Baby #2: Hello all! Ive been following... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Baby #2

Glamaw
Glamaw

Hello all! Ive been following many of your posts but haven’t yet written. I had PPP in July of 2016 and fully recovered. It was completely out of the blue and never have had any previous mental health issues. We found the Zoloft and latuda were the best meds for me. I know many women go on to have second or third baby with and without reoccurrence of PPP. I recently took a HPT and it was positive! So now I need to get “my ducks in a row” (make appointments with ob, psych, ect. So I can do my best to prevent another episode. It was of course a horrible experience but for those of you suffering now with the right meds, supports, and therapy you can fully recover!! Have a great day everyone.

15 Replies
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With that being said... what has everyone else done to go on to have another baby without a reoccurring episode of PPP. Any success stories ??

Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Welcome to the forum! It’s great you have found us. Congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope you’re able to get all the support and advice you need.

I don’t have any personal experience to share of having a second child after Pp but I hope others will share their experience and let you know what helped them. I did want to make sure that you knew though about our guide, written by families who have been affected by pp, and leading perinatal mental health conditions. It is free to download from our website: app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

I do hope this is helpful, and do write here for any support, we are all here for you!

Ellie

Glamaw
Glamaw
in reply to Ellie_at_APP

Thanks for your response! Very helpful article and I’m excited to meet with my psychiatrist to establish a care plan. As I get further along in my pregnancy I’ll be sure to check back in with this community! It’s a great resource.

Hannah_at_APP
Hannah_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Glamaw, welcome to the forum and congratulations! I had PP after my 1st child in 2009 and then had a 2nd child in 2013 with no recurrence happily.

Planning and support was really key - I was unlucky in that there was no specialist team where I live and the Mother & Baby Unit I was treated in had closed. Professionals locally, whilst (mostly) lovely, weren't quite sure what to do with me, as I was well, not on any meds and without any other diagnosis before or since. But I was lucky in that I had come across APP and had been volunteering with them for a little while and knew about the amazing stories, information and support offered!

I showed the information which Ellie shared to my midwife and also GP. It was useful in getting me a mental health referal although I didn't see anyone locally until very late in pregnancy so it was a bit of a worry! In the meantime, I wrote my own "care plan" - like the traditional birth plan but about my PP - key info, contacts, our history, hopes and wishes for the birth, any medication/ treatment preference, and things to have in place for my eldest son too (who was obviously at the forefront of my mind in becoming not only a big brother but potentially being around if I had become ill again).

Perhaps you could consider doing something similar, or asking for professionals to put this together? I know the hospital found it really helpful when I went in for the birth (more so in some ways than the medical notes I think!) It also gave us a feeling of trying to prepare, do something to try and get things in place when in fact it was a real struggle to get my risk taken seriously.

I think you are in the US - so I appreciate that things may work differently than here in the UK but I hope some of this has been helpful to you. Take care and feel free to ask any more questions, xx

Thank you so much for your response! Yes I am in US and so we dont have many MBUs, but your story gives me high hopes! I will definitely be putting my own wishes for a care plan in place and having psychiatrist input about medications! I’ve been off meds (latuda and Zoloft) for over a year now and just feel like with the right amount of sleep,meds, and help in place I’ll be in a much better mental state this time around!

Did you start taking any medications during pregnancy or after baby was delivered ? Or did you just wait and see if early warning symptoms occurred ?

Hannah_at_APP
Hannah_at_APPAdministrator
in reply to Glamaw

Hi Glamaw, I didn't take any medication in pregnancy as I was well and had no symptoms, so it wasn't something that was needed. After (belatedly, at 8 months pregnant!) seeing a psychiatrist locally, and some information through APP, I was given anti-psychotics to take after the birth. I did this from the first evening so took them to hospital with me when having my son - it was a low dose of the one I had taken and had worked for me previously (Olanzapine). Nobody was quite sure whether it was something that would work but for us, it was something we felt we could do to try and promote sleep, get rest, and keep any symptoms at bay. I did have a little anxiety in the early days and weeks but was reassured by being told that if I wasn't a bit worried about becoming severely unwell, they would be worried that in fact I was becoming unwell, if that makes sense!

I think it's very natural to worry but with some good planning and probably a dose of good luck, our journey second time was thankfully very different. I'd also agree with others about the second child being different in terms of everything not being so new; of course it's still very special, but somehow different and not so daunting. I would also have had my meds increased if needed, or even started in pregnancy potentially, if any signs had shown. I think my mantra all the way through was that it "couldn't be as bad as the first time" and "I've recovered once, if I really have to, I can do it again". It's a very personal choice of course, but was the right one for our family - which is now complete, I never wanted more than 2 children and certainly wouldn't now! Hope this helps, all the best, xx

So reassuring to hear your successful second time around! I’m hoping to do the same as you and have meds on Hand right after delivery , unless psychiatrist wants me to start in late pregnancy, I’ll do that too! Either way , yes being a little worried I would agree is normal and your right if it happens I know recover is possible! Thanks for you thoughts and well wishes!

Hidden
HiddenVolunteer

Hello Glamaw,

Welcome to the APP forum. I have no doubt that females on here will be able to share their experiences with you with regards to their second pregnancy support, guidance and PPP prevention.

Luckily we have professionals available who can help and give guidance.

Mums have stories to tell, loads of positive once. It is wonderful that choices and opportunities are given...

Despite PPP in 2010 I would not change anything, because I have my son and a wonderful partner.

Wishing you the best of luck.

:-)

Glamaw
Glamaw
in reply to Hidden

Yes , even though it was a rough start I am so grateful for my son, who just turned 2 in June and of course my entire support system! Thanks for welcoming me into this community 😊

Congratulations! Such an exciting time but I remember the fear too.

