OCD – During and Post Pregnancy

So I’ve not posted for a few weeks, life has been a bit hectic as I’ve just had another baby and it hasn’t left much time for anything!

If you’d told me 5 years ago that I would have two babies now I probably wouldn’t have believed you.  I have come so far with my recovery over the last few years but still my OCD tries to bring me down daily and I have to keep strong and battle it constantly.  It is exhausting and having a baby definitely intensifies it.

I believe this pregnancy was easier then the first, there weren’t so many thoughts that floored me the way they did the first time around.  Possibly this was because I had less time to focus on the pregnancy with looking after my little boy but also I had a bit of experience on my side this time around.

Pregnancy and looking after a baby heightens everything: stress, hormones, fatigue all with less time for self care, eating well and exercise.  For anyone dealing with a mental health issue you will know how important all these things are to stay on track.  I believe I said the last time I blogged about pregnancy that I could understand how some mental health issues, such as Post natal depression, anxiety and OCD itself among others can actually be triggered by pregnancy let alone intensified by it.  It really is life changing in so many ways.

There have been a few things this time around which have caught me a bit off guard I’m sad to say, nothing too huge but enough to impact on my mood on occasion which I hate.  I can however still see that I’ve come a long way and when I do confront the thoughts rather then avoid them it does help so I have to remember that.

What advice would I give someone who has OCD and is struggling with pregnancy?  

  • Take one day at a time, one hour at a time if it helps (I still have to do this sometimes).
  • Don’t isolate yourself, except help and talk to people if you feel like you’re not coping
  • Remember that you’re definitely not alone, OCD in particular can make you feel very isolated, this is how it really gets under your skin, don’t let it.
  • If thoughts come to you when you’re up in the night don’t do anything with them until the morning.  The day can give everything a new perspective, if you can dismiss the thoughts altogether even better but definitely don’t tackle them in the middle of the night when everything seems worse.
  • If you can feel yourself getting stressed/anxious take a deep breath.  If you can safely remove yourself from the situation then do.  If that’s not possible try to ground yourself by being mindful about your surroundings.
  • Don’t beat yourself up, remember that no one finds this easy and if they tell you they do they’re probably lying or have a lot of help.

Hopefully some of this will help reassure anyone struggling with pregnancy related OCD and as always,

Stay Strong xxx

 

 

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