View Full Version : Panic attacks and pregnancy

20-05-04, 17:41
Hi everyone - this my first time posting. I have suffered from panic attacks for as long as I can rememeber - as a child I remember being terrified of the dark and just needing to run, as well as other symptoms which I now recognise as panic attacks. As adult they have mainly been triggered by certain situation, particularly noisy dark places.

Last year I lost two pregnancies -one ectopic and one miscarriage. I'm currently 26 weeks pregnant and everything is going well there. Since about 14 weeks the panic attacks have been awful. Day time, night time, all over the place. The doctor has said it's hormonal 0 I've been given diazepam for emergencies which I took earlier in the pregnancy. I'm now reluctant to as my baby is moving a lot and I'm worried that I will freak out if she doesn't move because she is drugged up. I've worked really hard to get better - have been having reflexology which is really helpful. Have also worked on my triggers - darkness, being hot and thirsty and worked out ways round it. We have walks every night which really help.

Deep down it is still hanging around like a noose round my neck. I am so exhausted from trying to control my panic day and night. I want a a break - a want to have some time away from having to think about my panic all the time.

In the past I have had prozac which really helped me - the doctor is not keen as i'm pregnant but I'm starting to wonder. I don't want to harm my child but i am so down.

Any idea and suggestions would be much appreciated.
Jenny x

21-05-04, 09:15
Hi Jenny,
I had panic attacks when I was expecting my third baby so I know how you feel. My doctor was unwilling to give me medication, but seeing how I was suffering, he let the first three months pass and then I took an anti-anxiety drug called Fluanxol, which helped a lot. I worried so much because I thought the constant adrenaline from panic would harm the baby. It didn't, it just harmed me because my blood pressure shot through the roof!!

People were very kind to me. In shops they would get out smelling salts for me because they thought the baby was making me feel faint, when in fact it was the panic.

Good news though - my baby was born fine. My labour was very calm and when I came home I was so busy with the baby, the panic got a lot better.

I've always been a panicker and always will be. Looking back I wish I had enjoyed my pregnancy more. But it sounds like you are doing all the right things to help yourself and at 26 weeks pregnant you are at a stage where maybe you could get some more help from the doctor.
Hope this helps,

21-05-04, 18:41
Dear Christine - thanks so much for your reply. It has really helped to settle me down. Particularly that you said that you had a very calm labour. I've been so worried that I will panic and then the baby will get distressed and I'll end up having to have an emergency cesarian. How did you manage to stay calm? Do you think it was the medication you'd been taking or did you do anything else to help?

I've just had a reflexology session this evening which has really helped - I'm going to try and have one in the early stages of labour too which I'm sure will help a bit.

Take care and thanks again for you reply,
Jenny x

april tones
21-05-04, 22:16
hi jenny, my story is similar, i had calm labour too, dont know how i managed to stay calm.As soon as contractions started i was happy and excited, not scared. I had no pain relief as was scared of taking them, i prefered to have pain! was not as bad as you think. I suffered panick attacks in pregnancy, first in years, due to hormones and stress, hope you ok now, have relaxing bath, if you want to chat you can email me. Do you know what your having?love aprilx


21-05-04, 22:24
Hi Jenny,
I'm glad my post helped a little. I was actually in labour for 33 hours and managed with no pain relief, not because I'm a saint or anything, but because I knew I could manage. I know people make out that having a baby is awful, but although I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt, I actually enjoyed my births. The reason I didn't panic during labour was because I simply didn't have the opportunity!! Trust me, you will be so absorbed by the moment that you wont panic. And remember, the midwife is there to help you with your breathing.

I don't think that anything you do will distress the baby. Babies always take what they need first and Mum is second best!! You are going to have a beautiful baby, and I am really jealous because mine are all grown up now!

Talk soon,


22-05-04, 17:55
Thanks so much for all your replies. I decided to bre pro-active and today did a tour of the maternity unit. It is lovely - big spacious rooms with lots of air, windows, natural light, big fans! (I was really worried about this) also big birthing pools which are nice and cool too. I'm feeling much better about it all now, and all your kind messages really helped me too. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get the panic attacks a bit more under control and will hopefully have a nice peaceful birth in August.

Jenny x

24-05-04, 10:20
Good luck Jenny and welcome!

I hope everything goes well for you.
Don't forget to mention the panic attacks to the maternity staff, it means they will be able to offer you more support if you need it.

I too suffered panic attacks before the birth of my children, but strangely enough during labour I never had a single one. I think it is because the brain is busy and energy is being used up dealing with the important business of having the baby. The auto pilot kicks in and there is no time to panic because you are dealing with what is going on.

Remember, it is your body and your baby. If things become to much for you take the pain relief on offer. (I personally was high on everything I was offered, and would have taken more too if I could have got my hands on it!)

Good luck with everything, not long to go now.

Love, light and Best wishes
Liz xxx
With hard work and determination and all the things you know.
The world is there for you to take. There's nowhere you can't go.

[:p]Scatty Eccentric & 'Poet Laureate to panic and anxiety'

26-05-04, 01:06
Hiya JenKey,

Welcome aboard!!!!!

So nice to have you here. :)

I too like Christine am jealous. LOL...... :-D

Mine are all teenagers and not needing much of mum`s support or help anymore. :(

If it is any help at all, I too had horrible anxiety/panic with my third pregnancy. I think mostly because all of mine were delivered by c-section and feeling as though my body could`nt take one more "MAJOR" surgery, I thought I was doomed. LOL.... :)

Funny now, but not so funny at the time.

