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Expecting my second baby after late onset PP with my first

Emilyr123 profile image

Hi 👋🏻

After posting on the forum for the first time the other week I just want to first say thanks for the supportive welcome.

I experienced late onset PP last year after stopping breastfeeding my first little one. I'm now expecting with our second child due any time in the next couple of weeks. I'm gratefully in a good place health wise now after my journey of illness and recovery (which still feels ongoing to me really). No longer any symptoms, not on any medication, "just" lingering PTSD.

I've read the guides on here and I'm with Perinatal and Early Intervention teams who have made a birth/care plan, have plans to monitor me closely after birth, medication in my bag just in case. I'm planning a home birth as I'm incredibly anxious in hospital settings now after my experiences last year being sectioned but I know there's still a chance I could end up in hospital which is a frightening prospect for me.

I just wanted to reach out to see how other mums personally approached subsequent births after experiencing PP? It feels like a strange place to be, wanting to be as prepared as possible but also feeling like it's out of my hands to an extent.

Thanks xxx

14 Replies
EmiMum profile image
EmiMumVolunteer

Hi Emilyr123,

I am so glad you have found the replies to your previous post helpful. There is a lovely sense of community on this forum, which is so difficult to find amongst other mum friends, pp being rare and such an extreme experience.

As I mentioned in your other post I went on to have my second baby in October last year. On the run up to the birth I felt understandably tense, the prospect of being ill again lingering in my mind. At the same time, I also felt reassured that every possible measure to prevent me becoming ill again was considered. Reading about so many mums on the forum for whom pp did not recur gave me hope. Thanks to the care and attention of the perinatal and midwifery teams I believed that my experience of the birth and early newborn days could be different this time around, and in truth it was. That is not to say I was blindly believing everything will be rosy, but I felt reassured that we had considered many probable scenarios and thought about a plan of action.

Like you I had medication on my bag to take if I needed to, it was on the plan to go from 2.5 to 5 mg olanzapine after the birth, but I had some extra 2.5 mg pills in case I felt I needed to go to 7.5 mg. We had already organized for my husband to help with the night feeds to ensure I slept well, and my CPN checked up on us very regularly after we were back from the hospital.

I'll be thinking of you in the next couple of weeks, I wish your birth to be the experience you want it to be. Take good care

Emilyr123 profile image
Emilyr123 in reply to EmiMum

Thanks for your reply EmiMum :) It's good to hear that you felt having everything in place helped and that being prepared in that way was a positive experience.

It encourages me that I've done what I can and hopefully gone about it the right way too.

Thank you so much for your well wishes ❤

EmiMum profile image
EmiMumVolunteer in reply to Emilyr123

Hi Emilyr123,

Sorry, was replying earlier and my phone ran out of battery before I could post it.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. How are you feeling? The last few weeks can be so tiring, right? Combined with the excitement of meeting your baby very soon. I am glad that you feel encouraged by having done all you can. Try to rest as much as you can, although that may not be so easy as you have to juggle your eldest as well.

I wish you all the very best, you will be in my thoughts, take really good care

Emilyr123 profile image
Emilyr123 in reply to EmiMum

I'm good thanks for asking! But definitely feeling the fatigue now and so weighed down lol. Just so excited for labour to happen but my first didn't come till nearly 42 weeks and feel like this one might have similar ideas 🤭 I'm at peace with it though and ready for whenever it does happen. Thank you so much ❤

EmiMum profile image
EmiMumVolunteer in reply to Emilyr123

Hi Emilyr123,

They have their own mind, don't they? You put it so well, I remember that feeling that I am mentally ready for whatever comes, as I have done everything I could. I am sending you massive hugs and all the best wishes.

I’ve had my second son and I experienced a mania after. Not really psychosis but similar the fall after the high was worse the anxiety And depression. That followed , luckily I’m doing really welll and have balanced out back to me with the right meds and support x x x

Emilyr123 profile image
Emilyr123 in reply to JAnuaryX

I felt the same with my PP, the fall out afterwards was so much worse to deal with. Glad to hear that you're doing well now xxx

Hi Emily!!

I suffered PPP after I gave birth to my little boy in 2020. I fell pregnant in 2021 and just gave birth to my beautiful little girl in March 2022 :)

I like you, was closely watched by the perinatal team and had regular meetings at my local hospital to ensure I was looked after. We discussed my triggers and warning signs and again like you, had the medication in my bag just incase. I gave birth in the same hospital, but luckily didn’t feel triggered or worried by this.

I’m so pleased to say that my little girl is now 4 months old and not even a sign of PPP reappearing. I did not feel the need to take the medication again and this time round has been a completely different journey. I am so very thankful I got to experience the newborn days properly this time round and feel extremely lucky to have not gone through this again. My partner was very torn on wether to have more children and I am just so glad we did.. she has healed me! Also being on maternity leave with the 2 of them is just the best.

Another thing, I know it sounds really naive but I just kept saying to myself & everyone ‘it will not happen again’ I just convinced myself that everything was going to be fine, as I felt A LOT stronger, and I was just praying to god that it didn’t.

