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Is it possible to have PND without feeling like there's a problem bonding with your baby?

(30 Posts)
SpringySponge Sat 04-Jul-09 15:02:43

That's just it, really. In a lot of ways I think I may be beginning to suffer from PND, but don't think that I've not bonded with my 12 week old DS. Although the more I think about it, the more I'm not totally sure if that's the case.

I love him, I really really do. But I don't obsess about him in the way that seems to be normal. I don't think I've ever worried about him in any serious way about anything. I expected to really panic about him, especially at first, & have to sit up to watch him breathing. I was relieved to find that I didn't. I've not been stressed out about anything to do with him, when I expected to be totally PFB.

Is that how it is for some people without problems? Or is it another symptom of what could be PND? & if it is normal, then is it possible that I still have PND anyway?

SpringySponge Sat 04-Jul-09 15:56:57


Kazzi79 Sat 04-Jul-09 16:09:13

PND can affect you in different ways, some people dont bond with their baby at all others become over protective.

The first thing you say is that you love him, and thats the most important thing, how do you feel when you are out pushing him in his pram and people take a peek at him? Do you smile about him and talk proudly about him? How do you interact with him on a daily basis?

Theres no such thing as normal, every situation in life is different. I personally think its good when people dont become over panicky about things, babies are tough little things and they don't need to be wrapped up in cotton wool, theres a big difference between a mums instinct and an over anxious parent (being over anxious isnt always a bad thing though, I know someone who recently had a child with meningitis and despite being called over anxious she persisted until he was diagnosed thankfully in time)

I think its good that you have a baby that doesnt cause you any need for stress, a lot of mums would love to swap places......having said that PND usually takes around 6 months to creep in so keep an eye on it and seek advice from your doctor or health visitor if you dont feel right. There is help available if you ask for it xx

kidcreoleandthecoconuts Sat 04-Jul-09 16:10:33

I suffered with PND and it really didnt affect how I bonded with my DD. I had real problems looking after my toddler though.
Are you asking that maybe you dont care enough? And that it could be a sign of PND ? I obviously can't answer that....but just the fact that you feel love for him is a positive sign I would think.
What are your PND symptoms? Have you thought about speaking to your GP or health visitor about it?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 04-Jul-09 16:11:52

Yes, it is possible.

I loved mine so much but have had PND every time.

I would urge you to go to your GP and get some help, if you are offered tablets, take them. Struggling on when you could be helped is daft.

You can get PND at any time, no idea what this 6 months thing is about, Kazzi79.

SpringySponge Sat 04-Jul-09 16:12:42

I do love him, but perhaps not as much as I thought I would. But then I never got the 'rush of love' when he was born, so maybe it's just taking time?

I play with him perfectly well & think I'm a good mum. But a lot of it seems to be going through the motions rather than because I really want to.

Other things in my life are really difficult at the moment, so it may be nothing to do with PND at all. I just don't want to sit back & let myself get really bad because I automatically assume that it's nothing, IYSWIM.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 04-Jul-09 16:15:22

Everything is so new yet.

I am nothing like I thought I would be.

Just take it as it comes and try not to think too much about what you think you should be doing.

SpringySponge Sat 04-Jul-09 16:19:30

I just don't feel like myself. I expected a lot of that, because obviously life is suddenly very different. I get that. But I feel like there's nothing left of me. I went out for the night with a friend last weekend & had a really, really good time. But I didn't think about my DS at all. I read a thread on here the other day about going out for the night with an 11 week old baby at home & everyone seemed horrified at the idea. Is it just me?

I think I will speak to someone about it. My DH came off anti-depressants just before DS was born & will be going back on them ASAP - things are really difficult with our marriage & I don't know if I just feel crappy because of that. I don't want us both to end up diagnosed with things when really I'm just exhibiting symptoms of living with someone who is depressed & has already been diagnosed as such.

Things are just different to how I thought. I'm really snappy, have loads of nightmares (but not about DS like I've seen a lot of people discussing), really down... My eating patterns are very strange / non-existent... There are a lot of warning signs, I think. But then I just think that maybe it's par for the course.

For example, I could just be snappy because I'm tired from dealing with a 12 week old baby & my husband is finding life difficult too, so we're not getting on brilliantly. It doesn't really mean anything, does it?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 04-Jul-09 16:21:08

No one can possibly know which is why you need to see your GP.

Kazzi79 Sat 04-Jul-09 16:25:40

Sorry fabbaker I didnt make myself clear, what I meant was in most cases PND is usually diagnosed around 6 months after birth as thats when health professionals are more willing to diagnose it as PND rather than just the baby blues you can have soon after birth, but as you rightly say it can happen at anytime from pre-natal depression to way beyond 6 months, 12 months etc.

I never got the rush of love when any of my 3 were born, I did suffer from depression when my 2nd was a baby but he was a very difficult baby to look after with a variety of health problems and always in hospital, I was also in a very abusive relationship and receiving no emotional support. I never received help because at the time I was too wrapped up in life to realise I was actually suffering from depression, its only when I look back I can see that I was actually depressed, my health visitor mentioned this to me when ds was 6 months old but as I refused to acknowledge I had a problem she couldnt really do anything to help me.

I can't say whether help would have been beneficial to me or not, but one thing I've realised is theres nothing wrong with asking for help, its not a sign of weakness its a sign of strength as you want to make yourself better to enable you to feel like a healthier person again.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 04-Jul-09 16:27:14

Well, they should rethink things then as 6 months is an awful long time to be suffering.

Kazzi79 Sat 04-Jul-09 16:29:35

I definately think a trip to your GP would be the best course of action, and its worth knowing that almost every person at some point in their life will suffer a bout of depression so its nothing to be ashamed of. Life cruelly throws these things at us

Kazzi79 Sat 04-Jul-09 16:33:30

Yeh I totally agree, thats not to say they wont diagnose you until 6 months though, I dont know if this is still done but a few years ago health visitors used to do an assessment on mums at 6 months to calculate the risks of them having PND.

