Going to GP about PND? (long)

(8 Posts)
Tolly81 Thu 03-Jan-13 22:16:03

Hi SoUndecided I have had these thoughts too about breastfeeding. My DD is almost 8 months old and I did bf her exclusively for four months then mixed fed for 6 months. Despite this I have horrible repetitive thoughts of sadness and guilt about stopping. Like you I endlessly research BFing, look on Facebook at bf pages, etc. I feel sad and guilty whenever I hear about anyone BFing and constantly have to remind myself that I did BF for a fair amount of time. I have lots of friends who have breastfed for a long time (i.e over 12 months) so I auppose this is where it has come from but none of them have been in the least judgemental and my own mother breastfed us all but my middle db for 3 weeks and the rest 3-5 months. Before I had dd I never thought I would bf for longer than 6 m. I just don't understand it. Fortunately my upset is limited to this one area and I feel good otherwise and don't have postnatal depression but I suspect in my case the recurrent feelings of guilt are a hangover from being pregnant when I was depressed related to having hyperemesis (extreme sickness which lasted my whole pregnancy). I was very worried about harming the baby but also worried about having PND and not being able to bond after a traumatic pregnancy. Fortunately it has been fine except for this one area.
Anyway, I hope you don't think it's insensitive of me to add this or that you think it's completely irrelevant but I think the emotion that is tied up with BFing is immense. I have a friend who had PND after both DCs and hers was very tied up by not being able to bf. I agree with others go and get help and start healing - even just talking to someone about it might help you begin to feel better. Good luck x

I have had PND twice (midway through the second bout atm). The first time I pushed through on my own after diagnosis, I refused ADs because I was paranoid about the microscopic amounts in my milk damaging DD. I had both talking therapy and CBT but for me neither really worked.

This time I went to the GP and told her how I was feeling (well, I printed a post I'd written on here about what was going on in my head) and I've now been on ADs for about 4 months. They have really helped me. I still have times when I struggle and feel really miserable but they're not as bad as they were. Your repetitive thinking sounds like my anxiety (I obsess about DH and the children coming to harm or dying).

Why not make an appointment and take along a printout of this thread, or your posts on it? Then you don't have to explain anything, it's all there.

SoUndecided Thu 03-Jan-13 20:21:16

Sorry it has taken me till now to get back to this. We had a day out yesterday, and visitors combined with a teething baby over the past 24 hours has left me little time. I am truly thankful for everything that has been written though.

Geekster I really appreciated your post. I'm sorry if it brought it all back to you. I've been trying to focus on the positives of weaning too, and it does make me feel a little better when I see her enjoying nutritious home cooked food. I don't think there is anything wrong with the odd jar when out and about either :-) Your daughter sounds absolutely adorable ... I'm just picturing her smiling and singing with her little cheese sandwich.

shoesontheglasslamp thank you for your advice. I was having a positive morning buying pretty clothes for DD in the sales, and telling myself that I do make good choices, when the guilt hit me again like a cold shower down my back and I started crying on the train home. Sat there on my own I must have looked a little odd! I think I may have to go to GP, although I'm worried they won't take me seriously, or they will feel I am wasting their time. I'm worried I'll freeze up when I'm there or similar too. But this repetitive cycle of guilt (that was a good way to put it - it is endless repetitive thinking) and feelings of worthlessness connected to my daughter, has been going on for a long time now - since just a few days after she was born in fact ... as soon as breastfeeding started going wrong. It's hard though, not to just accept help, but to believe that it will help, or that any will even be offered.

My DH says PND must be a journey too and that I won't just wake up one day and feel better. It helps to think like that. I will see if I can find the courage to call GP this week.

shoesontheglasslamp Thu 03-Jan-13 16:27:51

Please, please find a GP or HV you can talk to. Go at a time when you haven't got to take LO's and just talk it through.

I had PND (have?) and it really is a journey rather than a destination, even if you get a diagnosis. The repetitive thinking that you are doing does sound like PND, but I'm no expert. I'm on meds and had CBT, and am now much better.
You have to make the right decision for you, and you can only do that with support and information.

No one will force you into any route, but I know I felt better once I had started talking to people who saw this problem all the time, and knew strategies for coping with it.

Take care of yourself, as a happy mummy makes a happy baby.

