today will be a positive choice for you and your family. I also spent time in a MBU and it was a really safe place for me to recover and get help with my baby too. It was the safety net that I definitely needed.

    Obsessions and anxiety were also a major part of my illness, I wonder if a meds review might help some of this for you? I had a mood stabilizer added to my anti-psychotic to try and level me out when I was still very up and down, which worked well for me. The professionals will be able to advise you, but it could be something to ask them about. Drugs work differently for different people and it's a case of finding the right balance.

    I hope too that your husband is getting good support. Sometimes it can be hard for them too I guess. I would really echo what has already been said about your baby though and their perception of the situation - I honestly don't think that she will be in any way affected, and a well mum is really important too. My son and I have a really close bond, even though we spent some weeks apart when I was too ill to be with him. He also has a lovely bond with his Dad, which I think started then too.

    Take care and please feel free to update us or ask any more questions, we are all thinking of you, xx

  • Thanks everyone! Have decided to go back into the unit next monday, wish us luck :)

  • Ah I really hope it goes OK I'm sure you'll get good support there xx

  • Wishing you so much luck for next Monday ..... sending a virtual hug to an amazing mum :)

  • Hello BrokenChloe

    Hope all goes well tomorrow ...... take good care and please keep in touch if you would like to talk here anytime. We are all thinking of you.

  • Can't you try a mediation to help you relax/sleep. Go from there. Quetiapine was good for me short term but makes you quite drowsy. U would need help with the baby. Just rest see how it goes

  • I'm also on clonazepam so I have my husband take care of the baby overnight (wakes me up for feeds but sleeps with her, changes her nappy etc.). I get night terrors so a sleep med is necessary to reduce the adrenaline. Quetiapine does make me drowsy, at least for the first few weeks I change doses, but it's the only thing that has stopped the voices. I tried olanzapine once, but it did nothing for the voices and I gained 10kg in two weeks. Meditation opens me up for voices. Thanks though :)

  • Hello BrokenChloe

    I hope you have settled into the MFU and are receiving specialist care to help you with moods and depression. It's not easy being away from home but you will feel the benefit after a while.

    We are all thinking of you and here if you would like to talk anytime.

    Take good care.

  • Thanks. My moods seem to be a little more settled and I am staring to feel a little more in touch with reality and stuff. It has been hard on my baby though, because they're trying to force sleep training on her. But I think it'll be worth it :)

  • Thanks for taking the time to reply. Good to hear you are feeling a little more settled and more in touch with reality. I remember it was such a relief when I eventually began to realise what was going on around me. I imagine the sleep training for your baby will give you space in the day to yourself ...... making the bond stronger as you recognise it's not easy for your tiny treasure but worth it.

    Thinking of you ........ take care :)

  • Hello BrokenChloe

    Just wondering if you have been able to go home for Christmas. I hope you are continuing to recover slowly but surely.

    Take care.

  • Hello BrokenChloe

    Just wondering where you are now and hope you are doing well.

    Take good care.

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