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Postpartum anxiety

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Do we all get it?

 

I wrote a little about this in the chit chat thread, but I have this feeling like I had when I was at camp or a sleepover as a kid and got homesick. Super vulnerable, a little panicky, sentimental and sensitive and raw. Like my nerves are all exposed and my heart is tender. It's not depression but is it a precursor? I have my placenta pills which seem to help a ton but I'm uncomfortable with this feeling. I have fleeting thoughts of something happening to the baby and I start crying every time, I love her to discomfort, I'm totally overwhelmed by my feelings for her. 

 

I have rescue remedy and Calms Forte too, and my precious placenta pills (which are running out faster than I'd hoped... Trying to conserve them) but do you guys have any other suggestions? Or is this just a new-baby hormonal wave that will pass?

post #2 of 17

Katie, it's really hard to say for certain.  I think that it is very common to have overwhelming feelings, especially at the beginning.  I would say that it's also normal to have some fear and anxiety over something happening to the baby.  I do recall with my first, freaking out when her cord stump fell off when she was just 3 days old and was bleeding.  We called the on-call ped for that one!  A couple weeks later she had a little bit of blood in her diaper and I totally flipped out and cried for a while.  I held it together and went to the ped the next day instead of calling at night, but still I went to the ped for it. 

 

As you ease into parenthood hopefully things will calm down a bit, but everything is new for a FTM and you often don't know what's normal and what's not and every little issue can feel monumental.  The first time your baby bleeds is tough, even if it's a nicked fingernail or a bit lip (once teeth are involved). 

 

All this being said, though, more extreme anxiety where you have difficulty functioning is not normal and should be monitored.  I'm glad you have placenta pills and are aware of your feelings- this is definitely step one.  But if things progress and you are really having a hard time, I would suggest seeking help before things get to a more acute level.  My SIL had unresolved PPD (mixed with other issues) and it is still afflicting her almost 2 years later- no joke.  She was literally just in the hospital and a recovery center over the last several weeks.  Be aware that there can be a hormone crash around 2 weeks postpartum and then things tend to regulate a bit better after that if you're breastfeeding, especially (which I know you are).  Also be aware that the sleep deprivation can really pile up and exacerbate issues.  Since you're already noting that you are especially sensitive, it will be even more important for you to get help when you need it so that you can catch up on your sleep.

 

Keep talking about it and seeking support!  grouphug.gif

post #3 of 17

I did with my first two.  This time I actually feel not as bad, but I do feel like I am constantly on the edge of holding it together.

post #4 of 17
Today is day seven for me and it's the first day I've been able to sit in the living room with all my kids around and not feel like I am going to burst into tears at any second. I've been feeling very stressed and overwhelmed. I think it's pretty normal. But, as I've mentioned before, I'm pre-treating for pp depression and anxiety by taking antidepressants. I started right when I got home from the hospital.

I also find that if I do too much, I get more anxious. Same thing with not getting enough sleep. So I think napping and taking everything as slow as possible are very important.
post #5 of 17

hug2.gif

post #6 of 17

I got it pretty bad with my firstborn. It was so stressful to feel that anxious all the time. Exactly the way you described it Katie, you totally hit the nail on the head. This time around I was feeling it the first couple days. She had possible jaundice (she's fine) and her cord got tugged on & started bleeding at 2 days old, fell off at 3. I was soooo anxious about that. I was waking up in the middle of the night in a panic. Its seeming to get better though. I'm at 7 days postpartum. I'm expecting it to come back though. .

post #7 of 17

Katie, I responded to you in the chit chat thread - you have explained it perfectly. I feel this same way. Just like being homesick! I told DH the other day I feel homesick. He didn't get it. I have been having a really hard time with nighttime - I feel really alone and that's when I feel the most scared and homesick. DH says, "But I'm right here! You're not alone.." I'm not sure what it is, I just feel so alone at night.

 

So I totally understand where you are coming from. For me, part of it is mourning the loss of DH's and I's life before baby - we had a bit of a surprise with our mid-September boy! And mourning the loss of most of my third trimester, and the home birth I wanted and breastfeeding... all of it. It gets to me, and mostly at night when I'm tired.

 

Hugs!!

post #8 of 17

I think it's important to note that PPD and Post-partum anxiety are two different but very real things- so even if PPD symptoms don't apply to you, you could still have PPA.  Like Jaimee mentioned, you're still in the initial 2 week period so there is a chance that your hormones could even out after that, or it could get worse.  Either way, it's good to be so aware of it.  I think that keeping up with your placenta pills for now and trying to sleep as much as possible will help until you can see if things start to improve.  If in a few weeks you still feel the same way I'd seek some professional support for it.  

