PTSD vs PPD - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 03-25-2010, 02:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I had what I believe to be a needless c-section 14 months ago. Induction, cascade of interventions, 2-3 hours of pushing and still a section. Afterwards it was difficult bonding, breastfeeding was a failure, and my incision was infected for 6 weeks, because the nurses ignored my pain from what turned out to be a torn staple. I had to sleep sitting up for months because if I laid flat I couldn't use my myscles to pull myself back up.

Thinking of my birth story or relaying it to other still brings me to tears and puts me in a foul mood for the day. I'm tearing up just typing this. I've spent hours crying and wondering what could have been if I had just been stronger and said NO. People I talk to about what happened roll their eyes and make comments asking if I'll ever "shut up about it".

However, I have not had any of the feelings associated with PPD since the short "Baby Blues" period. I've never thought I wasn't going to be a good enough mother, nor that I didn't deserve my beautiful baby. Everything about her is perfect in my eyes except for the way she came into the world.

I am pregnant again now and literally TERRIFIED that I will be forced into another section, despite getting a green light for a VBAC.

Is it possible to have PTSD without any symptoms of PPD?

Momma to DD1 Shiala (01/06/09) and DD2 Adaline (07/16/10)
Breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, VBACing, and loving every minute
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#2 of 3 Old 03-25-2010, 10:49 AM
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I'm sorry you had such an awful experience

To answer your question, yes, you can have PTSD without PPD. I did. I wasn't depressed, but I had all the symptoms of PTSD - heightened sensitivity, flashbacks and so on.

If you suspect that you might have PTSD it's worthwhile trying to find a counsellor who specializes in treating PTSD; maybe you'll even be able to find one who specializes in birth trauma. Wishing you healing

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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#3 of 3 Old 03-26-2010, 02:12 PM
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Yes, it's different for everyone. It basically boils down to you decided what you are going through is not normal regardless if there is a label for it or not. I had, parts of PPD, PTSD, and PPanxiety and PPOCD. It was a crazy mix and people telling me "well all that matters is a healthy baby right?" really didn't help because there IS SO MUCH MORE THAT MATTERS. We couldn't BF either, although we did have a speedy recovery for the surgery. We were planning on a birthing center birth and ended up transferring, so all our plans went down the toilet.

We are pregnant again, and plan an HBAC. The hospitals here say they are VBAC friendly, but I need the one on one support from my caregiver, and the comfort on my home, and the knowledge she has over the OBs available. I just posted this elsewhere, but I read Rebounding from Childbirth Towards Emotional Recovery and it helped me a lot. This pregnancy I'm reading An Easier Childbirth by Gayle Peterson and it goes over you "birth inventory" and what your true feelings are about your previous birth, and dealing with them. You should talk to your Dr. about them, and you should be getting support from them, and they should take the time to listen to you and help you work them out, and make suggestions. If they don't, find someone else. Join ICAN!!!! They will help all around with dealing, identifying, and there are SO MANY MANY other women who feel the same way you do. Also, they can recommend a true VBAC supportive Dr. in the area if you choose that over a MW.

If you are really scared of another c/s I'd ask yourself is it because of the previous birth? Or is it because your gut tells you that you are not supported by the people you need to be, like your Dr.? Any Dr. can say, "sure, let's try for a VBAC", but very few will tell you how to help and support you through that. Ask your Dr. How do you plan on supporting me? What is your VBAC rate? Of the moms who attempt VBAC, how many have vaginal births? How is a typical labor managed with a VBAC mom? How would you have handled my situation differently? Get the facts, the last thing you need is finding out your Dr. is not what you thought in the midst of labor.

Hire a Doula as well, as they can help you work through the emotional issues before, during and after labor. They can also help with making VBAC successful. In studies, they lower CS rate by 50%, that's a lot. Also other interventions are lowered like need for pit, epidurals, narcotics, and they typically have quicker labors, and the mom typically leaves with a better birth experience (including a healthy mom and baby), and BF is also more commonly successful regardless of the method of birth.

If you need anything, let me know! I'd be more than happy to help.

Much love, happy birthing!
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