31 answers

Mom Wondering If Anyone Else Felt Overly Anxious After the Birth of Their First

Hello to all...
Just gave birth to a beautiful healthy boy 3 weeks ago. Since then I've been struck with anxiety and just recently feelings of depression. I'm really hoping this is just the baby blues everyone talks about but am not sure. Am really worried about having to take an anti depressant. I'm walking with the baby everyday and taking vitamins... just trying to take care of myself until this passes... does amyone else know what I'm talking about? Almost like feeling like I'm in a fog or out of touch w/ reality.
Thank you in advance for your thoughts:)

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone for all their responses and support. Ty is 6 months now and I'm getting accustomed to my new role as a mom a little more everyday. I am taking some meds bit hopefully not for too much longer. Thx again to you all!!!

More Answers

A.,

I would definetely talk to your OB. I had SEVERE post partum depression after the birth of my daughter (first & prob. only child). It started with me about 8 weeks post partum, (she was also 6 weeks early, which would make it the same time frame as you). I was worried about working & getting her to her activities, from Kindergarten to College. Paying for college etc. Granted I had other issues (severe car accident, husband lost job etc.). The worse time for me was about 3 am, after her feeding & she was asleep & I was trying to go to sleep. I was placed on Prozac after 3 months & going back to work I felt normal again. I can honestly say I have never felt anything like this in my life!!! The feelings were so extreme!! This is nothing to play around with. Just talk to your Dr. My family was really concerned for me. fourtunately (or unfortunately), my Mom shared her experience after my birth ( I was the oldest) & what she experienced was PPD. So there may be a genetic as well as a hormonal component. BTW before this hit I felt GREAT!!!, full of energy etc. But when it hit it hit like a ton a bricks!!

Hi A...

The good news is you are normal. I too went through depression after giving birth to my son. You feel this huge amount of responsibilty has been laid on your lap and whats worse (in my case) I felt I may not be up to the job. I felt out of place, and awkward like all the other new moms at the park had it together and I didnt. In my case it did pass. I quit worring so much about all the what-ifs and I let go of the past completly..that is the hard part. Just let go of all the things that you miss since having a baby. And move forward. Depression is not a sin! your whole life has changed and I think for the better. My son has taught me sooo much about Life and he is a KID. Stay busy, and exercise that will help you the most. When your body is strong and in shape you will feel in control of this out of control situation.
Good luck

Taking anti depressants in the short-term is not a big deal. What IS a big deal is having you emotions such as they are when help is available.

Talk to your OB.

HI A.. I am a mother of 2 and one on the way. I clearly remember feeling the baby blues with the birth of my first son, and not understanding why I felt what I did. Everything felt surreal. I thank God for a supportive husband, however what helped the even more was getting to meet other first time moms. I delivered at UCH (Tampa) and they (6 yrs ago) had a Mommy/Baby class-support group that met once a week. It began to help me feel so normal to see that other ladies had similar issues and that it was not just me. So maybe you can check out the place where you had your baby. Also, as you may well know, your hormones are trying to adjust themselves so that has a major role in it as well. Hope this helps! Take care and congrats on your new baby.
Kathy

A.,

Bless you sweetheart...Sorry that you are going thru a bit of a ruff time. Baby blues is very common and postpartum is more common than people realize. If your symptoms interfere with your day-to-day life or the care of your baby, it may be something a bit more serious that needs intervention. Postpartum is triggered by hormones and can be greatly helped by medication and possibly counseling. If you have any question at all, I would suggested to talk with your OBGYN about it soon...If they do recommend medication, that may just be for a season, but it may help you get thru a tuff time and help to pull you out of the fog. I can perfectly relate to what you are talking about and did talk to my OB and did go on meds in response to postpartu - I felt weird about it at first, but am so glad that I made the choice to do it - things are sooo much better. That coupled with some counseling to deal with some pre-existing things and to some things in adjusting to being a new mom and changing roles has all been very helpful. My advice would be to talk to your doctor (and husband if you are married) and all decide what is the best for you in your situation - do not compare yourself to someone else and what they did or did not do or what other people think. And do not take it as a reflection of your love for your baby or your worthiness as a mom - it is not about that - it is chemical and hormonally triggered. You need to be the best person that you can be for yourself, your little one and your family and don't feel any shame in going after that! Keep the hope - it may not be a quik process, but with reaching out it can get better!

