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Antenatal depression?

I have been depressed 4 times in my life, 2 of those times were pretty bad but short-lived as the help I sought and received meant I came through it relatively quickly and I consider myself lucky on that score. Because of my experiences I tend to be quite aware of changes in me and I try hard to take action as soon as possible and usually know all the right things to do, the things that suit me.

Looking back I was extremely 'down' when pregnant with my son but it was years later that I realised that I was probably depressed and it wasn't simply a culmination of how hard I found it being pregnant. 

This time... I'm 'okay', nothing scary is going on, but I'm a totally different person to a few weeks ago. When I describe how I feel it ticks quite a few of the Black Dog boxes. I am trying, and am going to continue to try, to do the usual stuff to turn things around, but because I feel sh*t permanently so am right off exercise, and can't go out eating and/or drinking/dancing etc like I'd usually like to, my go-to pick-me-ups aren't readily available. I must persevere though. 

I just wondered whether anyone else had experienced similar, and if/how they tackled it. It would just be nice to know I'm not the only one as none of my parent friends have ever indicated they've had any depression in pregnancy. Thanks!


  • I got pregnant with E right on the back of losing my first son. When I was 3-4 months pregnant with her I was assessed by a psychiatrist at the request of a solicitor and I was told I had generalised anxiety disorder and clinical depression (hardly surprising). I had counselling throughout my pregnancy and then afterwards I had lots of home support as it led onto PND after she was born. When I was pregnant with J I was still pretty much there but I just had lots of extra mw appointments and health visitor home visits to keep n top of things. Don't feel like you have t do it alone, there is support for a reason. In your situation and recognising the signs I'd either see the GP and see what they can offer or contact your midwife.

  • Thanks for replying Pip. I think I am feeling better because I let it all out to hubby yesterday. Really let him see how hopeless and disinterested and detached it all feels. I'm not bad at all yet, but I want to start well, if you know what I mean. I did wonder about PND and whether it's likely to follow on. Sounds like you had it really, really tough. Good to hear you were pleased with the support. That's reassuring.

    I had my booking-in today and was upfront with the midwife about previous episodes and how I was feeling, and she was sweet and said they would fast-track me for a mental health assessment if I needed it and to just talk, immediately, if I needed anything. That's nice but when she asked if we were excited about the baby and I said I couldn't care less at the moment, she looked REALLY shocked, then I felt guilty. It sounds so cruel to say it, but I don't MEAN it like that. I am doing everything I can, and I WANT the baby, I just can't feel those things about anything at all at the moment. The baby sort of doesn't exist, in a way. I said I just need to get through the pregnancy and then everything will be fine. And I believe that.

    I'm going to carry on as I am for a week or two, I've some changes in my routine I want/need to make and if I'm not picking up or worse I'll see the GP.

  • I have no experience of depression or PND but I do believe that not every woman 'bonds' with her pregnancy - I certainly didn't for either one. I felt so guilty first time round as I so desperately wanted our baby and was really looking forward to being a mum but somehow to me, my bump was not my baby. to me, pregnancy was something you had to go through and then you get given your baby - sounds odd but that's the best way I can describe it. it was exactly the same with my second pregnancy, a feeling of 'hurry the ffff up and get this over with', not just in the last few weeks but right from my BFP.

    The point i'm making is that whilst you have other complicating factors due to your history it isn't necessarily all because of that that you feel this way. I love my 3 with all my heart and would lay my life down for them in a heartbeat but whilst pregnant I couldn't get excited about it all, I hated anyone coming near me/my bump and I wished it over with. I did literally take it day by day, crossed the days of the calendar and when I felt really down about it all I used to call the one friend who knew how I felt and we'd play 'what was good about today' - which is as it sounds, we would both list the small things that meant today was a good day, even if it was just 'I had a lovely cup of tea this morning'. it really helped me focus on the good when it was a dark day.

    and keep talking on here if you need to, we may not all understand but we can certainly be a sounding board for you to get stuff off your chest.

    Hope you are feeling better today.

  • Hey, thanks QK that's really nice to hear! I have never heard anyone say that. My Gran (gawd love her!) said that I was 'unnatural' to not enjoy my baby moving inside of me. She was adamant from that day on that I was 'just not maternal' even though my son and I are still incredibly close 16 years on. Good to know I'm not a total freak, lol.

  • definitely not a freak - well maybe you are but then i'm one too!! its a hard thing for me to tell people, only a few close friends know that I feel that way, even my mum doesn't know, she just thinks I was down because I was unwell through my pregnancies. I don't mention it unless prompted (as I was by your post) because i'm scared people will judge me for it. I still feel guilty about feeling that way but I am in no doubt that I love my children, it has had no detrimental effect on my feelings towards them, I bonded the second I had them in my arms.

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