Pregnancy and ADHD symptoms?

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    • #105810

      Hi all,
      Just reaching out for some collective wisdom here. I’d love to hear others experience with their ADHD symptoms while pregnant. Everything I’ve been able to find has been about the pros and cons of using medication during pregnancy – and nothing beyond that debate. I’m not opposed to medication but haven’t figured out how to make it work for me, but I was making progress using exercise and other strategies to manage my symptoms (inattentive). I’m in the first trimester of my first pregnancy and it is kicking my butt. I can’t focus at all (and have been having a really hard time with executive function). This feels similar to what monthly hormones can do on the worst days, but way way worse. Partly I guess it’s hard to focus and rally the executive function when you’re exhausted and nauseous. Also, I haven’t been able to get much exercise so I’m expecting that makes things worse. Have other folks noticed changes in ADHD symptoms throughout a pregnancy (with or without medication)? Does anyone have any suggestions, ideas, thoughts on how to not completely drop the ball at work, or just a heads up of how symptoms might change throughout? Thanks!

    • #105825
      Sam k

      I just turned 40 this month and was assessed a few weeks back, I have been referred to an adhd and autism specialist as the assessor thinks I have mild autism too. All my life has been complete and utter hell inside my head. Hormones definitely make me worse, i am pretty sure hormonal changes during adolescence triggered the adhd/asd althoguh I think the problems were there even during childhood.
      I had my first baby age 24, second age 28, the hormonal changes turned me into a zombie, I had the worst post natal depression too.
      Menstruation makes my symptoms worse too, I feel complete and utter despair.
      I am now waiting to speak to a doctor and hopefully can get the right meds, in the past I have taken antideprssants, they don’t work on

      I know it’s going to be difficult as the hormonal changes go in for 9 months plus several months after he baby is born. Look at ways of managing your symptoms, whether you take meds or not is your choice, I personally wouldn’t. Looking back I felt I was never a “complete” mum (I still feel this way, the kids are 15 and 11 now) I didn’t ask for help either from family and they weren’t understanding,they didn’t even see me sinking into depression, I needed practical support for them but just carried on as “normally” as possible.
      You are not alone, I really feel for you and completely understand how you feel x😊

      • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Sam k.
      • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Penny Williams.
    • #105839

      Nope, I don’t have a better experience in such a situation. But I would like to know about this.

    • #105841
      Sam k

      Oh no I posted a comment here yesterday and had to make an edit, for some reason it’s no longer showing here🤔 moderator pls help.

      • #105871
        Penny Williams

        It was flagged for approval for some reason, but I’ve approved it.

        ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #106118

      I never even thought about what to do about symptoms when pregnant…shows you how my brain was during 3 pregnancies. What do you do for a living? I think the reason that work wasn’t an issue for me was because I was working in positions where I was constantly moving (my first one I was a bookkeeper for a gas station, second I worked in retail, and third I was a preschool teacher). I cannot imagine taking medication while pregnant as I had “morning sickness” (I called it all-day sickness) for my entire pregnancies, not just the first trimester. You will do great no matter what you decide just make sure that the doctor prescribing the medication (if you choose to take it) knows that you are pregnant. Good luck with your pregnancy! You will do great!

    • #108832

      If you’re pregnant and live with ADHD, things can get complicated quickly. Most of the front-line medications used to treat ADHD in adults. As your body changes throughout your pregnancy, you may notice your ADHD symptoms are heightened.

      Look out for these ADHD symptoms

      1- carelessness and lack of attention to detail
      2- continually starting new tasks before finishing old ones
      3- inability to focus or prioritize
      4- continually losing or misplacing things
      5- forgetfulness
      6- difficulty keeping quiet, and speaking out of turn
      7- mood swings, irritability, and a quick temper
      8- inability to deal with stress
      9- extreme impatience
      10- taking risks in activities, often with little or no regard for personal safety or the safety of others – for example, driving dangerously

    • #180620

      Brand new to this and have read and learned a lot about the medications and pregnancy, including the risks are minimally low for those that take low doses of the medications etc.

      My questions is a follow up to the increased ADHD symptoms, I thought it was just maybe because I was tired and didn’t know why before I confirmed all this but I can relate with all of the above so well to the point it may be effecting my job performance and/or school performance. I am wondering if anyone has any insight on how to help with these besides increasing medication doses which would normally be done by the physician in the past.

    • #182319
      ADD Mum


      So I’m ADD with 3 kids and worked through all prego’s in a buzy office. I totally get it!

      Firstly I can barley remember my 1st trimesters it is very hazy with the morning sickness and foggy brain. I do remember every lunch brake going to my car for a lay down (Set the alarm on your phone to come back). My boss was pretty good about it (even if he marched 10 banking executives past my while heaving in a sink, he thought it was very funny).

      Now is the time to have a good think about your copping skills, and set a routine. this was mine.
      Sit at desk – have a do to list sitting under my kepboard, I couldn’t miss it. (Accounts clerk)
      1 – check emails, print and enter.
      2 – examine to so list.
      3 – take deep breath and start task 1
      4 – make sure anything asked was put on the list asap
      5 – set time limits
      6 – sing quietly to myself (this relaxes me and helps my focus)
      7 – If overwhelmed go to boss and ask for an order of importance for work
      8 – have music on phone and listen with one ear bud, only positive music (this helps me)
      9 – have lots of short brakes
      10 – when phone rings, take a moment to compose your thoughts, check the screen for who’s calling (i have social anxiety)
      11 – talk yourself into doing things, be positive about it
      If you have a trusted person in the office who knows your ADD ask them to check in a few times a day, and make sure your on task and be honest with them.
      also I’m very visuale person so I have heaps of things pinned on my walls, reminders ect… I would pin them in certain positions. For instance tomorrow I must ring Mr X at 1pm for ABC, I would stick note on monitor, note it on to do list and put a note on my handbag, at lunch I would take note off bag and put on keyboard for when I cam back from lunch. Also my computer has a diary alarm on it, so I used it a lot, but personally it wasn’t my only form of notice because sometimes I have to dismiss alarm due to sudden important work request, so I always had a back up. My boss thought my desk was a mess which all my notes, but I just said “Hey pregnancy brain, I forget everything”

      Trimester 2 should be a lot better your brain should clear and your enery back up. my first 2 I was apparently very funny at this time my boss loved me. Number 3 was my very angry pregnancy, I wanted to punch everyone, I was seeing red 24/7 so in the end I told the boss how I felt and warned him to keep certain people away from me or I would not be held responsable, took a few weeks for him to believe me but he soon relaised I was very seriouse.

      Also Flaxseed oil can help focus, but do your research as it needs to be organic, keep your Vit B up also.

      Congrates and God Bless

      ADD Mum

      P.S I’m a christian so I would also take a breath close my eye’s ask God for help, and He always did. Clear mind and sudden understanding and ability to work. If you know Him ask Him for help through out the day.

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