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Does anyone think their birth experience contributed to PPD?

3360 Views 41 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  TSamara
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I think that my birth experiance with dd did cause my ppd to be much worse. The ob did things to me that i did not want. Within hour of the birth dd started to go jaundiced so she had to be put under billi lights at a little over a day old. I did bf her but at the advice of the ped on call they told me she needed formula to help flush her system as being under the light her numbers were still going up. She was only given the formula tho after she nursed from me so that wasnt to bad. Thank goodness the bottles didnt cause to big a issue with her latch.

She was brought to me every 2 hours to nurse wrapped in a billi blanket. Then the day we were supposed to go home one of the nurses took her away and then had anouther nurse call over the entercom to tell us to turn the heat up in the room as dd was to cold. When the nurse brought her back she jumped all over me for trying to freeze my baby to death
I was a mess by the time we got home 4 days after she was born. I ended up on meds from the time she was 3mo till she was 18mo.

In compairison to ds's birth were i had him at the birth center and was home 6 hours later. I did have to go on meds but only for 4 months with him and it wasnt nearly as bad.
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HUGS to you mama.

I definitely think it can. i don't know if I had PPD but I feel like I did. and the birth was traumatic in many ways but most particularly afterwards. we had a homebirth that became a transfer and they took my little guy from me and wouldn't release him for four days and it was for sucha weird reason. anyway i have had a lot of ANGER and sadness and madnes to process.
maybe you can try writing and releasing it and helping it get out of your system

I feel ya!!1
I don't think my last birth experience contributed to ppd but I believe that in general it certainly can. I had an awesome birth with my last, the only thing that would have made it better was if I had been able to push her out in the tub. I believe my ppd stemmed from moving cross country when I was 6 weeks postpartum. We lost all our friends and left a great community to come live in Hell.
I think the birth of my second help with me having PPD. I had just gotten married moved to a new country all in a year and then i found out soon after that i was pregnant. The birth sucked i could not have a natural birth like i wanted. So i had to have another c-section,on top of that i found out i was allergic to morphine, it gave me bad side affects like you would not believe. Itchness and so on. Also my recovery was aweful, I was stuck in the crowded room with other people that had all had babys and this one womens baby cried the whole time i was there so i didnt get any rest also because i had suffered from depression before i had social services on my case bothering me calling and i still never got any rest. That the law in canada they have to investigate stuff like that. On top of that my scar from the c/section didnt heal good so it got infected so i had to take meds and go too the doctor to get that treated untill it healed by the grace of Allah. Also i wasent eating or sleeping well at home my hubby and i wasent getting along at the time. And plus i couldnt get the hang of breastfeeding. It took along time for me to produce my and my breast were full and sore with milk and i didnt have any way to get it out. I had never breastfeed before and the nurses were no help they were rude and very mean. Also after i got out of the hospital my face and legs and stuff swollen i looked like a pig with all the fluid build up , and on top of that my MIL was a pain in the butt and we were not seeing eye to eye. Also when my baby was born he was having health problems breathing probs, making some weird noises basicly my doc said it was because he was a c/section baby and that problem some water got in his lungs, that turns out thats what it was but he was taken from me right away and had to have alot of test done and had to be in ICU NeoNatal Unit untill the found out after that they said he was find that that was the problem. Everything just went wrong and on top of that a month of so later i was diagnosed with PPD. So i think all that together help me to get sick. Oh and i forgot on top of that my baby was born early because i had to c section
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I do, but more the immediate post partum experience rather than the actual birth.

My 1st birth, no PPD. It was a medicated hospital vaginal delivery. I was a single mom, living with my extremely christian parentns who hate me for getting pregnant.

Because they hated me, me and baby stayed in my room on the bed for a full 6 weeks after the birth. My mom brought me meals. In retrospect, it was very similar to the practice in tribal cultures of spearating the new mother and baby from everyone else from fear of their uncleaniliness. The separation doesn't save everyone else, though. I really think it saves the mama and her sense of self-importance and the bond to her baby, not to mention how PEACEFUL it is.