I agree with the rest of the ladies. I too had very peaceful deliveries.

Grant it I was high on everything they gave me on my first delivery, but on the others refused anything that was going to put me out. So I stayed awake through my c-sections and opted not to be knocked out. :)

You will do just fine. like the others posted you will be so caught up in the moment of seeing your beautiful baby that you won`t have time to "PANIC". LOL....... :-D

Good on you, for doing everything you can to get your attacks under control through your pregnancy. Well done. :)

Keep us updated on your pregnancy and how your progress on overcoming your attacks is going.

Keep up the great work!!!!!

Best of wishes and congratulations to you.

Take care,

Diana xxxxx

Caz Fab Pants
03-06-04, 19:11

I have always been a panicker (well since I was 18) but things got really out of hand when I was pregnant with my first child and I ended up house bound. I was in a state most of the time and eventually persuaded my partner to quit work so I wasn't alone.
I was given diazepam for emergencies but I was too scared to take it. Eventually I took the doctors advice and started on Prothiadine (spelling?) but not until after 24wks which is when the baby is fully formed as I was worried about damaging it.
I chose to have a casearian as I was too scared of labour and asked to go to the hospital the day before the op. Getting to the hospital was a HUGE deal but I did it and was pleased to find I had been given a private room on arrival.
My son was born without any adverse effects from the tablets and from that day on things just improved beyond belief.
Wont go into detail cos dont want to bore you but also took clomipramine for the last 2months of my 2nd pregnancy too and my son is perfectly healthy.

I must add things are not so great now but thats a whole nother story!!
I'm sure you will get through this and come out the other side although I'm sure at times it doesn't feel like it.

Take care and try to look forward to the babies arrival.


april tones
03-06-04, 21:40
hi jenny, how are you feeling now? i worried about having panick attack in birth but i never, i was as calm as any thing and really excited. I had a few after birth due to hormones, i told midwife in hospital and asked her to stay with me, they are really good. What part of england are you from? love april x ps, birthing pools are brill, i used one.


lilac kitten
04-06-04, 14:43
Hello Jen,

Well I've had two totally different pregnancies. One where I was really bad, and the second one which I was so calm and laid back it was a miracle. I'm back to my normal panicy self now though ;)

I think all the above advice is spot on and don't want to repeat anything or else it'll make boring reading. However, what I will say is that whenever I attended an appointment and when I went into labour I told the midwifes and Obstetricians that I had panic attacks and they were really helpful and kind.

Only another fourteen weeks to go so if you can get by with relaxation exercises and just chillin as much as possible then all the better. You need to be resting right now when baby comes rest will be something you used to do!!

Hope everything goes well.


04-06-04, 21:58
Hi Jenny

Just wanted to congratulate you on your pregnancy and to wish you good luck for the birth of your baby. Sounds like you are doing great but if you need more help, never be afraid to ask.

Love Jo xxx

05-06-04, 14:30
hi there everyone im new ere,just need some info.Im taking 5mg of chlordiazepoxide one a day,but im thinking of starting a family,is it ok to stay on the drug,as ive tried to come off before but it made me feel ill!would love any advice.

05-06-04, 17:21
Hi Kim ,

This is a benzodiazepine so has all the same warnings as valium so whilst its not recommended in pregnancy many people have taken it whilst pregnant.

It is meant to be for short term use. You're on a small dose so it may be worth trying to get yourself off it.

You could try splitting the tablet and taking half in am and half in pm for a couple of weeks so you're still on the same dose daily but less in the blood at once and then if thats ok drop one of the doses.


'There can only be true courage when first there is genuine fear'

Dr.David Livingstone

05-06-04, 18:52
Hiya Jenny,

Just wanted to find out how you were doing, and wanted to welcome Kim to the site.

Welcome aboard mate. So glad you have found your way here.

You got the expert to reply to your post, so you are in good hands. :)

Take care all,

Diana xxxx

05-06-04, 18:58
hi jenny thanks for the welcome,looks a great site! i need as much info as poss,so keep the advice coming please;)

05-06-04, 19:27
sorry diana that last message was for you:D

05-06-04, 19:44
No problem Kim. LOL....... :-D

I know what you meant. ;)

Just keep coming back, you`ll get loadsa info.,advice and support here that is a sure thing. ;)

Take care.

I hope today is a good day for you.

Diana xxxx

08-06-04, 23:08
Hi everyone - thanks for all your replies. I'm now 29 weeks so I really feel that I'm on the home run now. I've been feeling ok really - I've just started counselling run by the maternity service to try and help with the panics. It's good but hard work and has left me in a bit of spin some days! I'm feeling much more excited about the actual birth now and all of your kind messages have really helped me out - thanks.
It's been rather hot here in sunny Bournemouth and especially so at school - i've just got to try and keep going till the end of term which is 23rd July! The kids at school are being good though and have accepted that I will do most of my teaching sitting down!

Take care everyone and thanks again for all your help and advice,
Jenny x

09-06-04, 18:58

I hope this hot weather isn't effecting you too bad (i have been assured it is hot in England but you really wouldn't believe we in Scotland were right next door to you!!)

Anyway I thought I would just tell you I had two easy (ish) deliveries - The first I was induced and was 8 hours from start to finish (I had pain relief)
The second was early and I was in labour for a couple of hours!! (although no pain relief as I was too late in asking for it!!)

Good luck and let us know how you get on!!