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Hi! I was looking for support during pregnancy with mental health struggles and came across this board...hoping I can help others looking for support as well!
I am 29 years old and 27 weeks pregnant with my first...it's a boy! I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1 (no psychosis), a generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD from a roll over car accident I was in. I was fairly stable the last few years on a concoction of medication that I found that really worked well for me. Unfortunately, none of the medications are considered real safe during pregnancy so starting last December I started tapering off of them. After 6 months the docs decided I was doing about as well as I could and on the least amount of medication possible for me at the time...I had cut out one medication completely and was on very very low doses of the other 2. I got pregnant right away and did great the first few months (well with mental health at least!) until I was fired due to having pregnancy complications that kept me out of work a few days. Now, with the stress of having a lawyer and working with unemployment and having absolutely NO MONEY at all without my job I have had to raise the dose of my anti-psychotic twice and started taking a different benzo as needed way more often than I used to need it just to get through the day without being self destructive.
I was prepared to go off of the anti-psychotic and benzo completely at least a month before expected delivery for 2 reasons-I desperately want to breastfeed and really do not want baby to have any issues with withdrawals. Unfortunately, over the last week I have had a major mood swing into major depression and am not functioning. My OB and psychiatrist agree that it is not a good idea to go off of any medication at the moment and that there is more risk to the baby to go off of medication and be anxious and depressed than to stay on the meds. So unless all of a sudden I am doing great and can try to get off them again (they are both medications than can be tapered down pretty quickly) I have to give up my dreams of breastfeeding and need to prepare for the baby to be taken straight to NICU for up to 5-7 days to be observed for withdrawals
I am really having trouble processing all of this. None of this is going how I planned it and I pretty much feel like a failure as a mom and he's not even here yet. I want what is best for him and if that means he stays in the NICU so they can keep him comfortable, I will deal with it but that doesn't change the fact that I wish things were different.
Anyway, I am so sorry for the long introduction. Has anyone had experience delivering while on medications? How do I get over not being able to breastfeed?
I would greatly appreciate any input and hope that I can help others on this board deal with their struggles and at least be supportive and a good listening ear. Thanks for listening everyone and hope you all are having fabulous days!
I was on Lamictal when I delivered the twins. They didn't have withdrawal.
With my first breastfeeding was horrible and didn't work. I felt like a failure. With the twins, I didn't even try and it was GREAT! The baby is hungry and crying, give it a bottle and it will drink. There aren't latching problems. You know the baby is eating. Other people can help. I felt like a better mother NOT breastfeeding.
Wow, I haven't been here in a while! Sorry I didn't respond earlier
I also have Bipolar 1 with lasting manic episodes but low depressive ones. I have depersonalization disorder as well as slight agoraphobia, social anxiety and separation anxiety.
I was on several meds with my first pregnancy and as a result, Roman had too many problems to survive. PLEASE don't freak out! It sounds like you have better doctors than I ever did! My psych told me there were no reasons I should quit taking my meds and then at the 5 month check up and they found out Ro had hydrocephaly my OB screamed at me that I was a moron for taking my meds, etc. So there was NO communication between them :/
We just recently miscarried our 2nd baby and want to try so badly to have another baby that STAYS with us I just posted a thread here asking what meds your docs had you on (not YOU, but everyone ) so maybe I can look into them and get some much needed relief for my panic/anxiety.
to you! Keep us posted as your little one grows! And no, you're NOT a bad momma because you can't breast feed! I know I never can but I'm alright with that. Maybe if you still feel like you have to use breast milk, you can join a bank and get some that other mothers pumped (yep, it's a thing!)
Don't feel bad about not being able to breastfeed lots of women can't. I chose not to breastfeed.. My oldest is 8 and perfectly healthy and my new little one is almost 2 months and is formula fed as well and happy and healthy.
I was on Zoloft my entire pregnancy with my last and I had no complications and they baby was healthy and fine.
I hope everything works out for you. This board is great for support and understanding!
Thank you so much for the responses ladies....I'm sorry it took me so long to reply but my Little Man decided to come 4 weeks early and I have been a little preoccupied.
I ended up being on 15mg. of Abilify and 1-2 1mg doses of Lorazepam a week (acupuncture worked wonders for my anxiety!) and I was taking Codeine for back pain and a sinus infection at the time of delivery. My baby did spend 24 hours in the nursery but they don't think that his temperature fluctuating had anything to do with medication withdrawal but more from being a little early. We came home after 2 days and he is doing wonderful! I on the other hand am dealing with a lot of postpartum depression and am really struggling some days. Working the psychiatrist to get back on my normal medications and seeing a nurse care manager and counselor as well. I do think we will try for baby #2 shortly before I am on massive doses of medication and have to go through the mess of going off of them.
Michelle....I am so sorry about your loss. I really hope that you can find medications that are fairly safe during pregnancy that can get you through it emotionally. There is definitely hope out there-I seriously didn't think I was going to survive pregnancy much less the postpartum period and although it has been the most difficult experience of my life, it has also been the most rewarding and has made me more proud of myself than ever.
I hope all you ladies are hanging in there and doing well!
Hi. I have bipolar 1 as well. I took medication with one of my pregnancies but I didn't take meds with any of my others. A little late for me to give you input on meds. I have breastfed all my kids. With my dd I took ativan (which is what you're taking I think) and was okay, but I did end up having to wean her earlier than I wanted to to get back on my lithium. I breastfed my youngest for over a year, but my moods started to become unstable so I decided to wean him and go back on my lithium. It is hard when you can't breastfeed but you can still be close to your baby and you just need to take care of yourself. Your baby will be happy no matter how you feed him. <3 Nice to see more bipolar mommies on the board.
Missing my Mommy Weightloss & Fitness girls. You're the best!
Turns out that yes, baby is perfectly happy and healthy being bottle fed and mommy is much happier too! Sorry it took me so long to respond...been without a computer for awhile Landon was born 3 weeks early and was very small so he was required to spend 24 hours in the NICU even though he was doing fine. The only issue we had was that he had trouble latching onto the bottle nipple so we finger fed him with a tube for a couple days. I took 1mg of Lorazepam as needed and by my 2nd trimester I was up to 15mg of Abilify (5mg for the first trimester) and off of all the rest of my meds and he turned out perfect and although I struggled with severe postpartum depression and OCD every single thing I went through during this pregnancy was worth it...on to baby number 2!