My second child is nearly six months and I’ve stayed reasonably well this time. I had excellent help from a perinatal mental health team starting early in pregnancy and that’s made all the difference.

I took 60mg fluoxetine (Prozac) throughout the pregnancy and added mirtazipine at a low dose for the last 5 weeks (which had the amazing side effect of finally ending my sickness, I think that did more to lift my mood than the medication itself!). My care plan dictated I come home from hospital with antipsychotic (respiridone which I’d been on before), lorazepam, and sleeping pills, all to use if things started deteriorating. I chose to start the antipsychotic after about a week because my thoughts were racing, a warning sign I’d identified before. Then at about 5 weeks my mood began to dip so the psychiatrist increased the mirtazipine dose to a more usual therapeutic level. I’ve used the lorazepam from time to time too but not regularly.

I’m still on those meds now and not sure when (if) they’ll be coming down. I’m a bit different to you though in that I have had major depression for a long time before my first child.

Thank you for sharing some bits on your experience! I was originally on respirdone when admitted and discharged from inpatient psychiatry unit but it was not working. Luckily we found latuda and it began to take effect very quickly! I’m sorry to hear you’ve struggled with depression before but it seems that many are here for your support. Glad I found this group 😊. Hopefully I can keep you all posted as this pregnancy progresses.

Teresa_K_S
Teresa_K_SVolunteer

Hi Glamaw,

Congratulations on your exciting pregnancy!

I echo Jododo in that I stayed reasonably well during and after my subsequent pregnancies. I went on to have 2 more children after having PPP with my first. Although it was 7 years before I dared to have our 2nd child. Postpartum Psychosis does have a massive effect doesnt it?. In ourselves mainly but also in every area of our life, relationships, extended family and work also.

I would say I stayed reasonably well after my other children as I didnt suffer any psychosis thank goodness. I did however have very wobbly times and times of being low and feeling like I couldn't cope. All this was managed for me with the help of the following:-

I was on an antidepressant whilst pregnant but was put on an older less effective one as this was deemed safer for baby.

I had a sort of care plan in place.

There were no mbu units available and this thought terrified me as I really didnt want to be separated from my baby. So we had no plans as to what would happen to my husband, baby and 7yr old son should I have to be hospitalised again! I would advise at least discussing it so that you can feel settled in knowing what is best.

My plan mainly consisted of my staying on the the older type anti depressant so that I could breastfeed (Something I was adamant was really important to me) My psychiatrist once she looked into it and got futher specialist advise agreed it was a good plan as breastfeeding releases natural hormones to help mum relax and sleep. So I was happy with that . . . And then the plan beyond that was that I would contact the psychiatrists for an emergency appointment as soon as I felt my mood begin to dip. That way I could be put onto a better antidepressant and mood stabilizer as soon as possible. I made it to 6 weeks and 9 weeks with my 2nd and 3rd baby before I urgently needed the better medication.

I must say for me though staying well was also due to all the support I had. Family, my husband and my parents were all crucial to my wellbeing. My mum could tell over the phone from the sound of my voice whether I was having a day struggling or not and she would be there at the drop of a hat. She would also know when i was fine and on these days would leave me to get on with things. I also had a next door but one neighbour who I got to know very well who helped immensley and even though I have now moved house we are the best of friends and see each other most days.

I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have there parents close by but if you can build up your support network as much as possible this will make a huge difference.

Lastly I will say one of the biggest differences between having your first child and second is how much different you feel in yourself. I was so much more confident 2nd time around! I didnt doubt myself as much and when every different baby stage came along. . .well we had been here before and it was so much easier to trust in my own judgement and know I was doing what was right! In that respect things did seem to come easier

All the best, wishing you luck and stay well

Teresa x

Glamaw
Glamaw
in reply to Teresa_K_S

Thanks for sharing! Like you , I have a wonderful support system! Both my mom, mother in law, a few close friends and many family members have said they’d all pitch in to help us! I almost think that with our son my husband and I felt like we needed to do the “heavy lifting” since he was our baby! But now we know how important it is to have the help 24/7!

Jenny_at_APP
Jenny_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Glamaw

Congratulations on your pregnancy! You've already had some great advice and information above.

I had PP in 2012 after the birth of my first son, like you no history of any mental health problems. I had a second son in 2016 and fortunately had no recurrence of PP.

For me, my plans for after the birth focused mainly on getting enough sleep. I chose not to breastfeed (obviously a very personal decision, for me breastfeeding was a major 'thing' first time around and I just wanted to remove it from the equation) and my husband and mum did the night feeds for the first few weeks. I also chose to take a low dose of medication after delivery, which could be quickly upped if I started displaying symptoms.

Happy to share any further details of the planning we did if it would be helpful further down the line.

And I'd absolutely agree with Teresa above - the fact you have a better idea of what to expect with a small baby and that all those different stages will pass, and are just more confident (even if only a little!) makes a big difference.

Good luck with your early meetings and your pregnancy! Do come back here for advice and support any time :)

Jenny x

Glamaw
Glamaw
in reply to Jenny_at_APP

So wonderful to hear you remained healthy second time around!! I am also leaning on non breastfeeding so I can get my rest! On the normal I usually sleep 8-10 hours a night! And what a huge depreviation it was having to get up every 1-2 hours during days/nights to feed! I’m leaning to take the low dose of meds towards end of pregnancy or right after delivery (whatever doc recommends) just as precaution ! But yes , with baby #2 comes a little more confidence 😊 thanks for sharing!!!

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