My first baby I thought things were fine, but I heard that the sun starts shinning again and everything becomes clearer around 2 months. Sure enough exactly 2 months I felt like the lights came back on even though I didn't even realize they were off! My second one was not that way at all. I was tired, stressed, life did not look the same at all. Normally I am very positive and I just couldn't be positive. I lost patients with my 3 year old and would get so angry with him over nothing. I had urges to hit him that were so hard to control. I didn't feel that way towards the baby though, not sure why. I didn't want to go to the doctor and be put on medication either but knew my kids didn't deserve to suffer with me. I went and sure enough my Dr. put me on a anti depressant, a very small dose. What a difference it has made! So glad I didn't fight it!! It's not the end of the world and not necessarily permanent either. You should defiantly talk to your doctor. Most people don't like to talk about this for fear they will be viewed as a awful mother, not the case at all!!! I have found that 3 other friends are on the same medication as I am :) So don't fight it too much. Babies change us so much it's amazing, who knew a little tiny thing could do so much to change your body and emotions. Congratulations on the birth of your boy, motherhood is the best thing in the world!! You did a great thing about signing up on mamasource you will never be alone here!

I had my first in Oct 07 a girl. Went thru what you are talking about. I went on a small dose of meds and it helped tons. Some are safe if you are breastfeeding. Walks and vitamins are good but it is a hormone thing but it does go away. Once things "calm" down the 1st 2 months are the toughest I found.

Call your doctor. You might have PPD (post-partum depression).
Call your doctor, if you go undiagnosed it can get so much worse. This is a happy time, you should enjoy it.

I should know I went through it and it got bad.

Take care

Well, I had the same feelings after the birth of each of
my babie's, but after awhile, it passed..I think what it
is,is this: you get all sorts of attention before baby is
born, but after baby arrive, all the attention goes to the baby, and maybe it's a let down....add to that, your body's
going thru some differant change's now, so just try to let
it go, and before long, you'll over come this...and maybe
help if you could find something else to focus on besides
baby for awhile...good luck
Granny

I am also a first time mom. My baby girl is 6 months old now. I felt a lot of anxiety as well at three weeks but mostly because I was dreading going back to work. Your hormones are on overload right now so close to just having the baby. things should calm down once you and your baby get on a schedule. keep trying to get on a schedule the walking shoudl really help. my sister said the vitamins were real important for her too in order to keep the baby blues away. I think you have the right attitude when I see you write "until this passes" because if you keep up the good work it will pass. try to enjoy your baby as much as possible. cry the tears to relieve the stress I notice that this helped me. I found that taking lots of pictures of the baby made me feel better too.

Yes...I sure do know what you're talking about. I remember reading the baby books and I stopped at the part about post birth depression. I thought...I won't be sad! I am so excited to have this baby!! Well, I got home with my new son......and the tears started. My poor husband didn't know what to do. I didn't even know exactly what I was crying about! At some points I was so anxious, I didn't even want to hold or change my son, because I felt like I was going to do everything wrong! When the tears calmed down...the fog came. I just felt like a zombie...existing from moment to moment...day to day. I felt horribly guilty that I wasn't feeling all the 'joy' I had expected to feel!! I started to talk to friends and family about it...and found out so many people went through this! Why didn't they tell me? I thought!! Everyone seemed to feel so 'guilty' about this feeling that they didn't tell anyone. We as woman, moms....seem to feel like we have to show everyone that we are ok, and that we can do it! I don't know why...but we seem to think (especially when it comes to mothering) that it should all come naturally. Well, it doesn't.....and we all have to take it one step at a time. The thing about your emotions right now...are that they also have allot to do with your hormones (and lack of sleep)! It's very important to talk to your OBG about how your feeling. They can help you. If you ever feel like you want to hurt yourself or the baby especially. Some people's feelings get to that point. Mine did not...and yours may not either. My fog seemed to lift over time. As your hormones adjust...and you try to get more rest..AND...you get more used to doing all the moment to moment mommy stuff...you will feel better. Post baby blues are VERY real. Since its just three weeks I would say you still have time for this to pass, but if it does not seem to go away in a month or so, speak to your doctor. Having a new baby is so exciting and wonderful.....but also very tiring and emotional. You're doing the right thing by taking care of yourself! Ask for help from friends and family. I didn't take the help everyone kept offering! (that super-mom mentality starting!)...say yes to the neighbor that might want to cook you dinner....say yes to your mom or mother in law that wants to take the baby while you go nap. All those moments help! Good luck, and know....it will pass with time and you will soon feel like yourself and truly be able to enjoy your new angel!! :-)

