15 day old baby, first time mum, terrible anxiety of a night due to night feeds!(24 Posts)
Hi just looking for some support!
I have recently had a baby and have had terrible anxiety since his birth! I have been on antidepressants now for 10 days and staring to feel normal of a day but still very anxious and scared of a night time! The thing that frightens me the most is that I am not sleeping well at all due to anxiety and panic and I dread the night feeds because once baby is settled I can't seem to switch off or sleep during feeds and seem to lie there as anxious as anything waiting for the baby to wake up again! I have found myself lately sitting there wishing I never got pregnant as I want my old life back! I am constantly anxious and scared and I am scared of my newborn baby and looking after him! I feel no bond with him at all and I feel terrible for this! Has anybody else suffered with this? And does anybody know will it get better and will my anxiety go!! I just want the medication to hurry up and work so I can be a nice mum!
Thanks you for reading!! XxxxX
My baby is about the same age as yours and I feel just the same I dread the night times. I haven't got an answer for you - I've been diagnosed with PND and expecting to start medication soon. You're definitely not on your own. Have you told your midwife how you're feeling or have you been discharged?
My understanding of anti-depressant medication is that it can take a few weeks for enough to get in yours system to start to make a difference. You've been taking them for 10 days so definitely carry on and hopefully by next week you will start feeling the benefit.
Are you still under midwife care?
If so please telephone the team (or if not midwives then the health visitor team) and get an appointment ASAP. Talk through your anxieties and arrange to get some regular appointments for support in the early weeks.
Not sleeping is a symptom of your anxiety and PND, that is all.
Congratulations! I didn't feel a huge immediate bond with my ds either but I do now.
What's making you anxious? Are you worried about not waking up when DC cries? I worried about this too but I always hear my ds.
Are you napping during the day when he naps? Prioritise sleep before housework things always seem harder when you're sleep deprived.
I don't have much advice on the anxiety, however I do have issues switching off after feeding my little one during the night and have tried several techniques with some success!
- play the alphabet game with loads of different subjects e.g name fruit and vegetables, things you find in the ocean e.t.c this use to help distract me from thinking of anything else
- focusing on my breathing, saying in, as I breath in and out as I breath out, really boring and helps me fall asleep.
Obviously ignore me if none if this is helpful to you, I hope you feel better soon
Do you have a partner or friend who can stay with your little one so you can get a few hours uninterrupted sleep. They can wake you if it's tine for a feed or little one is inconsolable? You do need rest and these early weeks are so hard. Could you express so someone else could give your little one a bottle while you are resting. I promise it will get easier. Accept any help offered to you and don't be embarrassed to ask for help if you need it. I never slept very soundly when my dd was beside me in her cot which is why at six months she went into her own room. If you can even get three hours of uninterrupted sleep things can feel a whole lot better so do try and get support so this can happen. Also children's centres can help out if you're really at the end of your tether.
Ok. I absolutely could've written your post at your stage.
I posted quite a lot along the lines of your OP and everyone told me it gets better and I didn't really believe them but it does! It really does.
I used to lie awake wishing I'd never got pregnant and thinking it was the worst thing I'd ever done and that I'd never be able to be a good mum.
He's 6 months now and while I have some bad days here and there it's nothing nothing like those awful early days. I actually enjoy hanging out with him now. I found the first 3 months pretty bad then a really steady improvement from there. I felt like that period went on forever but times passes, you'll get through it. I promise you.
The thing about really new babies is that there's not much to be in love with in my view. I felt a huge instinctive urge to protect him and keep him safe but he was so alien and his only emotion seemed to be rage. Now he's a chubby jolly little person and I've fallen in love with him.
It's the great "unsaid thing" how bloody awful the first few weeks with a newborn can be. You've just given birth,your hormones are every where and your life has just been thrown into chaos by this tiny being that you're entirely responsible for. The first three weeks after ds was born dp and I took turns to watch/hold him- we slept in shifts so one of us was awake and holding him at all times. The weight of responsibility was overwhelming, it was like our anxiety was the only thing keeping him alive. That level of anxiety is just unsustainable.