My second birth, at home in a tub, I have PPD. Now I'm married to a wonderful man. I got no privacy after the birth, even though I asked for it. My mother came to help and was extremely annoying, went home leaving us with nothing after just a couple days. None of our friends brought us meals even though they were supposed to. My husband went back to work after 1 week even though he could have taken more time off. WHy? Because he wanted to be able to take more time off 3 weeks later when his parents came for a freakin 12 DAY VISIT. To top it all off his sister and her 5 month old also came along, without even asking me!

So much more is behind my PPD but I can't help but wonder if the other stuff wouldn't have been a factor if I had gotten my 6 weeks.
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I think things not going how you planned in birth can contribute to PPD. I've had anxiety & depression for years. However, it didn't help that my DD's birth ended in a c-section, nursing didn't go well, cloth diapering sucked for us & DD was high needs for the first year. It may have been there even without all the difficulties, but everything else just made it even harder. I'm hoping that being on meds this time will at least make things a bit better. That, & I hoping that just having been through it before will make it easier.

Maybe I'm kidding myself, but a girl has got to dream!

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Yes, definitely. I had a c-section (scheduled, the medwife dumped me and her doctor coerced me into it when a 40w u/s showed a "big baby") and I have PPD and PTSD. I think that research shows that c-section moms and traumatic VB moms are more likely to have PPD/PTSD. So, perhaps even having something like unwanted guests present would affect you. When I was wheeled back into my room after surgery both MIL and SFIL were there, even though I had wanted them to wait at home, or at least in the waiting room. My evil medwife was there too, but she quickly left when I glared at her while puking into one of those little tray things they have.
absolutely. As i believe All factors: upbringing, amount of education in babies health and care, drug use- even prior-, support from outside for mom, and the birth can contribute JUST as much as hormones Than i DO believe this one important part is a definate factor.

C-sec here TOO. yep. my feelings were sooo in it. It was tough to have to go through all that and process it all along with the other stuff going on. yikes. I can still feel that overwhelming weight 8 yrs later.

Its ALL connected Baby--- That should be my knew 'phrase'
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I had a planned c-section --which I was OK with since baby A was breech. My epidural didn't work, so they gave me morphine and versed in my IV.

I don't remember ANYTHING about their birth. I was SO disappointed. My DH took a few pics, but OMG I would have loved to "been there" for the experience :cry
I do think that a birth experience can effect ppd. With my first I started at home with a water birth plan. After 30 hrs of hard labor and water that had broken 35 hrs before, my midwife insisited I go to the hospital. At which point I was told, c-section or death. I felt like I had to agree, because my child's health was more important than my birth plan. Due to the length of labor my child was born with an infection and we spent 9 days in the hospital. I mourned for a very long time about not being able to give birth to my son. Most people did not understand, and even belittled me over the fact. My midwife was a source of strength during this time, and she did understand how i was feeling and helped me work through it.
My next preg was twins who came at 33 wks, so the story is much the same. I didn't have as hard a time dealing with it, because I knew it might happen and had come to terms with the fact before the birth.
Just one small note. Count your blessings. I know the in-laws coming before they were invited was bothersome to you, but they did it because they love you and your family, as annoying as that may be. My in-laws came to visit last wk for the first time since babies were born. They never even tried to hold the babies, and couldn't remember the names. I wish I had in-laws who cared and wanted to be a part of our lives.
good luck and keep the faith.
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Originally Posted by gypsy4360
..... My in-laws came to visit last wk for the first time since babies were born. They never even tried to hold the babies, and couldn't remember the names.
Shame on them! Shockingly bad in-laws!
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I just want to say i disagree with the concept of 'counting your blessings' in your situation. What it sounds like you got was not a blessing at all and i will even go as far to say it sounds like the mil was completely selfish in her behavior to first not honor your request (if it was a verbal request, made knon) to have privacy and then to cry and make a scene at the time when you needed the attention and peace. So much like when my mom came over and there i was a new mom, struggling to feed myself with a baby who wouldnt sleep and a dh who was away and all she could do was complain about my dad. Yes, she's a selfish woman too.

I hope you are able to work through your dissappointment. Talk about it as much as you need to people who will listen and maybe even journal.
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Yes, I think birth experience does play a role in it, if not physically, then at least emotionally.

