Side effects: I’m writing because I’m... - Action on Postpar...

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Side effects

Jessi_D
Jessi_D

I’m writing because I’m really fed up of what I think are side effects from taking medication to prevent PPP. I’m glad I’m staying well but struggling in other ways. I’ve had a c section a couple of weeks ago, and I’m recovering well. I have a really short attention span - this impacts handling the baby (I don’t like to do this for long) and doing things that pass the time such as watching films or TV programmes (I can’t finish anything). I found listening to music while handling the baby was quite good, as each track is only about 3 minutes. I went out today to a cafe with my husband but couldn’t stay for long, even though it was really nice there. My mood is stable and my mind isn’t racing, I just can’t do anything for a long time! I’m also getting really bored at home and with baby - is this normal?

15 Replies
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Hannah_at_APP
Hannah_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Jessi_D, I feel your frustration - it’s such a balance between knowing what is “normal”, what is meds and what is anything to worry about. I don’t have any answers but this might be something your mental health team, if you have contact, can help with?

I know when I had my second child, I had pretty much zero expectation of what might happen - whether pp returned or not. I tried to take each day at a time and I think that yes, the early days and weeks with a little baby can be quite non-eventful. My experience was that I deliberately didn’t want to do much, just focus on relaxing and spending time doing not a lot, protecting my mental health if at all possible.

Do you have any friends locally you could meet up with, to break up the days? Or perhaps some local baby classes, massage, music or buggyfit are sometimes available - your midwife/ health visitor, children’s centre or MH team might know more - or good old social media! This might be something to pique your interest and hopefully nothing that is too long in time, for your attention span. I like the idea of listening to music and mixing it up too for short spells.

It’s good to hear you are feeling that your mood is stable though. Try and be kind to yourself; above all else, having a baby is a big thing and doing your best to avoid pp can be tiring and frustrating in itself. Take care, we are all thinking of you. Xx

That sounds a lot like me and you have my sympathy! I’m still flitting from one thing to another all the time (4+ months in).

It’s especially hard in the school holidays - I don’t know if you have school age kids or not, but even just the lack of groups is a struggle! Try contacting your local sure start centre as ours has stuff running in the holidays which I’ve found helpful.

I think go easy on yourself. It may be meds not helping, but also all my mentally well mum friends seem to have had similar issues in early days after a baby. The idea of baby brain, poor concentration, forgetfulness, all that, has its root in fact.

If you can, think about breaking other tasks into short bits - laundry can be sorting a load, putting it on, putting it out, bringing it in, putting it away, all done at different times.

Also, for me, it has a lot to do with anxiety. So anything that helps with that helps concentration. I find knitting or crocheting while with friends or in a cafe, or whatever, helps. Do you have anything like that? Thinking now, I use winding or rocking the baby as the same - it’s all about the repetitive movements for me. But of course you’re probably different.

Jessi_D
Jessi_D
in reply to jododo

Thanks for your suggestions! I feel like I’ve achieved a lot this morning by breaking things down a bit. I’m not attending the children’s centre yet, as I want to heal myself at home before going out and about too much.

Teresa_K_S
Teresa_K_SVolunteer

Hi Jessi_D,

Glad you are healing. Give yourself time as you can easily overdo it physically after a C Sec. I bet little Willow is changing everyday.

I sympathise with your frustration. I found baby stage difficult with all mine. Remember to be kind to yourself as its early days and I expect tiredness will play a great part in not being able to concentrate much. That being said I'm on Lithium and it def affects my cognitive memory. All in all though its a balance and a catch 22. Meaning i would rather have meds and side effects than risk illness. Maybe keep a note to see if this improves with a little time and if not then mention at your next appointment.

I used to try to make sure i dont set myself lots to do but just one or two smaller tasks during the day as looking after baby takes up most time.

Do you breast feed or bottle feed? I was wondering in you could have an hour at a friends or just a change if scenery where every conversation doesnt revole around baby. I found boredom and keeping mentally stimulated one of the hardest things. Let us know again how you get on Take care for now and look after youself

T x

Jessi_D
Jessi_D
in reply to Teresa_K_S

Hi tstewart,

I’m taking lithium too, working towards therapeutic level. So I can’t breastfeed. My neighbour has offered to host me, but for now my husband is at home for three more weeks.

Teresa_K_S
Teresa_K_SVolunteer

Hi Jessi_D

I just wanted to encourage you that out of all the different meds I ve been on that Lithium has by far been the best one for me. Even with some frustrating side effects it has really been a wonder drug for me mood wise. I hope you are gradually able to focus for longer on enjoyable things. It is very early days for you so dont worry too much if you cant finish things in one go. Try not to expect too much of youself too soon :-)

T x

Gem169
Gem169Volunteer

This is exactly how I feel!!!! Not allowed off them until October but its really ruining my experience with my baby as Ive been on them 12 months! Which drug are you on? G x

Jessi_D
Jessi_D
in reply to Gem169

Lithium and haloperidol. Are you sure your doctor can’t reduce or change the medication? I’m finding out tomorrow if they will agree to any changes.

Jessi_D
Jessi_D
in reply to Gem169

My doctor has agreed to reduce haloperidol from 5mg to 2.5mg. I feel so restless today, can’t get enough stimulation and want to quickly move onto the next thing. It feels like I’m ill again but the mental health nurse thinks it’s just side effects from my medication. My lithium is now at the therapeutic level so that’s reassuring.

Hannah_at_APP
Hannah_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Jessi_D, that’s good to hear you had reassurance from your mental health team. I hope you start to feel less restless soon. Take care, xx

Dear Jessie , these early weeks take a big toll on your body and mind and although you feel relatively free of PP symptoms it’s only a very short time since giving birth . It would be surprising if you are free of the anxieties that are natural following having a new baby, and that can impact in concentration . It certainly did with me .

You seem to be doing very well going out for a break, and listening to music, ( do you use aromatherapy oils? That can help as can a nice massage of head and neck if you like that ?) the more rest and sleep you can have the better and keeping a little daily diary usually helps to see what terrific progress you are making ! It will get better and concentration will improve but give yourself time . Thinking of and sending all best wishes

Deniz x

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Jessi_D

I hope you are feeling a little better since your medication was reduced and having support from your nurse. Take your time and rest well. xx

Jessi_D
Jessi_D
in reply to Lilybeth

Much better now that my meds have been reduced! I’m feeling fine, in fact this is the first time I have been on my own looking after my baby girl and it’s going well 😁

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Jessi_D

So pleased to hear you are feeling much better since your meds have been reduced and how lovely to have had time on your own with your baby girl. Take care and rest when you can :)

Teresa_K_S
Teresa_K_SVolunteer

Lovely news Jessi_D that you have felt better. My mum always used to say to me take one day at a time (to help reduce the worrying) She was right though in how much difference a day could make. Glad they've found a better balance of meds for you Take care T x

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