New Pregnancy with bipolar diagnosis - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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New Pregnancy with bipolar diagnosis

AuroraDis
AuroraDis

Hi ladies,

I just wondered if there is anyone in a similar boat. I've recently found out that I am pregnant. My husband and I are very excited but I have also been hit by anxiety around wanting it to stick (still early days 5w3d), as well as more recently, over thinking symptoms of pregnancy to be symptoms of a relapse (namely waking between 4 and 6am for the past week!).

21 Replies
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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator

Hello AuroraDis,

Thank-you for your post and congratulations on your pregnancy. I am sorry you are worried at this time, but it is understandable that you might be anxious about relapsing.

I had PP in 2015 after the birth of my daughter. I do not have experience of bipolar, but I can relate to overanalysing things and worrying about relapsing sometimes. There are lots of ladies on this forum who have bipolar and have been through pregnancy, so hopefully some of their experiences will reassure you.

In the meantime, APP have an insider guide about planning a pregnancy that you might find useful (app-network.org/wp-content/...).

I wondered if, when you have your first GP or midwife appointment, whether you could talk to them about your history and ask to be referred to a perinatal team (if you are in the UK). They will be able to support you through your pregnancy and reassure you.

Do take care and we are here,

Sally x

Hi Sally

I spoke to the perinatal mental health team in my area when we were planning the pregnancy so I know I will be referred back again soon. Hopefully that will be helpful.

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello AuroraDis

Good to hear from you ..... congratulations on your pregnancy :) which is very exciting news for your family.

I don't have any experience of bipolar but there is a guide produced in partnership with APP "Bipolar disorder, pregnancy and childbirth" which might be helpful and can be found further down the same page as the PP Insider Guides at app-network.org/what-is-pp/....

Perhaps you might also be aware of the ecommunity at Bipolar UK? If not the link is bipolaruk.org/

It's not easy but try not to worry. Hopefully you will have a good care plan in place and be reassured by your care team. I can understand your worry of relapse but I also think with the heat at the moment, we are all finding it hard to sleep. However, if you are struggling with your anxiety perhaps talking to your husband about how you feel might help, or your care team? Take care and rest when you can.

AuroraDis
AuroraDis in reply to Lilybeth

Thanks, I've joined the bipolar e community this weekend :)

Cupcake201
Cupcake201 in reply to AuroraDis

Good Morning AuroraDis

Congratulations on your pregnancy, I had PP after my daughter was born in 2017 and I just got diagnosed with having Bipolar Disorder type 1.

My husband and I would like more children in the future x

I am also on the Bipolar UK e-community and find it really helpful.

Hi AuroraDis,

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Very exciting news!

I was diagnosed bipolar when I was 19( I am 30 now) and I have a beautiful little boy who is now 18months :) x I was taking Arriproazole before I got preganat due to relapsing as I found getting pregnant difficult, experiencing 3 miscarriages and was filled with anxiety. I too was under the perinatal team however I was only referred when I was pregnant I had no pre conception support. I was told to come off my meds and they would look at putting me back on them from 32 weeks however I went back on them at 26 weeks. My care plan consisted off seeing a perinatal psychologist every 3 months, a perinatal CPN was assigned to me from 32 weeks, they arranged for me to have a corner room to aid sleep instead of being on a busy ward as well as having a longer stay in hospital after the birth of my son (3 days) and I was to be assessed my the raid team (rapid assessment interface and discharge team) upon discharge although no one came to see me as I was so elated I told them I felt ok, so my advice would be even if you feel well still ensure you get the assessment. If I did become unwell I would be admitted to Mother and baby unit. When I was pregnant I was able to visit the unit in Birmingham. I unfortunately still become unwell with pp and eventually fell into a deep depression, I had no bond with my son and had to wait four weeks for a bed and was finally admitted to the mother and baby unit in Derby where I was a Paitiant for eight weeks. I completely understand your anxiety and fear of becoming unwell, it's difficult when you're pregnant to know what is the hormones and what is your bipolar, what's real and what isn't, what can I do to not become unwell? I use to stress so much trying my best to do everything to stay well however all the worrying and over analysing actually made me unwell. I know it's harder said than done but try to remain positive, have hope in that if you do become unwell it is not your fault, you will get better, it's ok and you're not alone. You're lucky to have found this forum as the support network is great!

I am here if you ever need to talk :) well we all are :) x

I wish you all the best and would love to follow and support you on your journey!

Kindest Regards

Jenni

Thanks Jenni. Reading your post has really reassured me. I have my booking appointment in a couple of weeks so suspect I'll be referred back to perinatal team then.