I too feel like I lost "control" of my birth (I almost died and my babes were in distress when delivered) . . . I was going through life with the attitude "well, I should be happy we all survived and are healthy today", but through therapy I realize I've been carrying a lot of guilt/anger and disappointment around with me. I think my babies newborn behaviors also indicate to some degree that they were also traumatized to some degree by the experience (which I know some people think is nuts).

Sorry about your MIL - she sounds like a real piece of work.
What an interesting thread!! I found it from the main page... I don't have any kids yet but I read the Continuum Concept and I have wondered if there was a connection between post-birth stress and PPD. If you haven't read it, she says that mothers and babies need time to bond immediately after birth, or else the primal urge tells the mama that something is wrong and starts the hormone surge that brings on PPD, even if the baby is fine. Sounds like you guys had experiences like this!

Thanks so much for sharing your stories, and I give you so much credit for all your courage and strength!! *applause*
Definitely. With my first three, either during the birth or after the birth, there were intrusions and conflicts. The degree of PPD I had each time directly correlated to that. I guarded my fourth birth and postpartum very carefully, and there were no intrusions, no conflicts, and no postpartum depression. It made such a difference in my ability to care for my baby as nature intended (and as a result my confidence as a mother,) in my relationships with my children and husband, and in my enjoyment of the newborn phase.

The nature of birth is that mother opens up emotionally and psychically so she can bond to the baby. This is a good thing, of course, however that openness makes her very vulnerable to negative energy as well. There are also hormones that are released in an undisturbed birth and postpartum that are crucial to a normal third (placental) and fourth (immediated postpartum) stages, and help protect from PPD.
I planned a home water birth and for various reasons ended up with a c/s. Intellectually I can rationalise that DS is healthy and well and none of it really matters and maybe there is some higher purpose that was fulfilled, bla-bla, but in my core I feel like that experience proves I am an inadequate mother, and like I can't trust my choices and decisions, and that is the CORE of my depression that keeps coming and going and coming back again.

Yes I think that sleep deprivation and diet and lack of support are all critical for me too.. but I don't honestly think it would have kicked in in the first place with a different birth experience.

How do I make peace with it? I've tried the ways I know, many of which help for while, (and which I will happily share if anyone else is searching) and keep thinking it is done, and then it all comes bubbling back up again.

I guess part of the problem is lack of cash that keeps me from the weekly therapy sessions I know would help....
I think it can DEFINATELY contribute.

With DD1 I had a birth center birth... it was pretty nice overall, but DD's birth father was there and he and I have a BAD history... he felt he should be there though since it was HIS DD too. I know that really helped me feel stressed... he was NO help, took control of the music playing, etc... I didn't feel comfortable enough to speak up about it. So although the birth experience ITSELF was nice, the surrounding experience was not... I know that between that, and the postpartum experience (he was in the process of moving out) really kicked my PPD into high gear.

With DD2 I had a homebirth with my loving DH... he felt unsure what to do though and wasn't as much help as I needed... DD was posterior as well and the labor was MUCH long and MUCH more painful than my first. I still look back on it with fond memories though. The postpartum period wasn't as bad either... my mom was living with us for the first 3 months and that was a bit stressful, but nothing like what I had with DD1... all in all, I think I have a touch of PPD, but nothing like with DD1.
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OP, it sounds like you dealt with some pretty intrusive post birth stress; and isn't it sad, you can never have that time back? It is amazing to me that no matter how well we prepare ourselves and our surroundings we seem to be incapable of actually controlling anything. Everything should be calm and loving and suspended in the magic of birth for days before and after. For anyone to intrude on that is just heartbreaking to me. I am so sorry you experienced the loss of that amazing time. I am sure it contributed to your PPD.

I think it is probably very natural to try to figure out why, why, why... Why would anyone develop this feared acronym? I have gone through so many stages of grief in dealing with PPD with my middle son. I have blamed nearly every thing I can think of and have yet to come up with a concrete explanation. Maybe I didn't do anything wrong. Maybe I failed to bond after his birth. Maybe I shouldn't have let my mom come over. Maybe if I'd had him at home it wouldn't have happened. Maybe if...

I hope we will all someday find true peace with our PPD. Despite it all, I love who my middle son is. And since every moment of his life has created him, I must embrace every moment; the good, the bad, the wanted and unwanted, the planned and the surprises.
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Jenniey, I really appreciated your post.
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