 

Here's a blog post I had just read about it the other day.  http://www.babyrabies.com/2011/11/acceptance-postpartum-anxiety-and-me/

post #9 of 17

I had it bad with my first, definitely to the point of interfering with my life. The difficult thing with PPA is that it's difficult to get perspective on what is and isn't normal from the inside. I literally couldn't sleep while DD was sleeping unless some other adult was awake and watching her (yes, even all night) and to me this was perfectly reasonable behaviour. But that line is very fine, because many women experience this rawness of emotion and wacky hormones. This is why my PPA wasn't caught right away - I think I was teetering on the edge of what everyone considered normal, though looking back what I was feeling was pretty extreme. What I would do in your case is express your concern to a few different people who would actually take action with you if they felt concerned, the outside perspective is important. Ask them to research PPA for you, and be aware of warning signs, but also be aware of what the realm of normal is and have plenty of empathy for you as a new mom. 

 

 

post #10 of 17
My midwife gave me the names of some therapists who specialize in postpartum issues. Just in case. I am really of the mindset that it's best to be overly cautious and catch problems early. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to ask for similar recommendations from your midwife. You could make an appointment just to check in and get some perspective. Just a thought.

I was depressed for a year after having dd1, so I am super careful now to prevent any problems. I feel like its much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to these issues.
post #11 of 17
Oh, I second what KayPea said about getting someone else to research the issue. When we got home from the hospital, I had dh read the info we were given about PPD. He actually sat with me and read it aloud and we talked about it. I explained to him that it is important he know about the signs to look for, etc. So I'd definitely recommend getting your dh to do the same.
post #12 of 17

I had a rough day today with my anxiety. My midwives are on alert with me, because of my history of PPA/PPD with DD. I had a lovely home visit this evening (by my request) in which my dear midwife spent lots of time with me, hearing my anxieties, reassuring me, and also telling me how much I rocked. It really helped. We also discussed my taking lemon balm tincture, EPO, and one other which my baby brain can't recall.Only two placenta smoothies left, and then I am not sure how things will go. I skipped yesterday, so I feel like today's anxiety is related - and as soon as I had DH make me one this evening, I felt so much better. I stillheart.gif my placenta.gif !!

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KayPea View Post

I had a rough day today with my anxiety. My midwives are on alert with me, because of my history of PPA/PPD with DD. I had a lovely home visit this evening (by my request) in which my dear midwife spent lots of time with me, hearing my anxieties, reassuring me, and also telling me how much I rocked. It really helped. We also discussed my taking lemon balm tincture, EPO, and one other which my baby brain can't recall.Only two placenta smoothies left, and then I am not sure how things will go. I skipped yesterday, so I feel like today's anxiety is related - and as soon as I had DH make me one this evening, I felt so much better. I stillheart.gif my placenta.gif !!



 

I am PETRIFIED of running out of my placenta pills! I didn't know about lemon balm tincture and EPO. Tell me when you remember the third thing!

 

I doubled up on my placenta pills today and felt remarkably better.

post #14 of 17

Oh yes, I think a certain level of anxiety is completely normal. I remember feeling so overwhelmed when we left the hospital with DD1. I kept thinking "They're really letting us just take this baby home with us?!" and being really afraid of doing it without the nurses checking in on us every once in a while. Once we were home, I kept thinking this baby's real parents were going to show up anytime now. Especially at night. I had taken care of a lot of babies and felt like I was prepared and knew what I was doing. But when it came to nighttime parenting, I was a total noob and had no idea what I was doing or what to expect. I felt like someone more qualified should be handling that part!

 

This time, I was just as (or even more!) overwhelmed when we brought her home. Knowing I had a two year old waiting for me at home and I was now responsible for the both of them at the same time... I really didn't think it was possible for me to do it. I didn't trust myself at all. When DH went back to work the next week, I almost begged him not to leave me at home with them by myself. It's gotten a ton better... as long as I don't think about the whole going back to work part!

post #15 of 17

The Rx from my midwives:

 

Lemon Balm tincture - 1 dropperful 3x a day

Skull Cap tincture - 1 dropperful 3x a day

Evening Primrose Oil - twice a day

Rescue Remedy as needed

 

Have just started the EPO, and will start the lemon balm tomorrow. Haven't gotten the skull cap yet. I'll let you know how I feel.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KayPea View Post

The Rx from my midwives:

 

Lemon Balm tincture - 1 dropperful 3x a day

Skull Cap tincture - 1 dropperful 3x a day

Evening Primrose Oil - twice a day

Rescue Remedy as needed

 

Have just started the EPO, and will start the lemon balm tomorrow. Haven't gotten the skull cap yet. I'll let you know how I feel.



 

Oh thanks, keep me posted!

post #17 of 17

My midwife gave me a bottle of Rhodiola last week and I've been taking three capsules a day and I feel a lot better already orngbiggrin.gif

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