Mental Health & Pregnancy

So I’m not pregnant yet. But I hope to be trying next year if all goes well.
I am however very concerned about mental health with my future pregnancy. I suffer with Anxiety, PTSD, low mood. Had it for 10 years almost now so kind of got it in check now kind of. I’m just wondering about others experience of pregnancy already having a mental health issue. Did it become worse? Did you feel supported by health care professionals? I’m really considering that perhaps for my let’s say sanity it might be best if I don’t carry my child and look at other options. So I’m just looking for peoples stories bad or good just so I feel less alone in this worry. Thank you x

I struggled a LOT during my pregnancy w/ #4. I definitely needed to reach out to my doctors throughout that pregnancy. Yes, I generally felt supported, and FWIW it wouldn’t be terribly professional of any healthcare provider to judge you for needing help. Also, I thought for sure I’d have PPD like I’d had during my previous postpartum periods, but was actually very well supported, because I hired a lot more help.

Basically, two things are key: working closely with your mental healthcare providers to figure out a plan for before, during, and after pregnancy, and being extremely proactive in getting someone to help you with baby care, self care, chores, and especially getting sleep when you are postpartum.

Hey there. I suffer from anxiety, depression and PTSD and have sought treatment for all three. I was actually surprised that during my first trimester, I felt better than I had in a long time. I think it was the surge of progesterone since I’m normally low in that. My mood lowered in my second trimester unfortunately but I’m not hitting those extreme lows I’ve faced in the past. My doctor asks how I’m doing emotionally during each check up. I’m preparing myself for my PPD and plan to seek immediate care if I’m struggling at all since I’m familiar with all the signs. I’m worried a bit because I won’t really have many people to help me. My family lives far away but luckily I do have friends who have offered to help.

I would recommend being upfront with your obgyn about your mental health from the beginning. They should check in with you from that point on. If you are taking medication, you could ask your provider about what medications you can take during pregnancy.

Hey there, I also suffer from anxiety.

When I first got pregnant, I couldn’t keep my medication down, so I stopped taking it. I was surprisingly anxiety free until about 16 weeks when it slowly crept back. Sporadically at first, but by 24 weeks it was bad again.

My doctor, who knows my history, offered me a different medication, one highly recommended for pregnancy, and it’s been fantastic.

My midwife and doctor agree that being on correct meds and doing what you can to manage your symptoms during pregnancy will prepare you for after Bub is born. Not to say you definitely won’t get PPD, but there are programs and things you can do to prepare yourself.

I don’t suffer from any mental health issues, but during both pregnancies my doctors were consistently asking how I was feeling. Honestly, the best thing you’ll be able to do is let your doctor know, straight out, about any issues you may have. [name_m]Don[/name_m]'t assume they know about your anxiety and PTSD, and don’t drop hints, or rely on subtle physical cues.

I’m bipolar and went off my medication when I was pregnant with my first. I had a very hard time and many health care professionals were surprised I was no longer taking the meds and encouraged me to do so. There are many options when it comes to anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotics. Mother Risk at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto is a fantastic resource, they will research your medication and dosage over the phone and tell you if it safe for pregnancy and breast feeding. With my second I took Wellbutrin and Abilify and had no problems. I coped much better during the pregnancy and after, when your hormones are so all over the place. In my opinion, why make something already difficult harder than it needs to be if you don’t have to? My OB/GYN and family doctor both agreed that the mother’s health is a priority as your baby depends on your physical and mental well-being.

I wish you the best of luck! There are options and resources available. I felt very well-supported during both pregnancies and I hope you have the same experience.

As someone who had hands down the worst pregnancy of any one that I personally know (multiple emergency hospitalizations, surgeries, etc), I know that pregnancy can look like a lot of things, and at a certain point (based on the laws of whatever state), once you’re in it, you’re in it. So it’s very smart and wise that you’re thinking of these things ahead of time.

I’ll do my best to put together a comprehensive list of things you might want to consider and weigh against your own priorities to get the best feel for what might be right for yourself.

Here are the major factors to consider as far as your investment is concerned:

  • there is the time while you’re trying to conceive
  • pregnancy (9 months)
  • potential miscarriage (appx 25% of detected pregnancies fail in first trimester - if a pregnancy fails for whatever reason, you are supposed to wait 3 months for the uterine lining to build back up and hormones to re-stabilize in order to carry a subsequent healthy pregnancy)
  • post natal recovery (the first 4 wks, your hormone levels are adjusting wildly)
  • time until you sleep-train the baby (people have varying opinions on sleep training; those who are against it often endure waking up several times with baby every night until about 1 -1.5 yr of age when nearly all babies end up sleeping through the night one way or another)
  • duration of breastfeeding (if you want to). (hormone levels do not fully re-balance to pre-pregnancy levels until BF has ended, and many prescriptions and medicines that are safe for you to take while pregnant while fetus/baby is in utero are NOT safe for baby to take if you BF because the baby gets a much higher, often unsafe dose of the medicine via breastmilk than via blood supply when baby was in utero).

