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what is an okay degree of sadness/emotion after giving birth?

(15 Posts)
Volley2014 Wed 03-Dec-14 20:02:02

Had DD a few wks ago. I am completely in love with her, feel very connected and happy about having her. DH is in love with her. We are very happy as a little family.

Although I am exhausted from feeding/changing/cleaning and traumatic birth, it is not to an abnormal degree, and we even have someone to help us at the moment while I recover.

However, I can't stop crying at anything and everything. I feel like I don't know what to do with myself. The thought of responsibility for this little thing is overwhelming. I'm extremely anxious already about accidentally causing her physical or emotional harm. I get very teary about the fact I will die before her and will not be able to look after her all her life. I am really feeling like the world is a bad place and there is danger around every corner and I don't know how to minimise her suffering etc...

Also I am feeling quite empty. Both physically empty (as she's gone from inside me) and a feeling like I have lost something, even though she is now outside of me.

I know, yada, yada, yada.

This is completely normal right?

smogsville Wed 03-Dec-14 20:11:08

I would call the GP and book an appointment OP. I'm sure someone with some real knowledge of PND will be along in a minute but that's my gut feeling. It sounds like you're doing a great job of being a new mum by the way. Good luck xx

littlejohnnydory Wed 03-Dec-14 21:56:50

Is your Health Visitor any good? Wonder if it might be worth having a chat to them about how you're feeling? If not then the GP? How old is your little girl now?

Can only speak from my own experience which is that some degree of increased anxiety and feeling very emotional after having a baby is normal. I know that I've felt very fearful of death and anxious about anything happening to my babies when they've been tiny. So to some degree I think those feelings are 'normal' and it depends how much it's impacting on your life and your enjoyment of your baby. It's great that you're feeling so connected to your baby and I'm sure you will get through this difficult timebut I'd definitely recommend talking to someone sooner rather than later as you want to be enjoying these early months with your lovely baby.

tinkerbellvspredator Wed 03-Dec-14 22:02:33

What you are describing is certainly a much higher level of anxiety and 'blues' than I've experienced after my two DC so I agree with others that you should look for support from GP /health visitor flowers.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 03-Dec-14 22:06:06

It sounds pretty normal to me, whatever you do don't watch anything on TV involving children for a bit though grin
That said if you are not enjoying time with your baby or think your levels of anxiety (real, not pretended as most people will hide/not verbalise what they know to be irrational) are excessive then talk to your husband/HV/other mums.

I forgives you any sense of normalcy husband jokingly suggested on our first night out alone post DC (7 months) that DC1 could be half way to Europe with our recently hired nanny by now. I sobbed in the restaurant before getting a grip!

duplodon Wed 03-Dec-14 22:07:56

It's really hard to draw that line. However, you very much sound like you have PND. Don't worry, one in seven of us have had, have or will have it, you're not alone and it does go away with treatment. I had it quite badly, had meds and extensive weekly therapy and some of it is a blur, but somehow, despite all that I managed to squeeze in another baby 21 months later and sail through with no recurrence. I still wish it hadn't been in the stars for me, so to speak, but I learned a lot and here I am, a few short years on with three beautiful sons, feeling as comfortable and confident as any mum of young kids does... happy to be good enough and accepting of the natural levels of worry and responsibility without now being overwhelmed. Get yourself to the doctor. This is sooooo treatable.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 03-Dec-14 22:09:00

Baby blues normally resolve after a few days. The fact that your dd is a few weeks old and you're concerned enough to ask about it makes me think you should see our GP for a chat. They will be able to help.

Hazchem Thu 04-Dec-14 06:35:30

I think that the degree is different for everyone. If you are worried about your feelings talking to someone is really worthwhile. I didn't suffer from PND but I do have bouts of depression and anxiety and finding taking the step to say it out loud to someone who might help that I think I need help is the start of starting to feel better.

DrinkGirlsFeck Thu 04-Dec-14 07:46:56

Volley, I felt much the same after my first and put it down to "baby blues". After I had my second, when I felt so much more at ease and "normal", I realised that I had actually been depressed. I was never diagnosed. It probably would have been better for me to have been treated (I was lucky to have a great DH who got me through).

