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antenatal depression & relationship with child?(10 Posts)
If you had antenatal depression, how did it affect/effect your relationship with the child once he/she arrived?
I'm 14 weeks pregnant, very depressed, I can't see how i can possibly be a good parent, and I don't really want to be pregnant. I'm just so tired I want to go to sleep and not wake up.
I've been trying to get referred for counselling, and in theory am eligible for it at the local public hospital, though it's proving difficult to get anywhere with the referral. I can't take antidepressants - they send me through the roof with anxiety and restlessness; GP can't prescribe anything else. I'm exercising and eating healthily. Circumstances are fine, marriage to DH is fine, finances are fine, we have good friends nearby, one set of grandparents would be loving and helpful (from overseas). I just can't get excited about having a child, and really don't want to tell anyone I'm pregnant. Had the NT scan last week and DH was delighted to see the foetus dancing around - I just felt like crying and didn't want to be there, let alone see the foetus. DH has the photos pinned up by his computer. I just want to cry when I see them. I have felt like this since early in the pregnancy.
My mother had antenatal and postnatal depression with me. That relationship never had a chance. I don't want to screw anyone up like that and am wondering about whether I should continue with the pregnancy.
update - have got a referral, at least. Appointment may be some months hence, will find out soon. Any advice appreciated in the meantime...
I can understand where you're coming from. At 14 weeks though, it's still early days from the point of view of any sort of excitement and wanting to tell people - I found this too. The first trimester is exhausting so perhaps now you'll begin to feel a bit better at physiologically things change. I also suggest not to worry about bonding etc. I struggled in the same ways you suggest buy didn't face up to the problem, the fact that you're doing it now means you'll be a great mother, by getting help when you need it. Five years on, I have a great relationship and bond with DD. Ironically I also struggle with my mother but just try and remember that experience will make you work hard to do your best for your child, so that they don't feel the way you do now. So you're already one step ahead
I'm sure you'll be a good parent sounds like you're doing the right thing in asking for help. My only worry would be attachment difficulties once baby is born.
In my area the midwife referers pregnant women to a special perinatal clinic. Is this where u are going?
I wish I had advice for u but just wanted to wish u the best of luck. You are not alone.
Peppatax - thanks for the reassurance.
apple1992 - yes, that's partly what I'm worried about; but there is also very good evidence that raised cortisol levels in the mother significantly affect foetal brain development and make babies more susceptible to stress, leading to high rates of depression, anxiety, inflammatory disease & heart disease in adulthood, etc.
Britnyspears - i'm not in the UK. Thanks though.
I have no direct experience but couldn't read and run. for you, sounds like you feel pretty done in right now. Glad you've had your referral through, hopefully that makes a difference.
Have you had a difficult 1st trimester? As someone said, the first tri is frigging exhausting and I think lots of women just want it to be over, any way, any how!
I've not had experience with AND but am currently pregnant; have a history of MC and had some early bleeding with this baby. Was utterly convinced I would MC again and wouldn't/couldn't get excited in any way, shape or form. I mostly tried to forget about the whole thing tbh. Me and DH didn't talk about it at all until well after the first scan; I didn't even slightly relax until after the 20w scan, and didn't start to feel at all 'bonded' until I was probably 24w or thereabouts. We also put our house on the market at the start of the year, so with the house selling & buying process, plus neverending worry about the outcome of this pregnancy, my cortisol levels have never been higher! I'm still drinking coffee as I have shit to do and I need the energy. I refuse to feel guilty about any of it; I'm doing my best, just like everybody else.
I felt much more bonded with my DD during pregnancy than I do with this baby, but I'm cracking on and assuming that once he's out, I'll feel the same way about him as I do about her. But if I don't, I won't feel bad about that either. Newborns don't give a shit how you feel about them, as long as they're warm, dry and fed. He won't care and he remember.
Sorry this is so long, and not sure if any of it will be helpful, but I don't want you to feel alone. I do think we as women are conditioned to constantly worry and second-guess ourselves, never more so than during pregnancy. But you're plodding on, doing your best, and that's all you have to do. That's all anyone can reasonably ask or expect. More and for you!
I felt the same during pregnancy - it doesn't help that in the first trimester you feel so god awful and not yourself at all. Second trimester was a lot better. I was never really excited about having DD and kind of ignored it until my waters broke.
Now she is 2 months and how I felt in the pregnancy is a distant memory. I love her to bits, still not overly maternal but we are both rubbing along nicely.
I hope you can get some counselling sooner rather than later and hope that you'll be okay
"Rubbing along nicely" and "warm dry and fed" sound like what I need to aim for.
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