Ive managed my condition for 7 years without medication so I'm hoping I'll be able to continue but I'm on such high alert for bipolar symptoms as I would want to catch and control it asap.

I know there is an MBU only 40 minutes away from where we live so I'm fortunate in that sense. We've been trying for a while so I'm going the lockdown baby boob suspicions turn out not to materialise as I know capacity for beds can be a problem with MBUs!

Thanks again for your reply and showing an interest in my journey. It's really reassuring to speak to someone who understands!

Hi AuroraDis :)

I saw your post last week and have been meaning to reply.

Firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy! That is so exciting for you and your husband!

Secondly, while I'm not in the same boat, I can certainly appreciate what you are going through and how it can be stressful to worry about relapse. I too have Bipolar Disorder (type 1) and was diagnosed 10 years ago after an episode of psychosis. I had been stable for 9 years when my husband and I decided to get pregnant. We didn't go into it lightly as we knew there was a risk for post-partum issues but to be honest I was more worried about post-partum depression than anything else (silly me in hindsight). I was also scared about pregnancy, mainly the hormones and lack of sleep but ended up doing really well. I stuck with my Quetiapine and didn't even need to change the dose during pregnancy. The biggest mistake I made though was not seeing a psychiatrist during pregnancy as it took too long for me to get access to one post-partum when I needed it. I still feel my post-partum psychosis could have been prevented when I started to recognize I was hypomanic. I commend you on getting yourself the right support now as it will go a long way if anything does come up (which I sincerely hope it doesn't for you!). Please keep in mind that a LOT of women who have our condition have perfectly healthy pregnancies as well as post-partum recoveries. I feel that you are already doing a lot for yourself - getting on support groups for bipolar disorder, being on this forum, and educating yourself on the risks which helps you stay on top of things and in the drivers seat.

I lastly would like to offer a bit of advice if you are interested (if not please just ignore)! If you haven't already, teach your husband about the signs to look for as he can often be your sounding board if you are concerned. It helped me reduce my anxiety during pregnancy but also helped to confirm when I was in trouble.

I sincerely hope you have a beautiful healthy pregnancy with a "normal" post-partum - whatever that means!! I am here for you if you have any questions and am rooting for you from Canada that you remain as well as you have been over the past 7 years!

Best wishes!

AuroraDis
AuroraDis in reply to Babymummy

Thank you for your message. Apologies about the delay in replying. I had responded but it didn't post and I've only just noticed now.

It's really comforting to hear other people's stories and know that I'm not alone. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me.

I think I'm on track with educating my husband. He's probably sick of me making him read things and grilling him on signs and symptoms already (and no doubt my mum will do the same once she finds out too-bless him!) But having only had one episode before I still wonder whether we could catch it sooner now we know what to look for.

Thanks again

Hey :)

Just wondered how you're doing? Has you anxiety improved? Xx

Hi,

I would have said yes but we have an early scan booked privately this afternoon so it's back through the roof now. More about baby than bipolar though. Hopefully I'll feel better after this afternoon! Thanks for thinking of me:)

Sorry to hear you're struggling with anxiety still x Hope the scan went well <3 xx

Having a private scan yesterday has really helped (thankfully all positive!). Baby measuring a day ahead of what I expected with a strong heartbeat so I feel as though I can relax a bit now.

We also told my parents last night and I think having that increased support network of people in the know now will also help!

Thanks again for thinking of me!

That's great I'm so pleased 😊 Xxx

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello AuroraDis

Belated good wishes on your pregnancy. So pleased that you felt reassured by your recent positive scan :). I hope you have now been referred to the perinatal team for support. Take care.

AuroraDis
AuroraDis in reply to Lilybeth

Yes I have. Had my 12 week scan yesterday and all good. Have my perinatal appointment at the end of the month.

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi AuroraDis

Thanks for taking time to reply. I’m glad your scan was good and that you have your perinatal appointment soon. All the best.

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi AuroraDis

Time’s flying ..... and it’s nearly the end of the month :) I hope your perinatal appointment goes well. Thinking of you, take care.

AuroraDis
AuroraDis in reply to Lilybeth

Initial appointment went well thanks. Will start putting together a plan for the birth and first 6 months after my 20 week scan. Was more positive than I was expecting :)

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi AuroraDis

Thanks for taking time to reply. Good to hear your appointment was more positive than you were expecting. Have a good weekend. Take care.

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello AuroraDis

I hope you are keeping well. Thinking of you ... take care.

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