Things got better. Somewhere around 3/4 weeks we got out a bit which helped and feeding became easier. It's really tough OP. It will get easier. By 2 months I was completely in love with my baby. Please know that you're not the only one to feel like this- it's much more common than you imagine
Oh my lovelies. I can totally relate to this. When I had my son I felt exactly the same. I felt no bond, extremely anxious surrounding nighttime to the point I was scared to go to bed and I kept on feeling like I'd made a huge mistake even though I've always wanted children. I never cuddled him. I literally fed him then handed him to daddy. I was breast feeding too so lots of night feeds. I found that it was all linked to the postpartum hormones. The reason I know this is because after 3 to 4 weeks it's just simply subsided and eased off. As I healed from labour and became more comfortable and less traumatised everything became slightly easier. The anxiety completely lifted after 4 weeks and each day my bond grew. It got to the point my husband was worried so he deliberately left me with son for a long time so I had to do more than simply feed and it worked a little. Now my son is 8 months and I cannot get enough of him. We have an exceptional bond and he's rather a mummy's boy. Please hang in there. Your hormones are all over the place and you need to recover from the trauma of labour. Persevere. It is worth it and you won't always feel this way. Simply take each day as it comes and when night time approaches tell yourself it does not matter if you don't sleep. That way the pressure is off. Good luck. I really wish you all the best. Xxx
The anxiety could be related to your thyroid - it's relatively common for pregnancy/childbirth to trigger an overactive thyroid, one of the symptoms for which is anxiety. It's a really simple blood test and worth requesting from your GP. Hope you feel better soon
I could've written this myself 18 months ago
If does & I promise get easier, the anxiety does ease off as you become more confident.
I wasn't depressed but totally overcome with pure heart racing anxiety.
I ended up diagnosed with Post Natal Anxiety and Post Natal Trauma.
Thought meeting great people at baby groups & clubs etc, I realised I was not alone.
I also visited GP who advised medication but that didn't work out for me. My HV "questioned my bond with DS" which made me feel worse
18 Months on, I still treat every week as a milestone. But the anxiety has subsided (yet still there) and believe me those feelings of "I wish I never got pregnant, I want my old life back" fade, they fade because it will all be ok.
I urge you to get some support, be kind to yourself, remember things have to give a bit & have faith you WILL be ok
Oh and use Mumsnet even if it's to rant! That helped me.
Look after yourself - the fog will clear x
I was anxious at night in the early weeks too - just the thought that I'd be up half the night, having to feed (DS is breastfed, although always got one bottle a night from DH, so at least I got a few hours in a row). I found things improved in terms of his sleep and my anxiety after about 3 weeks, and then again around 6 weeks, and a big improvement after about 12 weeks.
The big thing for me was seeing that it COULD change, because in the early days it feels like everything horrible will last forever. After about 6 weeks I started to see that things had improved and I was able to believe that they would keep on improving.
Definitely speak to your midwife or health visitor, or see your GP. This is such a common thing, they'll have heard it before and they'll be able to help.
I'm back! Firstly, I am so glad you have been able to post on here. Mumsnet can really be a lifesaver sometimes. I hadn't heard of it when I had my first baby 7 years ago, and I too went through the "hell" of postnatal anxiety. I was so prepared for the baby, and the birth, but I didn't sleep for two nights before he was born due to a never ending labour. Consequently, when he was finally born, I didn't have any energy to speak, cuddle him, feed him. All I wanted to do was go to sleep but I couldn't. I felt very detached from my baby and found it difficult to even say his name. I was absolutely overrun with adrenaline and found it impossible to wind down. What made it worse was that my ds cried for hours and hours and nothing would soothe him. (Found out later he had severe reflux) Looking back, I really wish I'd sought help, but I think I thought everyone would see me as a crap mother, unable to cope. I was just utterly exhausted and needed help and a break. It took a while, but it did gradually get better and I fell head over heels in love with my son.
What I will say is that with my second one I was not anxious at all, and the love and bond was there from minute one. I found it SO much easier the second time round.
I've now realised that I do actually suffer from anxiety on a daily basis and I take medication for it. It really has turned my life a round. It will probably take about 3 weeks for the medication to get into your system though, so persevere if you can.
Luckily a friend introduced me to Mumsnet when my ds was about 9 weeks old and it has been like a lifeline to me at times. It will get better. Just try to take each day at a time, and be kind to yourself. Warm milk or porridge in the evening will help you to relax. Sorry if this all sounds a bit disjointed - am on phone app and can't see what I'm typing
Thank you for your replies!