Geekster Tue 01-Jan-13 13:38:47

Hi SoUndecided. I could have written your post five months ago. My dd was born in March and I was determined to breast feed but I only managed three weeks. I felt horribly guilty for a long time and still do at times. Reading your post made me think about it all again. I think that as mothers we feel so much pressure at times that we put on ourselves. I came to realise that how I feed my dd is only one small area. Now she is eating solids I always feel I'm making up for not breast feeding by making her home cooked meals, and if she has jars sometimes that's fine too. I just look at her now pulling herself up, crawling everywhere and into everything, then tucking into a cheeses sandwich singing happily to herself and grinning at me to realise she doesn't care that she was bottle fed, she's healthy and happy and that is what counts. I know it's difficult to stop blaming yourself. But you made the choice you needed to make for your and your dd. You clearly love her to bits and will do anything for her. That's what counts.

I found it just took time seven months isn't that old yet and it's such a big life change it can take a while to feel less guilt. Might be worth talking to your GP even if it just helps to talk to them and put your mind at rest. If you do need help its nothing to be ashamed of. Looking back I think I had very mild PND as I had quite a few days when I felt so guilty and weepy. I kept thinking it would resolve itself and it did eventually. It's no wonder we feel like this when our bodies and hearts and minds have been through so much.

Take care xx

SoUndecided Tue 01-Jan-13 13:06:52

Thank you for sharing that Tickle. It's good to know I'm not alone x

ticklebug74 Tue 01-Jan-13 12:57:55

I have been in your shoes. I had a disaster with dd1 and the guilt does eventually fade. I too sent myself mad with research on
Bf and even at one point decided I wanted to become a lactation consultant to help others.

. I went on to bf ds1 for 7 months and loved it (after initial doubting myself and my ability to do it). Am currently bf dd2 and hating it. Every bf relationship is so different. But being a good mum is not about how we feed our children. It took a long time to realise I had not failed her. She is my pride and joy and she got something my other two bf children didn't - my undivided attention for 2.5 years as my first born. So enjoy your precious one.

And let me say my ff dd1 is now 6, never ill and very very bright. Her bf brother who is 4 is always sick, and nowhere near the same levels of phonics etc as she was at same age.

If you are feeling overwhelmed do speak to your Gp but just wanted to say how I felt and it did fade. Was it PND? It could of been but I just pushed through it. Unmumsnet hugs to you.

SoUndecided Tue 01-Jan-13 10:50:13

I know that people won't always do this, and that many must manage to pull themselves through, and that's what I've been hoping to do. Partly because I'm not sure that they would be able to help, and partly because I feel that I may not deserve the help. Although I know that's part of the problem.

My DD is seven months old now and I still feel extremely down and tearful. I love her very much but there is a distance between us because I feel quite strongly that I do not deserve her. Essentially, I am consumed with guilt about making a real hash of breastfeeding early on. I gave up in a sort of panic at two weeks because I was having various problems and have felt just awful about it since. No one in my family has really breastfed, and none of my friends have made it past a few weeks so I haven't come under any barrage of judgement from my peers. It's all from me. I do live in an area where they're trying to push breastfeeding more though so there are posters about and on buses and things. I still try to look away whenever I see a bus.

It's kind of an obsessive guilt. I'm constantly researching breastfeeding. I read something the other day about it reducing the risk of one particular illness and I couldn't really speak for a couple of hours. Seeing or reading anything about breastfeeding can upset me for hours to be honest. I just feel like I must be so incredibly selfish really. In my clearer times I know that I'm just being daft and need to snap out with it. I think all my friends are lovely mothers and I do not judge them at all. My mum just didn't want to breastfeed. She feels no guilt and I love her to pieces. I have no allergies or eczema or anything have various impressive academic qualifications so I wasn't damaged. God the justification! I'm just such a mess. Why am I letting this take over my life? This behaviour - these feelings - are not normal ... but it's just not getting easier.

My DH knows about it all and has been trying to help. I do have good days and bad ... times when I feel a bit more okay but the black cloud always comes back.

Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone has felt the same, and how they have managed to get over it? I don't know what a GP would say about this. I'm not sure I want to try anti-depressants but sometimes I think it might be a sensible solution for me and my family. Sometimes I just think these are feelings that I might have to live with and that maybe they'll get better as she gets older and I see that she is okay and I haven't damaged her.

Well done for getting this far. I hope I haven't offended anyone or upset anyone. This is just my problem - but maybe there are a few other people who have felt this way and have managed to come out the other side??

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