Pregnant and mental in a pandemic. Not my best laid plan…

Hello! I haven’t blogged about this largely because life has been busy working full time around a 5 year old in a pandemic. But I’m 20 weeks pregnant and wondering if anyone took aripiprozole during and after pregnancy?

I’m under the perinatal mental health here – luckily, as Belfast Trust in Northern Ireland is the only trust in the country which has one. I was under them in London as well. I am well, largely – their main concerns are me developing post partum psychosis, and I’m being fairly closely monitored for relapse during pregnancy. So far, so good, aside from a little bit of low mood but it’s been mostly due to just being really exhausted and struggling with physical stuff keeping me awake. I am pretty anxious too, but that’s partly the whole global pandemic thing, my personality and the general anxiety provokingness of pregnancy.

I have, as you know, tried to manage on minimal or no medication for some years and just take medication in periods of super mood wobbliness. I’ve been through the wringer in the past two years with multiple bereavements and had some therapy to cope with that.

In my last pregnancy, I was taking Quetiapine the whole way through and after birth. They wanted me to do that this time but I flat out refused as the sedating effects of Quetiapine never went away for me in all the years I took it, and I found it incredibly hard to function as a parent.

Now, with a 5 year old as well as a newborn, I just can’t be knocked out 12 hours a day. Aripiprozole was suggested as a compromise but I have no experience of it all. I wanted to breastfeed this time (tried, failed last time) but I know with this medication it is absolutely contraindicated, I just can’t. But I am also aware of how rapidly postpartum psychosis happens and I know, as much as I’d rather not know, that it’s likely it’s for the best I’m taking something to prevent it. It does break my heart a wee bit though and I wish I didn’t have to think about these things or make these kind of choices.

Robert never went back to full time work after Oisín (he had to quit his job as it was a night shift job and I needed to be able to sleep in order to stay sane, and then became a SAHD in our skint family) so I will have that support again and be able to hopefully rest enough.

So basically, pregnant in a pandemic, back with psychiatrists, medication I have no experience in making me very apprehensive – any of your experiences appreciated! I’m not fussed about side effects like weight gain – jig is up, Quetiapine already turned me into a fluffster, I am a round chick- but more about sedation and depression.

10 Responses


    Help us spread this chain and spread clean water for millions of children around the world. Namaste 🙏

    Sent from my iPhone AT&T


  2. I was taking clozapine throughout pregnancy but got off to breastfeed due to sedation effects. Now I take Olanzipine which is (apparently) breastfeeding safe and there is no sedation.

  3. I took all kinds of meds during my pregnancy, my baby had to stay in the hospital a little longer (just to be sure), but she had no side effects, so I wouldn’t be too worried. You are doing great!

  4. You are a true inspiration. Keep holding on and moving forward. I know that 2020 has been a nightmare when it comes to the disease outbreak, news limits and restrictions. But things are gonna be alright in the end.

  5. With your f****** detox

  6. I’m so sorry my phone started acting crazy I was telling you I love your site and content I to have dealt with this demon

  7. Have you tried taking the meds in one dose at night instead of spacing it through the day? It’s just a suggestion but it makes it so much easier to function when you’re only sedated while you’re asleep!

  8. I hope the medication works well. I wish I had some wonderful advice for you… All I know is your baby is lucky to have a mom that is so open and who is trying so hard. Best of luck to you ❤

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