Anxious First Time Mother(29 Posts)
My lo is nearly 2 weeks old. I am ebf which I am finding tough due to cluster feeding and broken sleep (obviously)!
I suffer in general from anxiety and am finding myself very anxious about looking after a newborn. My partner sleeps in the other room while I cosleep and generally during the night he settles ok. I am just generally so anxious about being a mum. My stomach is in knots worrying about him and when he cries it worries me that he is ok. I am also anxious about taking him out and generally looking after a little human. Please tell me this is natural? As he gets older I am also anxious about what I actually do with him? Should I be out and about? I will go to baby groups etc but feel it's a bit early. I just want to stop feeling so anxious all the time
I didn't go anywhere for 6 weeks, I did have a cs and live in middle of nowhere and couldn't drive. I felt like I was in prison. If you don't feel ready you just don't. Don't worry about it go out when you feel ready the first time I went out was because the health visitor made me go to a clinic to get baby weighed. On reflection I think it did me some good being house bound as I could build my confidence up a bit at home, like changing the nappies, knowing when he was hungry etc. Have a little practice and just go to the local store etc
I'm sure your doing amazing and it's natural to worry. When I think about how I felt when I brought baby home I feel all knotted up in my tummy to remember how nervous I was.
A new baby is a previous thing and the most scary thing in the world, ( it was to me )
You will get more confident as time progresses and you get to know each other's ways. If you feel your anxiety is getting too much, a trip to your GP can help. It's really normal to be a bit anxious with your first however yours maybe sounds a bit more than that?
Go to baby groups when you feel ready (if you ever do! Not everyone bothers with them). I went to my first when DD was around 3wks as I was getting cabin fever, although in hindsight it was probably too soon: I couldn't drive (section) so walked pushing the buggy, and it nearly finished me off it was such an effort!
As for what to do with him, the best you can do at this stage is lots and lots of squidgey newborn snuggles! They really don't need much more once they are fed, clean, and dry.
says the woman who spent HOURS dangling toys, reading books, trying to give her 'experiences' etc etc Once he gets bigger, he'll like a few basic toys but his favourite toy will still be you - watching you do your everyday stuff, hearing you sing and chat.
Please don't worry, you are doing a fantastic job. As has been said on here before, crap parents don't worry about or think on whether they're doing the right thing. You are clearly very mindful of trying to get it right
It's completely up to you when/if you go to baby groups etc. we went to our first group at 5 days as u hated being stuck at home. There are no rules, just whatever you want to do.
I think a certain level of anxiety is normal however you do sound particularly anxious. Have you got a supportive HV/GP you can chat to?
Thanks for the replies. I try and get out for a short walk every day just for my sanity. My recovery from the cs has been really good and I feel well enough to drive short distances but don't want to venture too far. I feel like I should be out for some reason. My sister thinks that by being stuck indoors may be making me more anxious?
By going out I feel nervous in case he needs feeding or starts crying! I would be fine coping with my partner there but on my own it terrifies me!! I guess I should stop putting pressure on myself and just enjoy the first few weeks at home xx
Two weeks in post CS you don't need to do anything except what you are doing. Feeding and cuddling. If your DP is there, he or she should be doing everything else including and especially nappies and possibly bringing you the remote to watch your favourite box set.
Take the pressure off yourself OP. Hugs to you!
There are no rules and certainly don't tell yourself you need to be out and about and doing this or that. It's relentless and all consuming, those first few weeks. Lack of sleep, dropping hormones, breastfeeding, the sudden new role as parent and the responsibility that comes with it is proof that having a baby is not for the faint hearted. But here we are! Having babies.
I felt exactly like you with DC1. I will never forget our first trip out of the house when he was weeks old. I just to holed up and nested. I was afraid of anything and everything...very anxious.
By DC2 we were out two days after delivery doing the school run. It is incredibly normal to feel like you do. The lack of sleep exacerbates the anxiety so if you can have a few baby free hours of sleep or even just time for yourself, allowing grandma or dad to take over, then take advantage.
Little walks can be nice if you feel up to them - I remember enjoying walking to the local shop with DC1, just having a quick look and then home. But if you don't feel up to it, it's not something you have to do. For the first 3 months or so, baby just needs lots of cuddles, milk, and nappy changes! Don't be worried if you don't do much else!