* It is also possible that the same medication (antidepressants / SSRI inhibitors, etc) may not work the same way post-baby as it did pre-baby because of all of the hormonal changes. If you can stay on the medication for the duration, it is possible that you may end up having to try new medications or alter dosage to account for the effects of the pregnancy hormones. It is also possible that you can stay on your medication throughout and everything goes wonderfully. Working with a mental health professional whom you trust early on can help you best navigate and mitigate anything that comes up.

Personally, I wouldn’t sacrifice my happiness and mental health by rolling to dice and hoping for an easy experience BECAUSE there are SO many ways to build a family these days, like surrogacy and adoption.
Here’s a handy resource that I found on surrogacy:

If you do choose to carry a pregnancy, don’t place the fate of your mental stability and happiness in the hands of your OB. Continue / start seeing a mental health professional and have him/her coordinate with your OB. Your happiness and mental wellbeing is paramount.

I have generalized anxiety disorder. I was on Ativan as needed and seroquel and Effexor XR daily. I dropped Ativan and seroquel during pregnancy as recommended. My doctor was very supportive. [name_m]Don[/name_m]’t be afraid to take medication during pregnancy. They know which are fine. By the time you find out you’re pregnant it’s way before the medications could harm the fetus. Certain psych meds are only harmful during the third trimester. Also look into magnesium and omega-3-6-9 supplements to help boost your mood naturally with the meds. Good luck!

It is significant to remember that the healthy body has a healthy mind. At the same time it is vice versa also. If you are fit mentally the body remains calm also. It is really lucky to be pregnant. It is a lifetime experience. It is the ultimate completion of the life of the couple. It adds happiness and pleasure. It brings the most delightful moments in out life. It is very important to stay calm before and during this process. Many researches have proved that one of the reasons of infertility is the mental stress. A person who is not mentally sound is not able to create a new life. It is extremely threatening for the fertility of both the men and the women. Couples in TTC often face the mental stress. The more calm and peaceful you are the better are the chances of getting pregnant. I wish all those who are planning a new life a happy and prosperous life in the near future.

I suffer from anxiety and depression, had been taking medication for years when I got pregnant with my son. It wasn’t planned, and when I realized I was pregnant I talked to my doctor and psychiatrist about it. Together with my psych I decided to stop taking my medication as soon as possible. I was terrified, but during my pregnancy I felt better than I had in years. I haven’t gotten back on my medication since, but it’'s still difficult coping without it at times.
My advice is, just be honest and open about your issues to the health professionals that are there to help you before, during and after your pregnancy, they will help you decide what’s best for you.

I was diagnosed with both anxiety and depression when I was a teenager. I was again diagnosed with post-partum depression after my youngest son was born. I have tried medication before but I didn’t like the way it made me felt so I’ve used alternatives. I have actually found that the heightened anxiety and depression during pregnancy has made it easier for me to cope and handle situations far better when I’m not pregnant/my hormones are balanced out.

I have been through 5 m/c… and have been seeing my therapist for a while now. I was really depressed and hopeless. and it was natural. I had to find someone to talk to. and it helped. a lot.
I am now in the middle of surrogacy. and am starting to gain my happiness back. the agency I am with, wcob, is really supportive. i have told them about everything I have been through and they are really attentive to such things. it helps a lot.

I have never thought about my mood when I am pregnant :o just after when Mothering I get nervous as I may not be able to instil morals as my opinions/beliefs/morals shift (BPD). I am diagnosed with Anxiety, Dysthymia Depression, Bipolar 2 & BPD. My depression got worse with my last M/C so I am on a health kick for 1 year (birth control being used) as I gained weight during my depression where I didn’t get out of bed for 6 months and my mental health was just shot, I couldn’t bare going outside as I felt like they knew I was a failure.
My GP seems to be very understanding of my mental health and wishing to TTC. My Psychologist is wonderful and I have a Nutritionist who is very supportive. I have been through many doctors (GP, Psychologists) but with my current ones I have never felt so understood and listened to and remembered by health workers, I think that is what you need to find in a Dr. I know there are meds that you can take while pregnant for mental health issues.