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Thread: Pre-Natal depression(?)

  1. #1

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    Default Pre-Natal depression(?)

    Hi. I was wandering if anyone has any experience with depression during pregnancy. I'm 29 weeks pregnant and in a loving and happy relationship. I live in a lovely place and although im not quite prepared for this baby...nursery not ready etc, we are pretty well set up. I have had a good pregnancy so far and as far as we know a healthy baby. I have a small group of friends who are all really understanding although none of them have kids and all my family live in England. We are both excited to have this baby which is why i cant understand why i feel so down.
    Its only been a week since i started feeling like this, i have no motivation to do anything. I have never felt like this before, sure everyone has down days but i just cant seam to shake this feeling. I have talked to my partner and he kind of understands, says its hormones and its expected to be nervous. But i have had days like that and they pass, this feels like a cloud over me. I wake up in the morning and feel so miserable, just want to curl up and sleep all day.
    Would love to know if this is just hormones and i should just get on with it and stop complaining or if anyone else has felt like this and what they did!
    Thanks.


  2. #2

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    Hi,

    I am struggling at the moment as well, having just been diagnosed with ante-natal depression and anxiety, which is more common than you might think. There is a big difference to the normal fear, nerves and worries of pregnancy, and overwhelming depression and anxiety. You will know when it's just normal nerves, and when it is something more.

    I can't really help much, as I'm only just starting to understand it all myself, but what I would suggest is talk to your GP about it, and also the midwives at your hospital (or your Ob if thats who you see). The midwives might be able to set up some counselling within the hospital, or your GP/Ob could refer you to a counsellor. I would suggest doing that, as I've done some reading the past few days that recommend treatment now before the birth to minimise the possibility of postnatal depression. Talking with someone can really help, and also I have heard there are some anti-depressants/anxiety medication that are safe during pregnancy if that is what you need.

    Also something that has helped me is reducing my workload (well I'm at uni so its my studyload but you know what I mean). It's helped because I can use that time I would have been studying for that subject to rest and look after myself and bub. Hopefully thats a possibility for you? When you talk to the midwives they might be able to write a letter that enables you to stop work early, or reduce your load from now until you stop work? Anyway, thats pretty much all I can suggest because like I said I'm only just starting to work through it myself.

    (P.S. I notice you're in the Sunshine Coast, whereabouts? I am in Beerwah. If you have MSN you can add me if you like, it'd be nice to meet some people in the area and we're about the same way along in the pregnancy too [email protected])

  3. #3
    Juanita Guest

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    Hi Guys!! First up I really emphathise and totally understand. I have 2 boys (now 2 & 4) and have had post-natal depression with both. I can look back now and say particularly with my second that I really needed treatment during my pregnancy, but struggled thru, trying to be a hero I suppose. I've been on and off meducation post both bubs, and (stupidly!!) have only just in the last 4 months been seeing a psychologist on a regular basis. This with medication has been a godsend!! I cannot believe what a difference it really has made to have a person who is removed from the situation to engage with. By the way a psychologist is either fully or partially covered by medicare now if you go to your GP and get a "Mental Health Plan" done for you. If either of you are having your bubs at Selangor Hosp in Nambour they also have an excellent PND program. Don't let people just blow you off by saying these are normal "hormonal" feelings, as i found Obstetricians ands some midwives liked to tell me this, maybe it is but best to let a professional help decide that with you!! Goodluck and big hugs, you're not alone.

  4. #4

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    hi, i think its normal to feel a little anxious before the arrival of your bub, however, it is better to watch for the onset of depression, which pretty much sums up what you are describing.
    Its also hard to feel that you are alone - and I just wanted to post and tell you that you are not alone in any way, shape or form. Help is always at hand.

    Please let me know if I can help in anyway, I live in Nambour - and I am 29 weeks along, and already have a bub - so I know a little bit about anxiety and depression after bubs has come along.

    It's not easy - but we are here to help you through this.