Doctors often give advice that contradicts each other so if anyone thinks they have PND and its just being dismissed as the baby blues then you should be persistant (draining I know but its the only way) see a different doctor or several different doctors if necessary but dont stop until someone takes you seriously.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 04-Jul-09 16:35:09

I was dx at 3 months after DC2 so don't hesitate.

SpringySponge Sat 04-Jul-09 16:39:22

Okay. I will make an appointment next week. Thank you - I feel less like I'll be wasting their time now, even if I'm fine. It's right to check.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 04-Jul-09 16:40:12

It is what GPs are there for.

Kazzi79 Sat 04-Jul-09 16:43:14

Nah you wont be wasting their time, they see this type of thing on a daily basis, you wouldnt be the first mum to think you have PND and you certainly wont be the last, getting yourself sorted is the most important thing, theres nothing worse than feeling down constantly.

MrsMattie Sat 04-Jul-09 16:43:17

To OP - totally possible.

I bonded well with my baby from the word go, but my PND manifested itself in anxiety - obsessive thoughts that something terrible was going to happen to my precious DS, my DH, other loved ones...

I didn't recognise it as something unhealthy and that needed addressing until he was around 4 mths old...and didn't get help for a good deal longer than that, as felt so ashamed.

BoffinMum Sat 04-Jul-09 16:59:38

Springy, so few people get a rush of love I wonder why it has become so prevalent in our cultural definition of motherhood.

I also think it is usual to have a bit of an emotional dip three months in, when the help fades away a bit and the tiredness really hits home. But a chat with a sympathetic GP is often a good idea, just in case you ahve a touch of PND. Consider making a double appointment as well, so you get longer than 7 minutes.

SpringySponge Sat 04-Jul-09 17:07:03

Hahaha, what help? wink

Will try for a double appt though, thanks.

AuldAlliance Sat 04-Jul-09 17:44:43

Springy, you have been going through so much with your DH and new motherhood, it would be amazing if you were feeling all joyful & loved up, TBH.
Talk to your GP, it can't hurt and (s)he'll be able to point you towards help...

Schulte Sat 04-Jul-09 20:51:40

Springy, lots of hugs. You say you're 'going through the motions' - the MW once said to me, ask yourself if you're enjoying your baby, because that's the most important thing.

I don't know about PND, you are having a difficult time anyway, but can't hurt to talk to your GP about it. Good luck sweetie.

littleboyblue Sat 04-Jul-09 21:10:11

Hi. I have 2 ds's. 23 months and 5 months. I have been on anti-depressants for about 3 months for PND.
Quick background......
All through first pregnancy I was soooo excited about having a baby and couldn't wait to meet him. When he was finally here (6 days over, nearly 3 days in labour and a forcep delivery) I was just glad not to be pregnant anymore!
I looked after him, I fed him, kept him warm, clean, clothed etc, but didn't actually feel a huge rush of love until he was about 5 months old. I remember a friend saying to me in the early weeks "Do you just love him so much?" and I said "oh, I suppose so. Hadn't really thought about it" hmm I obviously did love him, because I cared for him and kept him safe, love works in different ways I think. But I didn't have the time to process all my emotions if that makes sense.
I also think that especially with the first, there is so much to be completely overwhelmed with, I mean even though you might read every parenting book and mag on babies and pregnancy, you're never completely prepared and I know for me, I thought I was well prepared but got the shock of my life when he was here!
With ds2, I kind of had a better idea of what to expect, but I think I did have the rush of love the first time I saw him, purely because ds1 has taught me not to be so selfish iykwim?.....
PND doesn't mean you don't love your baby or that everyone will have problems bonding at all. For me, PND stopped me thinking like a normal person. It was a struggle to get through the day without crying. I feel I have a great bond with both my children, but that I needed to ive myself a boost in order to get through the days.
I've had some great chat's with my HV about it all, she really laughs at me because she says I'm saying out loud exactly what she was thinking 20 years ago.
Because you aren't obsessively worried about your baby also doesn't mean you have PND, I think it'd be a clearer indicator that you did if you were IYSWIM.
My advice would be to speak to your gp and/or your hv and tell them exactly how you're feeling. PND is very common and they would have seen an awful lot of it in varying levels, so it'd be doubtful it'd be missed, although no one knows how you feel but you.
For me, I was enjoying my baby and my new life, but my personality started to change. I couldn't face eating, I wasn't laughing at my fav programs, I didn't want to talk to anyone apart from my children, I started drifting away from the world outside of my house. I'd still go food shopping and the odd playgroup, would meet friends in the park and so on, but I stopped answering my phone every time it rang, some days I didn't even turn it on, I wasn't returning calls. It was just small things like that really, but all together left me feeling like I wasn't coping.
When people in RL ask me how I cope with 2 so young, I say "Prozac" and whoever I', talking to think I'm joking. When I tell them, I'm being serious, they all say they'd never have thought it because I look nice, my ds's look nice, I'm outgoing, I laugh (now) and I seem to be holding it all together really well, which I think just shows you you never know what's going on with everyone else either.......
Speak to your gp/hv, they will advise you and will be able to offer suitable help and support if that's what you need.

littleboyblue Sat 04-Jul-09 21:12:44

Just read that back.....I don't mean that if someone doesn't feel the rush of love, they are selfish, I just meant that when ds1 was born, I was so used to thinking of myself but not so when ds2 was born.
I know I haven't worded that right, but hope you can see what I do mean..........I'm just talking about how it was for me.

NuttyTaff Sun 05-Jul-09 01:03:06

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