So, I am diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type with anxiety/panic secondary, and I take multiple medications to maintain a somewhat normal life. Basically, I have bipolar disorder with mild schizophrenia and am prone to worrying (which should be fairly obvious if you’ve been reading me here), panic attacks, and agoraphobia. I’ve always assumed breastfeeding was off the table for me but from recent research it appears I might be able to do it safely for baby. The question is if I can do it safely for myself.
Schizoaffective disorder is a fairly serious mental illness. I think that I’d present myself as normal but very anxious. You probably wouldn’t guess that I sometimes become paranoid and suffer hallucinations. My mood swings have all but faded with my medication, except for occasional situational depression (I’ve had a hell of a time with the RPL, but it hasn’t broken me yet). Maintaining my mental health is a paramount concern for me, especially postpartum as bipolar disorder often causes postpartum psychosis or depression .
The heart of my medication routine is a large dose of the atypical antipsychotic Geodon, also known as ziprasidone. Geodon has not been adequately tested for safety during breastfeeding, but a couple other drugs in its class have been. So, I could feasibly switch, even temporarily. But there’s a significant risk that this may destabilize me, maybe just for a little while, or maybe the other medications won’t work for me (I’m thinking specifically of Risperdal or Seroquel, both of which appear to be safe for baby).
I really want to breastfeed, but messing with my meds during pregnancy might be ill-advised. I see my psychiatric obstetrician (specialist trained in psychiatry and obstetrics) next week so I’ll see what she thinks. Medication changes are a huge deal to me, a total disruption, and I don’t want to make changes unless my anatomy scan goes well (a big if).
I have a regular scan tomorrow. So I’m pretty on edge today.
So now is the part where I start losing my shit because I have an ultrasound. I have a lot of baggage surrounding ultrasounds; I’ve had so many bad ones. And I haven’t seen baby since my tenth week. The doppler is so reassuring but I know from experience it can be a false sense of security. Molly’s heartbeat rang out loud and clear, and she had a major heart defect.
I know it’s possible that tomorrow’s scan won’t tell much. I have to wait until my anatomy scan for that. How can this possibly go well?? I should know better.