Wishing you all the best in this journey. And good luck!! xxx

Emilyr123 profile image
Emilyr123 in reply to mummy2beee

Hi mummy2beee thanks for your reply!

So lovely to hear that you have had such a positive experience with your second, it must feel all the more special. Also nice to hear that you're enjoying your maternity leave with them both, I hear so much doom and gloom about going from 1 to 2 children 😂

I definitely have an optimistic outlook and like you prefer having the attitude of 'this isn't going to get me!' Thanks so much for the encouragement ❤

Hi Emilyr123

I had a second baby in 2016 after having PP in 2012. I found reading other women’s experiences on here really helpful, and wanted to link to a couple of previous threads for you in addition to the replies you’re getting 😊 (there are a number of posts on here, if you click on one of the threads below and then look at ‘related posts’ that will show to the right of your screen you will find more):

healthunlocked.com/app-netw...

healthunlocked.com/app-netw...

For me, I did get to a place where I felt comfortable (as comfortable as I think was possible, it’s not nice when anything is out of our control is it!) that I’d planned as much as I could and the rest was out of my hands – I planned for the worst and hoped for the best. I had things written down - an advanced directive that the mental health nurse had helped me put together and had been shared with relevant healthcare professionals (if I did get admitted, what my wishes and preferences were about various things), a list for my husband of what to do and who to contact if I started showing any symptoms or concerning behaviour – those things then went in a drawer so they were out of sight but we knew where they were if needed… I told my friends I’d be staying off social media and may be out of contact for a while – not to worry if that was the case, my husband would let them know if anything happened. The other thing, which is something I picked up from the forum, was to have one side of A4 with key information on it which I put in the front of my hand held maternity notes (if those are still used) – the fact I was at risk of PP, my husband’s mobile number, a request for a side room if available, for help with night feeds if possible, to not put any pressure on me to breastfeed… As you’re planning a home birth this might not be relevant but the idea was that I wouldn’t have to keep repeating information to the staff as they changed shift etc., it was all there in my notes for them to read.

Prioritising sleep was the main thing for me. I was very lucky my mum is nearby and she and my husband shared the nights for the first few weeks. The first night we were home didn’t go to plan as my husband went down with a migraine! My mum came over and we realized none of us knew how to bottle feed a newborn (I breastfed in hospital – the plan was for me to do the first few feeds then switch to bottles and start taking a low dose of antipsychotic medication when we came home) so I probably ended up being up most of the night too as I felt so guilty. So you can’t plan for everything! But it was a very different experience and fortunately I did stay well.

Try and get as much rest as you can, look after yourself and use all the support that’s around you. If you need to distance yourself from visitors etc. to help ensure you get that rest, I found it helpful to proactively tell people I’d be off grid for a while. In reality I felt ok and didn’t feel the need to follow through with a lot of my plans, but I was kind of in control of that having set those boundaries so it felt easier, if that makes sense.

I hope things go well for you, I’ll be thinking of you over the next few weeks.

Take good care 😊

Jenny x

Thanks so much for the info and links to previous threads Jenny, really useful!

I think I have some very similar preparations I've made and the care teams have made. It's a good point about a list for your husband, I'll have to do the same for mine, he always relies on me to plan everything 😅

So glad for you that everything turned out well 😊

Thank you for the advice. I remember now that the first time round after being flagged as being at risk I warned family & friends I'd need some space immediately following the birth. I'll definitely do the same this time and perhaps start early so I can be as relaxed as possible beforehand.

Thanks again ❤

HelenMW profile image
HelenMWVolunteer

Hello Emily, I can absolutely understand all of your concerns. It is great that you have contacted APP though and I hope you will be encouraged. Congratulations on your pregnancy.

After my PP in 1988 I thought I would never have any more children. But …..

I did go on to have two more girls, 1996 and 1999. My plan mainly consisted of having my mum move in lock stock and barrel (whatever that means) . I had nothing to do for two weeks after the birth other than to see to myself, sleep, sleep and more sleep , feed the baby and rest. Back then in 1996 I had contacted the mbu in Basingstoke just in case. I took progesterone therapy but will never know if I needed it, plus it is not offered anymore. I also ate a steady diet of carbohydrates which seems odd but it was too keep my blood sugar levels stable. In my bag I had oatcakes and cheddars!! I did not want to have pethedine again so that was on my birth plan and I did opt for epidurals second and third time as my first labour was extremely stressful.

Will be thinking of you and do let us know how you get on.

I think for me the key thing was being prepared, having a support plan in place and getting plenty of sleep.

Sending warm wishes, Helen x

Emilyr123 profile image
Emilyr123 in reply to HelenMW

Thanks for your reply Helen and sharing your story.

Lovely to hear things went well for you with your subsequent children ❤

I'll definitely focus on rest & diet and make sure those things are at the top of my list! X

Pikorua profile image
PikoruaVolunteer

Wishing you well dearest Emilyr123...x

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