Risk of PP: Hi all, I’ve just joined... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Risk of PP

Aster1188
Aster1188

Hi all,

I’ve just joined and have bipolar, my husband and I are starting to plan for childbirth. We are being referred to our local perinatal services for pre-conception advice. I think i could be at risk of getting PP and wondered what people’s experiences are and if there’s any ways to reduce the risk.

Thankyou

Izzy

15 Replies
Jenny_at_APP
Jenny_at_APPAdministrator

Hello Aster1188

Welcome to the forum :)

I think being aware of the risks and putting plans in place to make sure you have good support around you are really important when planning a pregnancy. It’s great you’ve been referred for pre conception advice.

There is some great information on APP’s website if you’ve not already found it - app-network.org/

In particular, there is an insider guide for planning a pregnancy when at high risk of PP - app-network.org/what-is-pp/... - this was written with women with lived experience and covers the risks, planning and support after the birth.

I had PP out of the blue after the birth of my first child in 2012, no history of any mental illness. I went on to have a second child in 2016 and was told the risk of having PP again was around 50%. As well as the information above and via this forum, I had a consultation with Prof Ian Jones via APP’s second opinion service - app-network.org/what-is-pp/... which is also an option if you’re in the UK and needing further specialist advice (I didn’t have much in the way of perinatal mental health services locally).

There are lots of things to think about like feeding, medication, ensuring sufficient sleep and rest... and just that awareness and knowing what to look for and what to do should you get ill, and having the support of professionals, friends and family will put you in a good position :)

It can be an anxious time, and I hope I’m not writing too much, but I think planning gives you some peace of mind to allow you to enjoy the bits that should be enjoyed :)

You’ll find lots of shared experience and support here, I hope it’s helpful and do ask any questions.

Wishing you all the very best with your planning, exciting times!

Best wishes,

Jenny x

Hi Jenny thanks for your detailed message. I have looked at the resources you shared which was very useful. The second opinion sounds interesting perhaps I’ll see if I can be referred after the perinatal team referral. I have been researching it and found the website useful.

Izzy

Hi Izzy

I had PP back in 2014 with my firstborn then developed bipolar afterwards. They informed me that having another child would put me at risk ; however I seemed advise from professionals and the perinatal team and went to go on abs have another child in December 2020. I am pleased to say that no signs on pp just post natal depression which has been controlled. Other than that my best advice is SLEEP, eat regularly , reduce stress in any shape or form and accept help from the right people hun xx

Thanks for your message. Yes sleep is vital and helpful to hear about your experiences.

HelenMW
HelenMWVolunteer

Hello Aster and welcome to the forum.

The saying 'Forewarned is forearmed' comes to mind! It is great that you are in touch with your local perinatal team for pre conception advice.

My episode of PP came out of the blue and I had no history of mental illness. It was over thirty years ago and things have really improved and awareness has been raised about PP which is wonderful. The work of APP is amazing! You will be signposted to such a lot of very useful information.

For my subsequent pregnancies I did liaise with three specialists in the field of PP. I think gathering as much information as you can is very helpful. I did have a placed tentatively booked at a MBU just in case. The nearest one to me then was in Basingstoke. I am pleased to say I did not need it.

Sleep seems to be one of the key things for many. In my case, my Mum moved in lock stock and barrel . She enabled me to have only three things to think about, feeding the baby, eating a good diet myself and sleeping. She was forever sending me off to nap. It was a very special time for us and it was wonderful to be well during the post natal period. She also did all the washing and such which was wonderful!!

I went on to have a another baby in 1999 and was well again and other than the MBU which I felt I did not need to book, I repeated the plan with my Mum. She stayed for 10 days and again it was a real blessing.

Wishing you all the very best, Helen

Aster1188
Aster1188 in reply to HelenMW

Thanks Helen that’s really useful. I’m trying to get organised and definitely feel being forewarned is important. X

Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello dearest Aster1188,

I am pleased you found the APP forum. It is a good place to exchange lived experience, gain useful links and just know that worries can be lowered and reassurance given with regards to PPP.