  5. #5

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    Default Thinking About My Wife's Post-Natal Depressions

    My son Daniel was born in August 1977. My wife Chris had post-natal depression as she had had in the years after the birth of her first child Angela in 1970. By 1977 her two girls went to primary school. I had the first of a package of three episodes of bi-polar disorder in early 1978; this was followed by a second in 1979 and a third in May 1980. The 1978 episode began in NSW when I was teaching a course at a Baha'i summer school. Each of these episodes was extremely disorienting and in May 1980 I was finally treated with lithium which put an end to most of my symptoms forever. This was the general family context for my wife's post-natal depression.

    David Herbert, in his book Engaging Eccentrics: Recollections( Peter Owen, London, 1990, p.37) talks about what he calls the "missionary side" to his character which "makes it impossible for (him) to love anyone who....does not need(his) help." This particular anecdote caught my eye and mind because, looking back, it seems to me I had some of this tendency. Indeed, I married a second time, a very talented and lovely woman, and part of my motivation was simply that she needed my help to cope with life and a post-natal depression she was fighting at the time. I wrote a bit of a poem about the experience:

    After a lifetime of wall-to-wall people,
    it had come down to this: a small circle,
    nature's bliss and enough print to daily kiss.

    I still liked to fill the gap and help someone
    who came on my path. I don't think that
    would ever change. It was part of my role
    upon this stage and, indeed, fancy that.

    I married once quite long ago in '75
    someone whom I helped, who was low
    and I tried to bring her up to go
    along life's path and be in the know.

    It seems in my blood this tendency
    to help the needy, sad and sorry.
    Not as many cross my path now.
    My journey seems on different roads
    With different stories, different loads.

    Ron Price
    15 November 2001
    (updated for this Pregnancy,
    Birth and Baby Forum on
    18/6/08)
    -----------------
    Some thoughts in retrospect after more than 30 years.-Ron Price

  6. #6

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    Hi Beckoes!
    it's great that you have decided to take action on the feelings that you are experiencing. This is the first hurdle that for many takes a long time to get to.

    It took me almost 9 months before I admitted to my MACH nurse that i have Post Natal Depression (PND). Since then, it has been a weight lifted off my shoulders and there is a great deal of support out there.

    I can highly recommend a group called PANDA (post and ante-natal depression association). They have a great service that is organised by people that have suffered post and antenatal depression and they also have a great phone counselling service and can put you in touch with local support networks. I cannot recommend them highly enough. If you cannot access PANDA where you live, beyond blue is also fantastic and again can give you ideas on where to go for help. No one should have to live with the 'cloud' that is Post or Ante natal depression.

    big hugs to you! and good on you for trying to do something about it!

    I hope this helps!

    Clare

  7. #7

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    Default It's gonna b ok!

    Ok can I just say thank you so much to the brave folk who have shared thier stories here.. Without you I may not have known what the hell my problem was!!

    I have been diagnosed with pre-natal depression. I honestly didn't even know it existed until I visited this site and saw that what I was going thru, I wasn't the only one! I have always been a little judgemental about depressing because I was diagnosed years ago and 'sorted' it myself by simply seeking things that made me happy. I see now that clinical depression is a different thing altogether! And that in this case it's not just your hormones!!

    My partner and I suffered a miscarriage late 2007 and it was devastating. I have a son, now 11 and both my partner and I wanted so very much to have another child (it would have been his first). But it wasn't meant to be. So from December to July 2008 every month was a matter of hoping and praying my period didn't come! Finally we got the 2 lines on the test in late July and I was ecstatic!

    Even though we had wanted it so much, when I told my partner his response was 'don't get your hopes up yet'. I know he was only trying to be supportive in his way but that set me in a whirl of emotions! Also the 'sperm donor' from my first child had left town as soon as we found out I was pregnant so the first few weeks of this pregnancy were one of the most stressful times I have ever been thru! Wondering if there was a living baby growing this time, if I was going to be able to carry this one to term, did I DESERVE the child, my partner and my wonderful son? The guilt started to set in.

    The smallest things could set me off! I found days when I hadn't slept well the night before to be the absolute worst! I would start crying for no reason, I'd yell at my partner and son, all the while blaming myself for being such a ***** and telling them they'd be better off without me! I had thoughts of suicide but with such a wonderful son already, these could never be serious for me! I tried to leave my partner a few times but he wouldn't hear of it! He's a wonderful man who suffers from depression and anxiety himself so he was quite committed to making things work.

