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Can't leave the house with my baby! HELP!(25 Posts)
I have an 8 week old baby boy and so far I've been unable to leave the house with him by myself, only when my partner is with me. I just get so scared of him crying and people looking at me thinking I'm a terrible mother! I'm also really scared of having to breastfeed in public, I 100% support it and I am saddened by the stigma against it, but feel really anxious to do it myself.
I've suffered with paranoia, social anxiety, depression and agoraphobia in the past but it was all cleared up by the time I was 3 months pregnant. I don't want to be back in that place but at the same time I'm getting cabin fever!
I don't have many friends or family nearby and I don't drive either.
Has anyone else had any similar experiences or advice?
Thank you in advance! xo
can you talk to your health visitor?
there might be baby clinics you can go to
mother and toddler groups where no one will bat an eyelid if you're breast feeding
Whereabouts in the UK are you OP?
There are some excellent support groups around the place and I second the idea of finding one. Most new Mums find it difficult and challenging when they first bf out and about, so it must be doubly difficult for you because of your anxiety.
But, you CAN do it and you must believe that you and your gorgeous little boy are worthy of fresh air like everyone else.
Do you have a sure start centre nearby. Where is the HV clinic held ? Can you think of somewhere with a few minutes walk that you could take him to , maybe just a walk round the block, and then come home if he cries or needs feeding. Would it help to have a specific group or activity to go to or would that add to stress?
Are there any local baby groups? I have a 4 month old and that's where I went first. I also practiced breastfeeding in a mirror, it's amazing how little flesh is on show. If somewhere unfamiliar I do sometimes drape a scarf over. Some shops (mothercare, john Lewis and possibly m&s) have breastfeeding rooms too.
also do you have a friend who mght come round and help you get out of the house?
Posted too soon.
Make your first journey out a simple one. Set yourself a target of a walk (wrap up warm, you and baby!) and maybe a visit to a corner shop to pick up one thing (milk, bread etc). An easy target and build up slowly over a period of time to other tasks. Either way, don't put too much pressure on yourself to 'get things done'.
Please find out about baby groups near you. I went to several including a breastfeeding group when DD was tiny. I've made some good friends with babies the same age and breastfeeding in public is so much easier when several of you are doing it - safety in numbers!
Ask your HV for suggestions or I found local churches often run groups, you don't have to be a member of the congregation.
Hi op, I felt exactly the same as you. At first I couldn't do anything for myself. In the end I asked my mum to come to Tesco with me, and mentally kept a note of everything we did on the trip. It was fine because somebody else was there. The day after I repeated the trip exactly (took the same stuff, etc.) but on my own, and promised myself I'd go home straight away if dd started crying or anything like that. The trip was fine and made me feel so much better about going to do other things. There were some days I'd end up going home but the majority were fine and now we go and do all sorts. I've realised that nobody cares if a baby causes a scene, in fact people generally offer to help. As for bf, it gets much easier to be discreet. I also used to feed in the car while out and about in the early days when I wasn't as confident. Good luck!
It is really scary but the other posters have made some really good suggestions. Once you've done it a few times it will feel easier x
I'm came on here to post the exact same problem! Except I have no history of mental health probs. I feel so trapped by my fear of leaving the house.
Oh gosh I had this too with my twins. It's like some weird paranoid hormonal thing. I felt totally institutionalized and at odds with the outside world and so frightened of being judged. I was so scared of not managing the pram, the feeds and the worst case scenarios.
Take it very slowly. Go to the end of the road then back again. Then next time the shops etc. no one will be judging you as we've all felt like this.
The nct run some post natal classes where there is only a small group of you and all babies are of similar age so nice to keep in touch with. Have a look at the nct website. Also we had local Breast feeding cafes run by the childrens centre/goverment run things, they helped too
Congrats on your DS
Others have given you good advice that I'll repeat. Start small, just a trip round the block. Then make your next trip to a toddler group or somewhere else full of mums and babies so there will be other crying babies and breastfeeding women. Then build up from there with baby steps you're comfortable with, maybe meeting up for coffee with a mum or two from the baby group. Good luck!
Oh gosh, you guys have been great <3 Thank you for all the advice.
In answer to some of your questions, I live near Bournemouth, and I have no idea about any of the classes or groups that are held nearby. I'll start searching for some. My health visitor has only ever come to my house so far, I've never had to take DS to the clinic yet, but that appointment is next week.
I'll do as a lot of you have suggested and try to walk to the end of the road and back, and take it a little further each time. It also doesn't help that 1) I look a state 24/7- bags under the eyes, no time to shower etc 2) It's so damn cold and dark these days! But I know I have to get out eventually.
You're all so lovely and supportive. Thank you! :D xo
Hide under a floppy hat!! You'll be fine, really you will. A breath of fresh air and a little exercise will be great for you and for baby,
Every mother will know how you feel with feeling you look awful with bags under eyes etc but those things are so unimportant in the big scheme of things. Your doing a fantastic job at raising and growing a small human being so give your self a break and not one single person out there cares what you look like and if they do then you got the best excuse so get out and enjoy that fresh air, I promisw you will feel better for it.
Some fresh air will do wonders for you!
I went to Bournemouth when my little one was tiny. I breastfed her in the lounge cafe (the chain where each one is called the * lounge) and in a lovely restaurant by the beach where we had breakfast one day. No one batted an eyelid! There are some lovely places to go when you feel more confident. Definitely start with a short walk though.
Can you have a shower when your partner is there? It does get easier, I promise!
It definitely gets easier, and trust me, no-one bats an eyelid at a baby crying. They may even try to help or have a nice chat with you. I often have nice chats with strangers in a supermarket.
I think you should just walk to a park and do a tiny breastfeed on a bench (while your little one is calm and not desperately hungry) and build up from there. Eventually it will no longer be an issue. As the baby gets bigger and can almost latch themselves on, you actually need to get less boob out.
Good luck - you can do this!
On a practical note - is it possible to get internet food shopping so that when you do go to the supermarket it's not for anything essential? Then if you feel like you need to dump the trolley and run then you can!
I also used to struggle to fit a shower in (and sometimes used to think 'oh what's the point, I'm tired and look shit anyway') but always felt so much better afterwards. Stick the baby in a bouncy chair or bumbo or whatever and go for it. Get a haircut that doesn't need a lot of styling / blow drying etc. I used to be quite high maintenance jn that department and now I just air dry my hair and I'm away!
What are people's thoughts on letting the baby cry whilst having a shower? It takes me about 10 minutes to shower and dress if I rush but will often be constantly interrupted by my crying baby. I part of me thinks "just let her cry and get on with it" but it makes me so stressed to hear her cry that I've never done it!
Is she in the room with you? If not could you pop her in a bouncy chair so she can see you while you dress etc?
I already do that, she sits in the chair watching me shower and get dressed but cries on and off the whole time.
A friend of mine takes her baby in the bath with her. I've never tried as I've never fancied having the water cool enough for a baby but it might be worth a try?
Could you get a friend/DH to come with you first time to a baby group? Once you're there - there is bound to be a baby being a terror and a mother looking overwhelmed - and slowly you'll recognise that you're totally normal!
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