The awareness of maybe being at risk with PPP, because of BP shows that you are knowledgeable in subject matter and well organised with family planning. I believe it is a good idea to connect with health professionals in this field for a second opinion.

My experience with PPP and treatment unfortunately was not ideal and I suffered PTS and continued with severe mental health issues. Once released from the mixed gender Psychiatric hospital I was improving gradually in my home sanctuary and finally being reunited with my partner and baby in 2010.

I have had a referral with Professor Ian Jones in 2018. There are quite a few women on this side, who arranged appointments via Cardiff University. He is an expert in perinatal mental health and focuses on BP research. We, my partner and I, have had 2 consultation within 6 months.

Professor Ian Jones is an amazing professional, thorough in his investigation of case studies, but simultaneously a humanist. Reasons for second opinions are diverse, but know that he would be able to help with family planning.

Since the consultation I can manage my Insomnia, and developed further self help tools for increasing my life quality when experiencing highs and lows. I am very grateful for the advice and support we received at the time.

Good luck with your future plans! x

Thanks for your message. I’m interested in the second opinion that professor Ian Jones provides but will perhaps seek this after support and referral to perinatal services. Thanks again x

Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer in reply to Aster1188

Wishing you well, Aster1188, - it is always important to chose what feels right for you and your personal circumstances.

Take care x

Teresa_K_S
Teresa_K_SVolunteer

Hi Aster1188,

How exciting for you both. Though I understand the excitement comes with questions and concerns too.

I had PPP after my first baby. I desperately wanted another child but knowing the risks I didn't dare take the plunge for another 7 years. When we did decide to plan for our second, things were very different. I had a care plan put in place should I become ill. I had meds changed as I wanted to breastfeed feed but the deal for me was as soon as my mood started to dip which was 9 weeks after the birth then I would stop breastfeeding so that I could return to more effective medication which I was on before pregnancy. I think this approach could be taken with me as my PPP after my first was very late onset. I didnt have PPP with my second but did have some wobbly times where we were always on high alert. I went on to have a 3rd baby and pretty much followed the same pattern medication and management wise and luckily avoided PPP again. I must say because of the first PPP I had such a lot of support after my other births. especially from my parents who would come through nearly every day to help me or just to break my day up. I really don't think I could have coped without them.

If you surround yourself with lots of support and plan as much as you can with your consultants you will be well prepared I'm sure.

Maybe start some good self care routines now that you can carry on with during and after pregnancy. Anything that helps reduce those stress levels and promotes rest and sleep would be beneficial

Good luck

Teresa x

Aster1188
Aster1188 in reply to Teresa_K_S

Thanks Teresa for your message. Good plan for starting self care now. X

Hi there,

I have bipolar too. I’m type 2.

I had PP with my first child but not with my second or third. My advice is: take quetiapine or Olanzapine; rest, try and enjoy life and your baby as he/she grows 😌😍.

If it happens, it happens but you will get over it and having a baby is worth it.

Sending hugs x

Thanks arabella for your message. I’m currently on sertraline and ariprazole but may change meds in the next few weeks as I have gained weight since being on the meds. X

I had a relapse in 2009. After this i had two children no relapse. I have history if bi polar 1. It ia high risk . You need medication after the baby. Possibly towards end of pregnancy depending on the case. You should arrange help for After the baby . I tuk extra quetiapine short term low dose to rest. I didnt breast feed. The epidural helped a great deal to reduce stress. You should try get a separate room when in hospital stay few days. They did this for me. Midwives can help with baby at night. Try rest as muvh as possible. Dont worry. This is not a guarantee but these steps with a good care plan should help a lot. Take vitamins omega 3 too. Good luck and just pray to God.

Aster1188
Aster1188 in reply to boat1

Thanks that’s useful to hear x

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