    One evening I went to my parents house and they weren't home when I got there. I promptly burst into tears! I knew it was ridiculous and that I was a strong woman but it was like I was somewhere outside of myself, watching myself being irrational, but not being able to step in and take control of it!

    Another facet that I have dealt with it the obsessive compulsive side of things. Besides letting myself get run down this is not easily seen as a negative thing! lol I spent a month cleaning my house from top to bottom!. Every spare minute was spent on my knees scrubbing etc.. Considering I am not usually such a tidy person this side effect was a god send! I always felt guilty that my son didn't have a tidy home to live in so am determined to make sure this new child has all the things my son missed out on. But when I had finished cleaning everything I decided I then needed to paint and renovate.. It went on from there, extended from the kitchen to the loungeroom etc etc.. Problem is now I can't relax.. I'm having pains in some places that can only be attributed to overworking myself. My partner now has to tell me to sit down and not take no for an answer. He also has to limit himself sometimes because with my state of mind, if he is working and I am not, the guilt becomes overwhelming!

    Anyway going into the third tri-mester things are looking up. My midwife has referred me to a psychologist and I have the best support network possible in my family and friends! I don't know where I would be without them. Unfortunately only those right up close seem to trigger depressive behaviours (my partner and son) but fortunately that leaves lots of other folks to talk me down if I can't do it myself.

    The biggest thing I would suggest to anyone who thinks they or thier partner has pre-natal depression is GET THEM ON SOME VITAMINS! I am taking a prenancy multi and I find that, on the days I forget to take it I am soooo much more inclined to have an episode! My mum can tell if I haven't been taking it just by looking at me and how tired I look!

    Pregnancy is a wonderful time and I am so looking forward to meeting our new little one! Oh and that's another thing. Thank God most of the research done into pre-natal says that there is no link to post-natal so don't despair. Get on top of things during the pregnancy and you set yourself up better for happiness after.. Don't try to control your episodes to begin with but rather understand them for what they are. There are so many other common symptoms but I don't wanna go on and on more than I have. Ask me if you wanna chat!

    Talk to yourself about the episode and recognise that it IS part of depressing, NOT a reflection on who you are as a mother or partner! It's scary but if you talk to anyone who will listen about things then it becomes a problem shared and therefore halved!! YOU ARE NORMAL I PROMISE!! lol

    L

  8. #8

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    Just letting you know that I was feeling depressed and told my midwives and they referred me to the mental health nurse, who it turns out, was fabulous. One of the things Im doing is starting calmbirth classes, as I have severe anxiety and she thought it would help before/during/after birth. I hope to use the skills for the future.
    Another thing is she's given me anumber of a play group for women who do tend to go through depression, and it is run by a psychologist, so I look forward to that support after the birth which I didnt' have before.
    Im also finding the relationship with my husband REALLY difficult, Mabye becuase he doesn't understand how I feel. Did anyone else find this?
    xo

  9. #9

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    Astyr & Mumma2girls: i hope everything works out for you!! I found it hard for the last part of my pregnancy, but like you said, work out the problems, talk to people and seek all the help you can!!
    i still have my moments but with a better network of friends and support from all the people that matter and my beautifull little girl everything is great!!

  10. #10

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    Default Mumma2girls

    Fortunately for me my partner does understand. He has suffered from depression and anxiety for years now so knows how it feels..

    The best thing I can suggest is to get him to do some research online! He needs to see that it's not only you who thinks you have a problem. He needs to know that it is well documented and REAL! The way my partner deals with things is to leave me be for a few minutes til he calms down (cos he still gets upset too when I'm being irrational) and then he comes to me and just tells me he loves me, wraps me in a hug and says whatever it is I need to hear. If your partner will go, get him to talk to a counsellor or someone with you cos I know it has to be hard on them too so maybe he needs support in supporting you!

    If there's anything else I can help with just let me know hun..

    L

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