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Has she got PND?

(8 Posts)
UpsandDowns Wed 21-Feb-07 11:16:15

Hi I'm a Dad to a 4 month old, and my DW is finding things tough. It seems like she can have a good week with him, but 1 bad day will knock all her confidence out of her. I keep reassuring her she's a great Mum, but I think she feels a lot of guilt over the time it took her to start bonding with our son, as if she's let him down. She was never very maternal before she became pregnant, and it didn't come naturally to her at first. I'm sure he's happy enough and well loved, but she's beating herself up about weeks that have been and gone.

She's always been very good at putting on a brave front and 'performing' for friends and family, but after a day alone with the baby she won't really speak to me. I try to encourage her to go out in the evening/weekends and leave me babysitting, but a lot of 'non-baby' friends have fallen by the wayside, and we don't have any family nearby. I think she feels very lonely and isolated.

Our boy is lovely but his mood swings very quickly and can become inconsolable if he becomes overtired. She can't cope with the crying, although I don't think he is worse than average, and seems to take it personally or as a sign of failure. Obviously, I'm not on the receiving end of it all day.

Sorry for the rant. I'm not sure what I can do about it, as she's so adept at keeping things together on the surface, but I know things aren't right.

Should we ride it out, or should I try harder to push her to get help? She's not one to admit she needs help, and is understandably cautious about A/D's.

mummyhill Wed 21-Feb-07 11:28:02

Sounds possible. Could you have a chat with your HV and ask if they will come out to the house. They bring a questionaire out with them and chat to your dw if they feel that there is a problem they will advise AD's or councelling. DW will be able to get both from GP.

I have had PND after both my children and the AD's really helped me to get a handle on the situation and get better.

Good luck. Come back and post whenever you need a bit of support. I am sure that someone else will be along in a bit with more advice.

QueenDave Wed 21-Feb-07 13:02:03

I wasnt very good at admitting I had a 'problem'. It was like I'd admitted to having failed.

You sound like a great dad and partner, the best you can do is to keep on doing what you are doing.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking AD's. I have been taken them for over a year and the difference has been amazing. They arent addictive, and they dont have major side effects. They simple help get the chemical balance right in the brain after a big event such as childbirth/motherhood/hormone changes.

mummyhill Wed 21-Feb-07 14:01:44

To be honest I don't think any of us are good at admitting that there is a problem. We are taught from an early age that it is our role to bear children and that it will all come naturally. The only problem is that it doesn't all come naturally, it can be realy hard work. It is so difficult to admit that there is a problem as you then feel as if you have failed in some way.

UpsandDowns Wed 21-Feb-07 17:59:43

Thanks for your advice. I think part of the problem is that DW has always been so 'in control' and then along comes a person completely reliant on her but completely unreasonable!

Mummyhill, the HV's around us seem to be pretty useless - I'm not sure why they're called 'visitors' as they definitely don't visit. Also, I'm pretty sure DW would put a brave face on things. I just don't want things to get to the point where she can't do that before getting help.

liath Wed 21-Feb-07 18:13:07

There might be some kind of PND help centre near you - I went to one and it was great - they offered everything from counselling to baby massage or just a place to drop in for a cuppa & chat. I did get by without antidepressants. My problem was that the first months of motherhood made me very anxious to the point of total insomnia. I didn't enjoy the baby phase at all and felt guilty about that. I can honestly say I only really started to enjoy motherhood when dd got to the toddler stage and then I REALLY enjoyed it.

You sound really caring & considerate which will be making a huge difference. If your wife posted here I'm sure she'd get support off loads of people who had a similar experience.

Elk Thu 22-Feb-07 16:12:10

Someone with PND can cover up really well if they want to. If you put 'Edinburgh Post Natal Depression' into a search engine you can get a 'quiz'(for want of a better word) which is very good at finding out if a person has post natal depression. This can be taken to the GP, if necessary - mine was great.

I too am not particularly maternal and had trouble bonding with my first child, I had PND and did not seek help. After my second child I got PND again and this time I have got help, I have been on AD's for six months and now am enjoying my children and life.

After trying both ways of coping with PND, I have found thatgoing the route with AD's and actually enjoying my baby is preferable to slowly sufffering through it (and it does feel very slow at the time)

I hope this helps, this is my first post on mumsnet(after lurking for nearly 4 years) and I fear it may have been more of a help to me than to you and your wife.

UpsandDowns Thu 22-Feb-07 17:16:44

On the contrary Elk, that's really helpful. Glad you're enjoying life now. Mumsnet is great, I think I'm slightly addicted!

I'm far from perfect and I'm sure at first in my anxiety to make sure my son got a good start in life (we're both natural worriers) I may have unintentionally added to the pressure on my DW. She's doing just great and I just wish she could relax and enjoy him as much as I do. I'm loving fatherhood and am actually quite jealous of her having so much time with him. I'm sure if the tables were turned I might change my mind!

Thanks everyone.

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