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As with all health-related issues, please seek advice from a RL health professional if you're worried about anything.

Postnatal health

Post natal anxiety

4 replies

sunshinevalentine · 16/04/2020 23:03

I'm 11 days pp and suffering from the worst post natal anxiety. I can't stop thinking something is going to go wrong and googling every little thing and linking it to SIDS. I've somehow convinced myself that it's all to good to be true and that it's going to be taken away from me soon. It's really bringing me down and my anxiety is through the roof, I don't know what to do :( it's really starting to effect my first weeks with my son.

I know google is the worst thing to be doing and it's definitely not helping with my anxiety at all but I just can't help myself!

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Gloria5 · 16/04/2020 23:09

I’ve got nothing particularly constructive to add but didn’t want to read and run. Sometimes talking about these things helps.

Definitely “hang in there”. It does get easier. Sleep deprivation doesn’t help, so do what you can to rest up. If you follow the expert advice on sleep safety etc then you need to accept that you are doing everything you can (and in reality have very little to worry about).

It’s not all good to be true, it really is this good. That love and happiness you feel is perfectly normal. Congratulations on your new baby!

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Eggcellent29 · 17/04/2020 19:19

I could have written your post myself when my LO was tiny.

The first few weeks are tough. I know I was scared silly by health professionals constantly telling me about SIDS, especially as my LO had to sleep on his side for a medical reason. I couldn’t sleep and cried constantly, always doubting myself and refusing to even have a shower in case something happened whilst I was gone. Looking back now, I was extremely vulnerable (as we all are after birth) and being constantly warned that my baby could die at any given moment if I made a mistake as simple as letting him get a bit too warm was beyond terrifying and not helpful at all. It didn’t help me to care for my baby - it actually made me less able because I was in such a state of panic all the bloody time.

It does get easier! LO is nearly two months now and although I still worry, it doesn’t intrude on my every waking moment and I am able to sleep again. A big part of it is that the sleep deprivation lessens as times goes on and your hormones calm down so you can actually think again.

I found that using a Sense-U monitor (monitors breathing, temp and has a roll sensor) helps me. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and you still need to check them regularly of course, but it eased my worries. It clips on to their clothes so can be used on the go, doesn’t need to be turned off when you lift them out of bed, etc.

Remember, SIDS is very rare. I can’t think of any other cause of death that is so widely published and constantly rammed down our throats. Yes, it is very serious and yes we need to minimise the risks. But that is true of many things in life and we don’t obsess about them in the same way.

I found that the vagueness of the SIDS info made it worse, as did Google. ‘Blah blah increases SIDS risk.’ Well, by how much?! 1%? 100%?! What was the risk to start with? If it was only 1% to start with, even a 100% increase would only make it a 2% overall risk, etc etc. I drove myself nuts and it did not help. Please, don’t do it to yourself.

As long as you are minimising the risks, there isn’t anything else you can do. So minimise those risks and then try to put it out of your mind. There is a risk to everything we do with babies. Take driving for example! But we minimise the risks by using a car seat and driving carefully. That’s all we can do. But we don’t worry about it quite so much. Why? Because we aren’t being told as we leave the hospital and on repeat every day for weeks “be careful driving your baby around, you could get in a crash and kill him/her and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT”

Also try to remember that many big companies out there make a lot of money out of scaring us silly about SIDS. Think of the cash spent on Grobags, thermometers for rooms, monitors, etc. I know I’ve spent a fortune on stuff!

It may be worth speaking to your HV. I found that mine was very helpful and had a very balanced approach to SIDS. She helped me to feel more in control and empowered to make informed decisions.

Please don’t think I am trying to minimise the seriousness of SIDS and the importance of minimising the risks. I’m just trying to reassure you that, as long as you do what you reasonably can, that you don’t need to worry yourself silly Flowers

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sunshinevalentine · 19/04/2020 20:51

@Eggcellent29 this is exactly how I'm feeling! It is so overwhelming isn't it. My partner is being so supportive but it's just so incredibly hard. I'm booking in with my GP tomorrow to get some sort of help as it's ruining my first few weeks with my son and it's time I'll never get back! Thank you, you've made me feel a little less crazy x

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Eggcellent29 · 20/04/2020 11:34

@sunshinevalentine No problem :)

That’s good news about going to see your gp, I’m sure they will be able to help.

How is your LO getting on?

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