Thanks all I have had very little sleep last night so definitely having a pj day today and will sleep when my lo finally decides to sleep too! I definitely think I am putting myself under too much pressure to try and get out and get back to normal when my priority should be my baby and my recovery xx
2 weeks is so soon, please don't feel under any pressure. If you came on here saying your baby was 20 weeks old and you didn't want to leave the house it may be a bit concerning, but not 2 weeks!
When you are ready, My tip is to keep your changing bag stocked up in advanced (I replenish mine every night before bed). Feeding in public is always nerve wracking the first time but I found the idea of it much scarier than the reality. Not everyone likes them but I have breastfeeding cover. I have massive boobs and it just makes me feel a bit more confident.
Places like John Lewis have feeding rooms/nice changing areas so if you need to get out I always found a trip to john Lewis to get a coffee was a relatively easy one. They were always really helpful in the cafe and would carry my stuff over to the table as I couldn't manage it with the pushchair.
Good luck and congratulations on your baby!
My dd is 3 months ago, I can still remember those first few weeks.
I started taking my dd for walks when she was two weeks old (she would always go to sleep in the pushchair and it gave my nipples a much needed break). I'm oververy much a cabin fever type of person so couldn't stay in any more, these walks built up my confidence and eventually started to go further and further.
There's no law that says you must go to baby groups but you might find it helpful. I went first time when dd was 4 weeks old as it was held at the same time as the baby clinic. I didn't find it much help at that stage as I was just breastfeeding & the other babies were much older and paying but I found the breastfeeding clinic/cafe better as babies were similar age and mums wanted to chat whilst feeding.
I started going to baby sensory at 8 weeks. Tbh dd was too young but it gave me a lot of ideas of games to play with dd. As a pp said her best toy by far is me pulling faces at her and singing.
Does your DP sleep separately because he needs sleep /bed too small /worried about 3 in a bed? My DP was in bed with me when we co-slept (dd generally sleeps in crib until first feed now) and when dd was 3 weeks old DP accidentally woke me up. It turned out that he'd been waking up and checking on us every night - I found that quite reassuring as I had some anxiety issues regarding co-sleeping.
Enjoy your bundle!
Dp is doing everything during the day so I am letting him sleep in the other room plus he goes back to work soon. He lets me sleep late evening and early morning if I need to. It's tough going at the minute but I know it will get better and just need to give myself time to recover and enjoy this special time X
My ds is 4 months now and I go out with him every day. I had a CS and I was nervous too at first. I went for walks, doctors visit, trip to the shop to buy one thing. Some days I didn't go out at all, and that was fine too. It was hard though and a good day was one where I took a walk to buy food for tea or post a letter, and managed to do the washing up! The rest of the time I watched tv and fed the baby constantly.
I started going to baby group at 7 weeks and that's when I feel I really turned a corner. I became more confident, realised that if he cries in public then we either deal with it, or go home, and I enjoyed hanging out with the other mums and chatting! I probably also felt physically much better, which must have helped.
Depends on you - I would go crazy at home all day every day. But some of my friends said they barely left their house for the first 3 months. Start small - go for a walk, something with no time pressure!
Just to let you ladies know I managed to get out today to register the birth go for some lunch and go to see the midwife. I had to bf in the car in between appointments but I feel so good for getting out! Now time to get back into pjs and relax X
At two weeks you are doing great! Don't even think about groups yet, it must have been 6 weeks before I was even dressed before noon .
I was petrified of my baby. Every noise he made. Everything he did. You will get used to it though. Be kind to yourself. Cake helps.
Oh yes panickingalot I have lots of chocolate that helps every day gets better for me thankfully!!
I would suggest your Dh moves back into same room shortly tbh. We also co slept and I found it far better having Dh sharing with us. It means even if your awake feeding, your Dh can do the being awake and helping baby back to sleep for some of it. So say I was awake 3 times feeding 20 mins, Dh would help settle baby back to sleep after or change nappy if needed so I wasn't awake a full hour myself.
I know men usually go back to work after a few weeks, but as long as he isn't handling dangerous machinery it's also ok they feel a bit tired also, they have a baby! If you all try to go to bed at 11pm, and Dh has to wake say 7am that's still 5/6hrs solid sleep even is baby is awake 2-3 hrs. This will increase soon as baby feeds quicker/ less at night.
At least your husband has time alone without baby in the day which you don't arm, so it seems fair they help at night also imo.
