what to expect when deciding to have ... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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what to expect when deciding to have another baby

Bring-it-Back-to-you
Bring-it-Back-to-you

Hi,

I have bipolar and suffered PP in 2019 following the birth of my Son. I have recovered but I am now worried about what will happen when we decide to have another baby. I'm on medication, sertraline, aripripazole and Lamotrigine and scared if I need to come off them. We are not thinking of getting preganant anytime soon and I know I can arrange to have a preconception appointment but just wondered if anyone had any experience of this situation?

Jenni x

11 Replies
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Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Bring-it-Back-to-you

I'm sure you will get lots of replies to this post of others who have 'been' there. I have only had one child, so I'm afraid I can't share personal experience. I know there are quite a few women on here who are currently pregnant though, so you may want to just look through the posts as you may find some posts seeking similar support to yourself, with answers you'd find helpful.

I know there are many women with bipolar diagnosis, and previous history of pp, who go on to have more children. I think with good planning and support you can have a really good chance of staying well too.

A preconception meeting is definitely a good idea. I do know that a lot of medicines are OK to take in pregnancy, and definitely it is about getting support and advice from a specialist perinatal mental health psychiatrist who can give you that information, and explain your options.

I also wanted to let you know about our guide, which is free to download on our website, about planning a pregnancy if you are at risk of PP. It was written with leading perinatal mental health clinicians and academics, and families affected by pp. This is our web page that includes the link to the guide, for women with bipolar diagnosis and who are considering a pregnancy: app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

I do hope that's helpful, and do keep writing here for support,

Ellie

Thank you so much, I will download the guide :)

Hi Bring-it-Back-to-you,

I attended a preconception counselling meeting back in May June this year as we are also thinking of a second child. It was a good opportunity for me to get even more information about risks, medication alternatives, services in the area that I could access when I get pregnant and what will be in place to improve the chances of ppp not repeating. Also, to get a feel for the perinatal psychiatrist that may see you through your pregnancy and perinatal period.

The decision as you say is plagued with what ifs, it is very complex, me and my husband revisited it countless times. Give it time and patience and talk it through with your partner.

I have received great advice here from other mums that went on to have a second baby after pp. I even read some of that to my husband and it was so beneficial for us two. The support in this forum is so amazing.

The guides are also worth checking, they are full of very useful information and have a lot of heart felt advice by pp mums.

Take good care my dear and enjoy your cheeky rascal

Thank you so much :) x

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Bring-it-Back-to-you and EmiMum

I had PP many years ago and as you know there are mums here for whom PP did not return. There is so much help and support from mums here and APP resources.

I think when you are considering a second child after the trauma of PP, it might be a good idea to contact APP’s Second Opinion Service at Cardiff University. Here you will find professional advice for women who have experienced PP or bipolar disorder and require advice regarding treatment or planning further pregnancies.

Requests must be made by the doctor in charge of your care. There is no charge for this service either to you or the referring NHS Trust. I think it’s possible to have a consultation via video call. The link is app-network.org/what-is-pp/....

Wishing you both the best of times.

EmiMum
EmiMum in reply to Lilybeth

Thanks Lilybeth, that's a very good tip

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer in reply to EmiMum

You’re very welcome EmiMum :) I had the good fortune to meet the team years ago who confirmed my PP diagnosis ..... so kind and caring.

Thank you for your reply I will look into the second opinion service:) x

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Thanks Bring-it-Bak-to-you ...... take care :) x

My sister had ppp then bipolar disorder her illness was all to do with hormones and her ppp was to do with a severe drop in progesterone after giving birth

There should be more awareness about the role progesterone plays in pp progesterone is a calming hormone and when it drops oestrogen runs riot causing pp

Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi all,

Following on from your reply lillyofthevalley37 , the causes and reasons for postpartum psychosis, from all the research that has been done, and from hearing many people's stories. Often it is a combination of factors, individual for each person, including the possible impact of hormonal changes.

Information about possible reasons / causes of PP is on our website under the FAQ page: app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

It is written there:

There are likely to be many factors that lead to an episode of Postpartum Psychosis. We know that genetic factors are important. You are more likely to have Postpartum Psychosis if a close relative has had it. Changes in hormone levels and disrupted sleep patterns may also be involved. Postpartum Psychosis might be more common in women with thyroid problems or pre-eclampsia, but further research is desperately needed though to understand the complex interaction of biological, psychological and social factors that are involved.

I hope that's helpful

Ellie

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