The HV came out yesterday and I had a complete breakdown saying I can't cope with how I feel much longer! She sent me back to the doctors who has prescribed me a weeks course of Diazepam 5mg to subside the anxiety whilst the antidepressants fully work! I've been on the antidepressants for 11 days now just hoping they start kicking in soon! The Diazepam does seem to settle me a bit and I was able to be more relaxed last night during the night feeds and had a good few hours sleep! Just wish I could totally rid this anxious feeling which seems to be worse of a morning and of a night! I am proud of myself as I did manage to get out the house with the baby in the pram for a few hours yesterday after taking Diarmzepam! Has anybody else taken Doazepam and did it help them? I just want to be the loving mother I know I can be to my gorgeous boy but I'm finding it so hard at the moment! I have been referred to councelling and I am just waiting to hear back for an appointment! It's nice to know that people say the feelings do subside! I just want to be myself and be back to my fun loving self I was before I had the baby and I want to be the partner I was to my lovely boyfriend! XxxxxX
Well done! That's great that the medication is helping - it will be good to get you through a few days, before the anti-depressants fully kick in. Honestly, things will get better, and especially if you take all the help you can get - sound like you have a good attitude, going to the GP, taking the offers of medication and counselling etc. That's the best thing you can do for your baby right now - get support for yourself. The rest will gradually start to call into place.
Have a lovely weekend!
I hope so thank you! It's the first day today that I have been alone with the baby my parter has gone fishing for a few hours! I took a diazepam this morning feel a bit relaxed but a bit edgy too! Just can't wait for the antidepressants to work and I hope they do work and kick in and kick this anxiety in the arse!! I think it's on my head thinking am I gonna be anxious soon or am I going to be ok? It's like a vicious circle I just wish I could rod these negative thoughts out of my head!! XXXX
Sounds like you are doing a bit better with the diazapam and the other meds should start working soon. I like to look at some nice little funny videos on YouTube if I am feeling down. I like funny dog ones but there is lots on there to watch. Its great to get out for a walk every day and get some fresh air and exercise, and see friends if you can.
Oh, I know that feeling of wondering when the anxiety will kick in. It's horrible. But that's part of the anxiety itself. Once you start to feel better, you'll find that you don't worry about getting anxious anywhere near so much. Do you have a follow-up GP appointment?
I remember the first time I was on my own with the baby, when DH went back to work. I curled up on the sofa and tried not to cry. Felt so anxious and panicked. I remember the midwife was coming round that morning, and I was scared in case I panicked in front of her and she took the baby away - now I know that she wouldn't have taken the baby and would have helped, but that got me so worried! Anyway, by the time she arrived I had calmed down, and was fine for the rest of the day!
Try to get a walk or something if you can - it will pass the time, if nothing else, but might also help you to feel more connected to the outside world, and more "grounded", less anxious.
Another thing is if I feel anxious I like to say something reassuring to myself, like if you are worried the anxiety might come back say " if the anxiety comes back, I will be able to cope and I will do some breathing exercises and I can take some meds if I need to".
I felt exactly the same after my daughter was born. I found the book Life After Birth really reassuring in it's honesty about what life is like with a new born.
I suffer with anxiety generally and have recently found EFT 'tapping' quite helpful - might be worth a google although I expect lots of people would think it a bit woo, but I find it's useful to concentrate on something which stops you worrying and the worrying iykwim.
Hope you're feeling better soon - it will blow over and you and your DS will be fine. My DD is nearly 11 now and she's my little best mate .
Diazepam does work for acute anxiety. However .... your body can get used to it very quickly & it's quite addictive which is why I would presume GP only prescribed a weeks worth
They are great until the AD's kick in, for short term use.
You're doing amazing, keep telling yourself that
OP, I felt exactly the same as you in the weeks after DD was born. I just couldn't switch my brain off, and I was terrified of going to sleep because I was convinced that she'd just wake me up again in 10 minutes. I had an amazing midwife who stuck around longer than usual. She made all the difference. I also found baby group to be so much help. I'm still friends with the ladies I met in the early days. Ultimately, though, things started to settle for me about 4-5 months in. I think my hormones had calmed down and I was getting a (little) bit more sleep. Please don't beat yourself up about the bond. That magic instant spark is, in reality, only there for a few. It took me 6 months to bond. She's nearly two now and I got through it. You will too, just keep talking.
That magic instant spark is, in reality, only there for a few.
So true. I have a photo of DD at about 4-5 months and I still remember it was the first photo of her I ever looked at and felt that rush of 'mummy love'.
It's easy to forget that as adults, our feelings for people tend to develop in response to our communications with them. When all someone can do is scream at you to meet their needs, it's not surprising it can take a bit longer!
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