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3 weeks post-partum could i have PND already?

(14 Posts)
Sarahpo Fri 01-Aug-08 18:55:22

Hello thought i would post, my baby is only 3 weeks old and already i am noticing that i am feeling out of it and 'disconnected' like my brain has switched off and i am going through the motions. I have had depression/anxiety in the past but all through the pregnancy I was really really well, better than i have been in years. I had a somewhat traumatic birth and it seems to be taking ages to recover and now some of the old feelings are coming back and i am wondering if i should go to the gp or if i should really try and wait it out to see how things go? any advice would be helpful as i already feel i might be slipping..

AvenaLife Fri 01-Aug-08 18:59:20

I would go to the GP rather then wait and see if things improve. Sometimes they do, sometimes a new mum needs some support. I don't think anyone really knows what childbirth and pregnancy does to a mother's brain, I think there must be some sort of chemical imbalance so it is very common. A traumatic birth won't be helping you to feel better. The GP can help. smile

constancereader Fri 01-Aug-08 19:01:20

I would talk to someone - your GP would be good. It might be pnd, or it might not but you should get some help nonetheless.

Have you any support at home? Have you expressed your feelings to anyone in real life?

constancereader Fri 01-Aug-08 19:03:58

Keep posting here too, there are lots of people who have been in your situation.

I felt very very anxious and disconnected from my baby from about two weeks on. I talked to my hv and my gp who were both helpful.

ellideb Fri 01-Aug-08 19:05:14

Please talk to someone,it might just be something and nothing but its the best thing to do.

Rones Sat 02-Aug-08 07:54:28

I was a mess for the first few weeks after having my baby and when I went to see my GP after about 2-3 weeks in, she said I should wait another couple of weeks to see how I feel as it's very common to feel down in the first few following birth. I did feel better for a while but as I as have also had depression in the past, I did notice a difference between the initial hormaonal ups and downs and the real depression. I tried to deny it for a while (ie. when I felt OK I convinced myself I was alright then) but had a few really bad episodes so am now on ADs and looking into getting CBT, which I think could really help. Also starting to get massage (once a month hopefully) and trying to get out lots and meet others - you'd be surprised how many others feel just the same. It's a worry that more is not done really although to be fair there's lots of awareness about PND now. Unfortuntaely the PND support group doesn't start up again until the end of Sept now, not sure if it's the same wher you are. Maybe check with your HV. how are you feeling today?

muppetgirl Sat 02-Aug-08 08:39:57

Hi Sarahpo x

So sorry to hear you're feeling low keep chatting to us many of us have been in the same situation and have come out the other side as it were.

Here is an article I wrote for the Faringdon NCT about my PND. Hope it helps x


I’m sat here typing this in the study whilst my husband changes our second son and gets him ready for bed. Our first son is sat by him, talking to his brother and laughing at him making his baby noises. This ordinary scene isn’t one I thought I’d see as I suffered with Post Natal Depression (PND) just after having our first son and felt my life had changed far beyond recognition that I had somehow lost myself the day I gave birth.
I soon realised something was wrong after the birth of my first son when I became anxious about going out, that soon transpired into not wanting to answer the phone, opening letters and generally cutting myself off from the outside world which had suddenly become, or so I perceived, an overwhelmingly frightening place to be. I hadn’t bonded with my baby at all and desperately wanted my life with my husband how it was before he was born. This was leading to some rather alarming thoughts about wanting him to go away obsessions about cot death and ending with me being convinced he would die and I would be sent to prison. Writing this now I can see how ludicrous this all was and that my not coping with being a mother was as a result of many things but really not of my failings as a mother but, moreover, my huge anxieties over things with which I had absolutely no control. I told my health visitor but she, although worried enough to carry on home visits, didn’t refer me onto any other agencies that could help. My relationship with my husband was deteriorating as I was a mass of burning fury with something, though I didn’t know what it was at the time. I would explode into sudden rages for the slightest problem and my husband as since told me that when he pulled into the driveway he had no idea what he would find behind the door waiting for him once he had got home especially after the day he opened the door to me standing there with our son in my outstretched arms shouting at him to ‘take it away from me’ which he promptly did as I ran up the stairs. I went back to work thinking this would help which it didn’t as I began feeling that I was neither a good mum or a good teacher and the anxieties then translated to the classroom as I was becoming more and more unconfident in my own abilities as a teacher. I had this constant sinking feeling that ‘they would soon find me out to be the fraudster I was’ I eventually asked my husband to ring my Head teacher and tell him I could not go back. My Head teacher was incredibly supportive but really at a loss as to how to help so he let me go.
I knew the situation could not continue so I went to see my Dr with the idea of talking to her and asking for help. What actually happened was I started talking and then started crying and didn’t stop for quite some time. My Dr saw the situation was quite serious and immediately prescribed Anti Depressants and also made an appointment for me to see the surgery’s counsellor. I was dubious about the AD’s but she did explain that they aren’t ‘happy pills’ as the media would have us believe but stabilisers that make our mood calmer so we are then able to tackle the reasons of our depression. I eventually saw the counsellor but this didn’t help as the appointments were too infrequent and I was left with too many painful thoughts going round my head on my own. I was then referred to the local psychiatric service for an assessment which was daunting but the thought of feeling how I was any longer gave me the courage to attend the appointment. I was then recommended a psychologist with whom I had weekly session with for over a year. She used a mixture of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT – how what we think alters our feelings and if we change our thinking we can change our feelings) and just talking and listening which helped tremendously. She worked with me through my second pregnancy and for 6 months after in case the depression returned.
So as my sons’ laugh and giggle at each other I realise what a journey I have been on since having my children and because of them I am now looking forward to the future. Having children has been a roller coaster of an experience where I felt I had wanted to walk out the door and never come back many times but since I have thrown away the baby books, listened to all the advice I’ve been given but slowly learned to trust my own instincts I have found I’m actually quite good at this motherhood thing!

