Worried about getting pp again

Ive found out im 7 weeks pregnant and i am so worried about getting postnatal psychosis again after i had it with my 2nd child. My anxieties kicked off extremely bad over it and im not sleeping again as im literally worried sick. I was waiting to get my tubes tied as my experience with pp was so traumatic i didnt want to go through it again and have my kids see me like that. Im considering termination as awful as that sounds but dont even feel 100% on doing that. Im so lost and scared right now.

20 Replies

  • Hello Sarah

    Thank you for your post and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry you are anxious about a recurrence of PP and you're not sleeping. Some mums here have had subsequent pregnancies without PP returning and I'm sure they will be here to share experiences.

    There is also the frequently asked questions link, app-network.org/what-is-pp/faq which might be helpful, the penultimate question on the list. Also some mums here have been helped and reassured by Dr Ian Jones' Second Opinion Service, app-network.org./what-is-pp... help/second-opinion-service regarding future pregnancies.

    I'm not sure if you have seen the APP Insider Guide "Planning Pregnancy : A Guide for Women at High Risk of Postpartum Psychosis" which might be helpful.

    I had PP twice many years ago but treatment and medications have changed so much for the better. Thankfully I made a full recovery under general psychiatric care.

    I hope some of the above will be helpful until other 'newer' mums can reply.

    Take good care of yourself whatever you decide. We are all here to listen if it helps.

  • Thank you for replying im so upset by it right now. Its been 6 years since i had pp but 4 years since ive felt *normal* i did call this morning enquiring about Dr ian jones and have got to go to the drs to be referred. My anxieties so bad i dont even know if i can get to the drs right now. Either way to me right now is a risky situation as i feel so depressed and really confused. Plus i know from last experience how upset it made my family seeing me go through it i feel guilt at the thought of them seeing me like it again and guilt if i do have an abortion as im so against it x

  • You're very welcome Sarah ..... it's not easy for you but I think if you can meet with Dr Jones you will receive great advice. Some years ago I met with Dr Jones and some of his team and he was very helpful and reassuring regarding my diagnoses.

    As your anxiety is so bad at the moment, is it possible you can speak to your doctor over the phone after his Clinic about the referral? I'm sure if you explained to the receptionist that you are unable to attend the practice she should be able to request the doctor to ring you. I think you also need to ask for help / medication to lift the depression which can be crippling.

    It's a lot for you to weigh up when you're feeling confused. I also felt a lot of guilt when I had PP but it really wasn't my fault as it wasn't yours either. At the time we had no choice. There is a post on the forum "Second pregnancy after previous PP" with a lot of shared experiences from a few months ago. If you put the title into 'search' in the top right hand corner of the page you should find it.

    Take good care of yourself. I hope you manage to rest tonight.

  • Hi Sarah,

    It's a really difficult decision but just want to reassure you that if you do go through with the pregnancy there is a lot that can be done to prevent you getting ill.

    I am having CBT to help me to manage my anxiety and I would recommend it if you can access it.

    Thinking of you


  • Thank you....the problem with my area is the waiting time with cbt (i think its 6 months) and getting the right person to open up to...ive had cbt before and it was really good....but the 2nd time i had it was awful bevause the bloke i had to see was so textbook i couldnt open up to him and never went back as he never understood anything.

  • Have you got a thought diary from when you did cbt before? You could try writing down what you're worried about and trying to think of ways to challenge your anxious thoughts.

    The relationship you have with the counsellor is really important but don't be put off, it could be different next time.

    Hope you manage to get some sleep tonight.


  • Hi SarahKaira,

    I'm sorry you had such a traumatic experience of PP and are feeling so scared. You're not alone.

    Have you spoken to anyone about your pregnancy yet? Try not to panic, I know it must feel completely overwhelming but you don't need to make any decisions straight away.

    I had PP in 2012 after the birth of my first son. I had a second son last year, he's just turned one. Fortunately I had no recurrence of PP.

    You're the only one who can decide what's right for you and your family but if you do decide to proceed with the pregnancy a recurrence of PP isn't inevitable. There are lots of women here with different experiences to share, lots of information and advice available, let us know if we can help.

    I've just read your reply to Lilybeth. Do you have a GP you know and trust? I would really recommend a referral to Prof Jones, I saw him and it was really helpful talking everything through. I think Lilybeth's suggestion of talking to your GP over the phone is a really good one if you don't feel you can get to the surgery.

    Keep talking to us - as you start processing things and the shock subsides a bit, hopefully it won't feel quite so scary and you'll feel in a better frame of mind to think about your options.

    We're all here for you.

    Sending big hugs, J x

  • Theres only one gp i can think of but its a gamble getting her. I feel terminating is me acting out of fear rather than what i actually want to do as i feel really trapped. And the thing is i booked the termination for next friday but i dont feel im having long enough to really see my options. Im going to postpone it because i know ill regret it and that in itself could send me into depression which i aint had in years. But then i feel im driving myself mad with what ifs etc if you get what i mean. I got through it before so i know its possible to get through it again but its just the possibility of going through it again i cant seem to get my head around? X

  • And the only people ive told are friends who saw how bad i was and dont want me getting that ill again. Theyve basically said they wouldnt have the baby and although i know why theyre saying it it still really upsets me because even though im so early on its still my baby??? X

  • Your friends will just want to protect you. I'm sure your head's all over the place. Having decided not to have any more children then finding out you're pregnant is a huge thing to process in itself, without the risk of PP added to the mix.