It's worth a chat with someone, your HV or GP or even one of the helplines (sorry, on phone so can't link to them). Be kind to yourself and let others be kind to you.

organiccarrotcake Thu 04-Dec-14 09:10:21

I'm so, so sorry to hear that you had a traumatic birth. Sometimes that needs dealing with and there are various routes for help.

You could speak to your midwife (even if you're signed off you can ask her) to refer you to a supervisor of midwives, or whoever in your Trust deals with birth de-briefing. You can do this at any time - now or in years to come.

If the birth was one where at some point you feel you may wish to make a complaint, please contact AIMS ( for help and support.

Similarly, if you felt that your care was good and the trauma was despite the good care, you may find a letter of thanks to be cathartic.

What you're feeling may be on a scale of "normal" in the sense that many people are hit with all the emotions that you are feeling, and on top of being sooooo exhausted it's just so very hard to try to shake it off, and that's ok. It's not "yada yada", it's horrible, and hard, and you are struggling with it. Just because other people feel the same doesn't make it any easier!

However, as has been suggested, it may be that you are more towards the PND end but it's not possible to say without an evaluation. The fact that you are concerned, however, means that I'd urge you to ask for help. Trust your instincts on this. You sounds like you are worried that it's more than you feel is right, so having a chat with someone you trust, like a GP or HV, and I'm hoping you have good ones, would really help to see what the situation is for you.

Please do come back and update xx

thomasstockmann Mon 08-Dec-14 07:02:39

Hi volley2014. I can only talk from my own experience. I would say that feeling anxious about caring for your baby is normal to some extend (my husband also went through this, checking if the baby was breathing for example).
What worries me slightly is that you seem to say you cry quite a lot. After the baby blues, I'm not sure this is what most mums experience.
The numbness you mention could be a sign of a form of PTSD (because you say you had a traumatic birth, it could be that you need space and time to go through how you feel/felt-not easy with a newborn). I had a traumatic birth and personally described the numbness as being void of emotions. It came on and off for parts of the day for a few weeks. I also felt elated to have a baby but also devastated by the physical trauma I suffered. It is possible to feel both happy and not at the same time.
Like other posters, I would book an appointment with your GP. If you don't think they're listening properly, see another one (this is what I had to do).
Everybody is different but if you experience loss of appetite or you think your thoughts are going beyond the anxiety you feel at the moment, definitely seek help.
You seem to have a lot of insight and I think this is very good. Do listen to your gut feeling.
All the best

squizita Mon 08-Dec-14 11:38:31

Sounds like anxiety to me (I have it so am familiar). Do chat with your GP.

Bumps and baby type groups or any rl contact with other mamas is vital too. Seeing mundane ok baby life and chatting to others really helps negate illogical worry and intrusive ideas. Your local family centre or nct will run one.

weeblueberry Mon 08-Dec-14 15:49:40

The lines are so different for everyone but chat to your GP or midwife if she's still available.

I remember during an early NCT class we had to put cards in the order of how many weeks it would be before the action occurred (ie first bath, inoculations etc) and one was 'first day mum doesn't cry'. We were all REALLY shocked but actually it was a good few weeks before I didn't at least have a wee teary moment over something or other.

JuniDD Mon 08-Dec-14 19:43:11

Sorry for the traumatic birth and congrats on your DC. I was very similar for about three weeks but it has mostly gone away. Are you able to get out a bit? Driving again (had EMCS) has really cheered me up. I spoke to my HV who was really supportive and we discussed PND.

Take a look at the Birth Trauma Association website, I found it really helpful. Take care

thomasstockmann Wed 10-Dec-14 14:12:51

Hi again. I've re-read your post and realised I had missed something.

"Also I am feeling quite empty. Both physically empty (as she's gone from inside me) and a feeling like I have lost something, even though she is now outside of me."
I know I mourned my pregnancy. What you describe seems similar. I was overjoyed to cuddle my tiny baby but I also went through a short mourning process about my pregnancy. I deeply missed feeling the baby move inside me. It was the aspect of pregnancy I loved the most and suddenly it had gone. No more little kicks. No more round belly to cuddle. I felt very sad. I think this lasted a week or two.
The other mums I know have not talked about this. Others posters might have had similar experiences?

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