1. Talk, talk and then talk some more, to anyone who will listen. If you can’t face your loved ones the Samaritans are there 24hrs a day. You don’t have to be suicidal to ring them.
2. Go and see your Dr. There are a range of treatment options such as AD’s to CBT, counselling, psychology, psychiatry. If what has been recommended to you isn’t working go back and ask to try something else.
3. If you can’t talk then write. I had an exercise book where I wrote all my thoughts/feelings down this especially helped when I couldn’t sleep. Get the thoughts out rather than letting them go round and round your head. Give what you have written to your partner/Dr if you can’t face them. AT least they can begin to understand what is upsetting you.
4. Accept the road ahead may be a long and winding one. There is no quick fix but with the right treatment you should soon start to be able to face the world again. Talk to your friends, family and work colleagues and try to let them know what is happening. You will be amazed how supportive people can be in times of difficulty. This can also help to explain changes in behaviour before, during and after treatment.
5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I was convinced I was going mad at some points, that I would never love my baby that I was abnormal and all other mothers were fab and I was awful but I now have a second son who has completed my family. I do have bad days still where I can’t explain why I feel down but I have learned strategies to cope with these days and also how to differentiate between a down day and just a bad day with the kids that everyone has occasionally.
6. Throw away the baby books. They can help but they should not be regarded as the only way of doing things as if you have ever read more than one you will soon realise they often contradict themselves anyway. They is no perfect way to bring up your baby, many of the charts for milk, food and sleep are based on the mythical ‘average’ baby that actually doesn’t exist. Women were having babies long before we could write, trust your own instincts; you know far more than you think you do.

LovelyDear Sat 02-Aug-08 09:48:51

Muppetgirl, i found your article v helpful - could have been describing me a couple of years ago. i'm having a bad revival of anxiety right now, and am wondering whether to go back to my ads. did you stop taking them, and were you completely fine afterwards?

muppetgirl Sat 02-Aug-08 10:09:03

Hi Lovelydear. I came off them to have ds 2 and haven't been on them since. Ds is now 9 months. I was on a perinatal pathway in that as I was prgt my psychologist saw me through the pregnancy and then for 6 months after. I have since been discharged and do have down days but due to the CBT are now able to differentiate bewteen down days we all have a depression days. I can recognise my 'things I do when I'm stressed' -I clean madly, get very angry/anxious etc and then talk myslef around the issue. I also don't plan to far in advance to avoid the anticiaption stress and I still use my exercise book (to get it all out of my head) though this is very occasionally. I have also started physical exercise and this has helped dramatically in that my mood is far more positive and I am so much more motivated. My house is clean for the first time in years!!

muppetgirl Sat 02-Aug-08 10:14:17

I would though, go back onto Ad's if I ever felt there were needed again so I still recognise they were an important part of my recovery but they needed to be supported by the other therapy's which actually enabled me to tackle the issues I was finding difficult. I haven't had a reoccurrence after having ds2 and I am enjoying him like I didn't with ds 1 which is a sad thing in itself but I know I am lucky to have 2 beautiful and healthy ds's anyway. I also had a pessary straight after ds2's birth and for 3 days afterwards to regulate my hormones so I didn’t get the 3 day dip. I'll never know if this helped or if it were psychosomatic but I have been very well since ds 2's birth.

LovelyDear Sat 02-Aug-08 14:44:23

Thanks Muppet it's so good to hear that you are enjoying your children so much. I am really trying to work out whether what i'm experiencing is within the normal range or not. I have to say i think not at the moment. I may well go back on the ADs. I just hope they sort me out as effectively as they did before.

Sarahpo Sun 03-Aug-08 09:51:22

Dear all thank you for your postings i love mumsnet and you have all been very helpful. I am away this week-end at my inlaws but muppetgirl i will read your article when i am back at home. I actually started crying in public yesterday so now i really think i am going down a bit. I love my baby of course and want the best for him but i am just so emotional at present and feel a bit out of control of my emotions, floods of tears for no 'apparent reason'.
take care all and will post again when back home

Umlellala Sun 03-Aug-08 10:03:10

HI, just wanted to see if you had a local surestart. because ours runs free, bookable 'mums hour' sessions with a psychologist which might be worth going to.

Agree you have to talk, talk, talk to someone. Let it all out on this board, keep a journal... good luck!!

Sarahpo Mon 04-Aug-08 09:39:33

Hello all thank you again for your postings one thing i forgot to add and its a big thing is that DH has taken a job 80miles away and we are meant to be moving to a new town. Now that i have had the baby i can't face the thought of moving and hence the tears and the feelings of despair etc. I just feel like now is not the time to move and in fact i don't know if i can physically/emotionally do it because of the upheaval. Anyway i will see how it goes might go to the doc's this week. I remember when i mentioned all of this to the midwife prior to the birth she said 'What??? You can't move house!!'

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