    I think you're right to postpone the termination until you can think clearly about your options, I think it's important to talk to your GP. Can you call the surgery in the morning and see if the GP you like would be able to speak to you at some point during the day (if she's working tomorrow)? I know it can be really difficult getting an appointment with a specific GP, especially if the GP is popular, but they may be able to fit you in at the end of a clinic session, worth a try.

    I recovered very quickly from PP and although it was traumatic and took a long time to process I came through it relatively unscathed but even so it took months of agonising to decide whether or not to try for another baby or stick at one child for fear of going through it again, so I can only imagine how you must be feeling.

    Not sleeping can't be helping, I don't know if writing things down helps you, or distracting yourself with music, or my brother swears by documentaries on iPlayer when he's suffering from insomnia.

    I hope you can get some rest tonight. Do let us know how you get on tomorrow.


  • Hello Sarah

    I'm sure your friends have your best interests at heart but it is your choice. You do have options which you need to consider for your own peace of mind.

    Rather than ringing you, is it possible you can ask the doctor you prefer to visit you at home if she is on call? This would be a good idea as you could also discuss your low mood and treatment.

    It's not easy for you but we do all understand and are here for you. Take care.

  • Hi Sarah kaira

    I have just had a baby 2 weeks ago and i also had pp after my last child, i was really scared of getting poorly again as well.

    I would highly recommend you read Elaine Hanzaks book another twinkle in the eye, it definitely helped me to get a plain in place for care after i had baby.

    My experience has been very positive my gp saw me regularly throughout pregnancy and my consultant arranged for me to have counselling. I was also referred to a perinatal mental health nurse who i spent time with before i went into hospital and she wrote me a care plan that was passed to my midwife, health visitor and delivery suite at the hospital.

    Once i delivered I had my own room in the hospital and my husband was allowed to stay to help me which was very reassuring.

    Since I've been out I've had my perinatal mental health nurse round quite a bit and also midwife. After i had my baby i was very anxious about getting poorly again so with my perinatal mental health nurse we agreed for me to go back onto medication which i have done and I'm feeling well and no anxiety now.

    There are lots of people who can help and support you and i hope my brief story can give you some reassurance that you can have another baby and be well or at least nip some thing in the bud before it gets anywhere near as bad as last time.

    Take care xx

  • Sounds like it's very tough without family and friend support. just try and get through one day at a time, the big decision can wait till later. Just focus on breathing, and finding support whether it's thru here online/hospital/neighbours/mothers group/church etc, wait till you have some more info from doctors before you feel you have to make any decision. The first trimester you can feel yucky anyway without the added stresses you are going through. I'm in my second pregnancy, but hoping things will be better than the first as my husband and I will have some more experience and therefore less worry, as well as medicine.

  • Thank you for taking time out to give me advice i appreciate it more then you all will know. I think my circumstance is not helping as im moving from london to birmingham away from my direct support network which is daunting enough under normal circumstance then ive had to split with the dad as he was too unreliable for me then i found out im pregnant. He really wants the baby but with how inconsistant he is its alarming to me as i know how important it is for me to be stress free and have proper support and someone who is consistant. I was lucky last time i got it because my mum took me and my kids in for 2 months (and my then partner had experience with mental health as his mum was a paranoid schizophrenic so it didnt effect him too much) as the psychiatrist thought it would be too traumatic for me to be in the unit and didnt want to ruin the bond between me and my daughter aswell which was a Godsend if im honest. I called the drs a minute ago and the dr id want to talk to is back on monday so i am going to call back then and hopefully she will refer me asap. X

  • All the best with the Dr appointment on Monday, glad you have that. Is your mum able to help this time at all?

  • No she wouldnt because shes based in london and by that point ill be in birmingham x

  • Hi goodness that does sound like a lot to deal with, moving house, and not being with the dad. The most important thing is that you request support from a perinatal mental health team who can support you to make a decision, or going forward. I do think there is generally good support in London, I know there is a pan London perinatal mental health network and that you are entitled to support during pregnancy because you had pp in the past. I also think the support is good in Birmingham too so you could be transferred to that team when you move.If the GP says there isn't a perinatal mental health team they can transfer you to then definitely ask to be referred to the second opinion service.

    I hope your appointment goes well on monday and you are OK. Have you managed to sleep? I hope you're coping with the anxiety.

    Take care xx

  • Hello Sarah

    I think moving home is one of the most stressful things any of us will do, especially as you will be away from the support of family and friends. Still it's not that far so I'm sure a reassuring phone call from your mum or short visit at weekends or half term is possible.

    I hope the doctor you prefer will be able to refer you asap to Dr Jones. I wonder if the doctor has a secretary you could leave a message with today so that she can have the referral ready to go on Monday? If you felt strong enough perhaps you could book a double appointment to talk to the doctor on Monday about the referral and also your low mood?

    I hope you managed to sleep a little last night. There must be so many things to think about, not least what to pack for the move but I hope you can find some time and space to yourself this weekend.

    Take good care of yourself. We are all here to lean on. xx

  • Hi SarahKaira, I hope that you are managing to have a restful weekend and that your appointment goes well on Monday. Try and take time out and not worry too much - easier said than done, I know... I hope that the move goes well too, we are here to chat if you feel like it, take care, xx

  • I hope you managed to speak to your doctor today. Don't worry about replying, we are only here if you would like to talk. Take it easy. xx

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