Also getting out is good for you as change of environment, but does have to be baby stuff. Even a trip to local coffee shop will pass an hour or two. I loved museums and galleries also, might not seem the first thing to do with a baby but they are large, pram friendly, and you can wander around indoors if pushing them to sleep taking your time.
Lunch?! Well done, I couldn't have done that at two weeks (appreciate this may come across as patronising but I can't write it any other way!)
I really don't think there's enough awareness of the post- birth hormonal crash, and how that can affect some mothers, especially if you have some susceptibility to anxiety in the first place.
Although I suffered with quite a bit of anxiety and insomnia in DS1's first year, it was nothing compared to the acute attack I suffered after DS2 was born. The second night saw me pacing the house, exhausted and in tears, but totally, totally wired and unable to go to sleep, or relax. I think that whole phase lasted about 4 weeks, but crucially I got help really fast- luckily we hadn't been discharged by the MWs, so they were able to give support.
They class it as PND, I think, but to my mind it's something a bit different from PND, which seems to come on later and be longer lasting. Apparently all the oestrogen that's been in your system throughout your pregnancy leaves your system ^within 24 hours^- no wonder that provokes one hell of a crash in some, especially combined with exhaustion from the birth, and having a tiny fragile baby totally dependent on you!
Unfortunately there's no anti-anxiety medication they'll prescribe you if you're breastfeeding, but they did give me amitriptyline, which really helped me sleep, and that's half the battle won. Relaxation tapes helped, too, and IMO you're doing completely the right thing in getting out of the house every day- fresh air and exercise is really helpful.
I really hope you feel better soon, OP- it didn't take me long to recover, if that's any encouragement xx
Thanks stubborn and you're right everything I read describes baby blues but doesn't say any more. I am generally an anxious person anyway and I did consider going to see my doc but I seem to be doing better although this may just have been a good day. I am ebf at the moment but plan to wean onto formula the next few weeks as the pressure of bf is also a lot for me!
Good on you for having that day yesterday and it's great you found it worthwhile. You don't need to have days like that every day, but knowing that you can leave the house will help. I still remember my first outing with DD - to the garden centre for coffee, with my husband, and it was still terrifying.
Once you are a wee bit further on, going for walks every day will help, like you have been doing. I used to like walks 'with a point' - so a walk to the post office, or the shop, or the library, or to a far-away postbox
I felt all at sea still and then my friend asked me to come to a baby & toddler group with her when DD was about 9 weeks, which really helped. That was the only group I went to when I was on maternity leave.
I never felt entirely at ease with being mum to a baby, I went back to work part-time when DD was 9 months and it was only then that I felt I was getting the hang of it and kind of wished I was staying on mat leave longer (although I think it was the right time in hindsight). I think sleep deprivation has a lot to answer for but I do think I should have got help. DD is now 4 and we are both fine.
Lovely supportive idea for a thread. I was an anxious mum when both DC were newborn. I felt like I was surrounded by people who were breezing through or who said 'Don't worry' - one friend said to me about my screaming 3mo DD 'It's just crying - relax' - when actually what I needed to be told is that it's completely right and normal to feel at least some degree of worry and anxiety.
I remember reading a line in a book about how it's anxious mums who respond quickly when babies cry, which in our history means that babies of anxious mums were the ones who were rescued from the sabre-toothed tigers... It's an evolutionary response.
It might also be helpful to some of you to know that DC are now 2 and 5 and my anxiety - I mean the proper debilitating anxiety - has largely gone.
Another excellent piece of advice I had was - the first 3 months are for free. Just do whatever you have to to survive. Don't think any further ahead. It's the 4th trimester - just do whatever you need to do, one day (and long long night) at a time.
Thanks for the sound advice. Each day and night is anxiety ridden with something to worry about like is he feeding too little is he feeding too often why is he not sleeping enough.... When should I have him in a routine etc etc it's just endless!! But I assume I am just going through the same as any other ftm at least I hope so anyway X
Hi ftm, I have been feeling exactly the same! My baby is 9 weeks old now and the anxiety has eased a lot but still pops up every now and then. All the advice from previous posters is really good and it sounds like a lot of us experience this acute anxiety following the birth of our babies! For me, things stated to get better around the 6 week mark. But I still have moments of panic/anxiety most days. It does seem to be very common, and as arewenearlythereyet said, it means that we are responding to our LOs needs quickly, which is reassuring for them even if it is exhausting for us!
You are doing so well, please don't be hard on yourself, and know that it will get easier as the weeks go on. Xx
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