Waterbirth and PPD question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 11-24-2009, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone. My name is Ariana, and I'm completely new here. I was referred here by a friend who thought I could get some answers from some women who might have had similar experiences to mine.

I am not expecting, and not TTC anytime in the near future, but I've been thinking about it lately and wanted to share my story if I might, and hopefully get some feedback.

I had pretty severe PPD after my son was born (he's now 19 months) that lasted for a pretty long time. I always knew I wanted 2 or 3 kids, but after my son was born I was miserable and not only dreaded the idea of EVER having another baby, but really questioned whether having the one I had had been a good decision. It hasn't been until very recently that I have started to feel back to my normal self and started to really be happy with my role as a mom and realized that I do still want more children in the future. But I want to do everything in my power to reduce the risk of having the same issues as I did when DH was born.

When he was born, I felt completely distanced to my son. I felt absolutely no attachment to him whatsoever. The birth was a pretty normal homebirth, but I did have some tearing and bleeding. We tried to get DS to latch on as soon as he was born, but from the instant he took that first breath he just cried and cried and cried and wanted nothing to do with the breast at first. So we handed him off to my husband while I got stitched up and all that fun stuff. It wasn't until 45 min later that we finally got DS quieted down and interested in the breast. Since then he has been a boobaholic, but that's another story. lol

Anyway, there are a lot of other things that eventually contributed to my ppd, but I do think that initial separation/detachment, as short as it was, made an impact.

I had a blowup pool to use while I was in labor, but it wasn't ideal for me, so I didn't bother trying to birth in it. I have heard though, that babies who are waterbirthed tend to be more calm at birth. So I'm interested in trying it if and when we have #2 in the hopes that I can spend those first minutes with my baby rather than listening to him/her wail away in another room for an hour. I'd like to think that would really help with the bonding that was so absent with my first.

Ok, so what all this boils down to, I'm wondering if anyone here has experienced a waterbirth after PPD, and if it made any difference regarding PPD. I know it's a long shot, but I just I'd throw it out there.

Thanks ladies.
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#2 of 5 Old 11-27-2009, 08:18 AM
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I had both my girls at home, in water, peacefully and beautifully. Yes, it made them calmer - my second didn't make a peep for months! (Well, I'm exaggerating, but she was a very very calm baby... until she became colicky!).

But, no, unfortunately my lovely birthing experiences did not affect my ppd whatsoever. I have a severe case of PPD after my first. And I really did have fantastic births... calm, pretty quick, babies took to the breast easily... In my case though, I had no or very little milk - and even after months and months of trying to increase supply, I was never able to bf exclusively... And for me that played a huge role in my stress level - I was super stressed about not bf'ing... But, it's kind of a question of what came first: the ppd or the bf'ing trouble? I suspect the hormonal stuff after giving birth, far more than bf's problems or a bad birthing experience, plays a much bigger role in PPD. So, what I'm saying is that even if I had had the perfect bf'ing experience, I may still very well have had the severe PPD... and same for having the perfect birth experience...

In terms of trying to prepare yourself and take every precaution you possibly can in anticipation of having a second or third baby, I would say, do what you feel would support you the most. I'm expecting my third and yes, I was very scared after my first... But, by the time my second came I had a good psychiatrist, I had resolved to use the medicines that the western world offers to help myself enjoy my baby and my life as a mother, I had a good counselor, and I was very committed to looking after myself. Did it go smoothly?? Well, no... Life's not like that now, is it! But it was much much better than after my first. Because I already knew what to watch out for and how to address at least some of the things that were coming up (like, taking time to myself, trusting my husband more with the baby, letting go on nursing exclusively when it became clear that I could not)... I was still stressed at times, nursing was better this time but far from easy or smooth or lovely. And I had a 17 month old to look after in addition to a colicky newborn.

And now, as I get closer to having my third, I'm making the same kinds of plans, and anticipating some troubles, too, and trusting that things will work out. With every experience we all gain new wisdom, so trusting that is important, I think.

I hope this is helpful and please send me a private message or post here if you have any questions!

Best of luck,

Agnieszka wife to Kevin, Kalina (Jan 7, 2005), Tosia (June 4, 2006) , and baby Emmett (Dec 27, 2009)
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#3 of 5 Old 11-27-2009, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for you response, Agnieszka. Your words were helpful, and I will look you up if I have anymore questions.
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#4 of 5 Old 12-08-2009, 03:32 AM
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I have had 2 hospital births (full of intervention) and 2 waterbirths. I think that the water does allow for a very gentle birthing experience and less screaming from the new baby, although I'm not sure it dictates PPD or no PPD.

I had varying levels of PPD with all of my babies. The first two were quite bad and my 3rd (a birth centre waterbirth) was actually pretty good. Not too much PPD there but still some. If I had answered this post before having my 4th I would have thought that the lessend PPD was most likely because of the water. But I usually get pre-natal depression as well, so when I got pregnant with #4 it all came back. She was a home waterbirth but unfortunately I suffered really bad PPD.

Andi - roller derby, slave to the hoop, birth junkie, lover of love, single mama of 4
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#5 of 5 Old 12-15-2009, 11:40 PM
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My experience was the same with not latching immediately after the birth and about 45 minutes of seperation, and i have PPD, except i DID have a home waterbirth.

I'm sad that my midwives didn't help me after the birth with bfing (they left without even making sure he'd got latched on at all!), and the fact they took him off me after only 8-10 minutes to do his checks and get him dressed. I specifically wanted to stay in the water, bf and have a natural third stage but instead i was so exhausted from days of labour and no sleep that i didn't have the strength or will to speak up. I did/do wonder if those interruptions right after the birth contribution to the nightmare and bonding troubles i've gone through since, but i think most likely it was already on it's way as i didn't bond during the pregnancy.

So long story short, what i mean to say is that even with a water birth i still had a short seperation from my baby and still ended up with PPD. Sorry that's not the best reply However, i do think if you've experienced it before and are aware of things like this that you specifically want to change, then things could be much better next time around

I'm a homebirthing, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, baby wearing, excl breastfeeding, delayed solids, natural loving, ready to explore kind of mama
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