Hi A...it's A. again..I just read your profile...so I saw your original question....so to add a bit more...My ppd/anxiety lasted more than one year..and it was such a shame that I let it...I knew it was supposed to be this awesome time I looked forward to..but I felt SO overwhelmed, sad and anxious. My concern was that I nursed, and wouldn't take meds while nursing...so I didn't really talk to anyone about it..and nursed 13 months. In hindsight, although breast milk is awesome, my daughter might have better benefited from a more with it mom. I completely relate to your feelings..and really think the lexapro, or something similar is a very beneficial route. I also think seeing a therapist to help work on overcoming anxiety would be a great idea. I wish you peace!
A. :)

Oh yes! I think the third and fourth week were especially bad for me. I think it may be a combination of little to no sleep and shear anxiety (and realization) of having a new baby! I worried about everything. Would I leave her somewhere by accident? What if I trip while I was holding her and she fell on the floor? What if she is not breathing when I go to check on her in her crib? What if, what if, what if! I cried everyday and a few times a day--then it just went away! I think I started feeling a bit more like myself around 7 weeks--which is when she started sleeping through the night. I am not sure, but I really think the lack of sleep had a lot to do with my depression and anxiety.

Do you have a doctor you can speak with? Or any chance you can get someone to watch your baby while you sleep?

Know you are not alone and this will really pass.

Take care,
Danielle

yes what you are feeling i felt with my first child(my little princess when she wants to be). they say that it can take up to nine months for you to start to feel better but it took me a little over a yr. to final get back to my old self( just to find out that i'm pregnant again). the only thing that helped me get though was taking a little time for me even if it was five minutes of watching my fav show, taking a long bath, giving my daughter to family to watch while i went to the store things like that. it is very hard to let other people watch my child even though they had more expierenc than me but if you do a least something you like once a week than hopefully you'll start to feel a little bit better. i hope this works for you and best of luck :-)

you are not alone. i definitely felt that way...until the baby started sleeping through the night...sometimes i still feel that way (usually coinciding with my period:(
(my kids are 3 and 2 now) i still contimplate with anti-depressants...but i don't feel depressed constantly...so, yes, keep walking, nap with the baby for sure, and don't do anything else around the house - ask for help with cleaning and food prep, buy frozen dinners! (super suppers will deliver ready made meals to new moms!!) ask for help, that will help your sanity for sure. 6 months - that is your goal - sitting, smiling, rolling!! you can do it!

i went through this with my daughter. it does pass. it took me about 2 months to get over it.

don't worry. relax - baby sleeps alot - so you sleep too. it helps....if you have someone to help you with the baby - take advantage of it. but know that it will pass.

Oh do I know what you are going through. I had a c-section and the worst time at the hospital. Not the people or the surgery. Just a bad experience. Then I couldn't take care of my baby for about 2 weeks by myself when we got home. I had a hard time dealing with motherhood. Total change of life. Actually, your life is not your own anymore. It is a phase I think for some Moms that have a hard time going through. All the best for you and your new baby. It does get much better.

I feel your pain! I have a three month old and I am not necessarily feeling depressed and to the fact that I am just overwhelmed with all the little things that goes along with taking care of a baby and a family. I am suggesting something that has helped me out tremendously with feeling down and overly exhausted. Go out with girlfriends. Vent with them. I have a group of girls that I go for coffee with once a week and we just sit and talk about our kids and problems in our life that come up. It is nice to talk to girls or people that you can relate with. It is just a sense of comfort that your husband can't understand. THey would jsut say "yes honey I understand" when they really don't. So having coffee or going out for drinks with the girls is great. They all have kids and have problems just like me. So we talk and I get suggestions from them that sometimes seem to help. Good Luck.

Hi A.,

Yes, it's normal. There are ways to prevent it and you seem to want that. Whatever you do, avoid the anti-depressants. They have so many side effects and most CAUSE depression.

Make sure you have a good vitamin, not just a prescription. You need a pharmaceutical grade vitamin that has a proven and effective absorption rate. Most GOOD vitamins have a 50% or less absorption rate. There are some that are much higher.

The exercise is great. Make sure you're not just strolling. Strolling IS healthy but it doesn't help depression like a brisk walk that gets your heart rate up.

Detox your house and get the chemicals out so you and the baby can breathe better. There are side effects of cleaners and contraindications between household cleaners even when you are not using them. (Ever smell the chemical isle in Wal-Mart? Those aren't busted bottles. That is outgassing.) Chemicals can lower the immune system and people with low immune systems get depressed and stay depressed.

Remove any caffeine from your diet. There is nothing wrong with a caffeine in moderation EXCEPT it can exacerbate depression.

I hope this helps A.. If you want to talk or would like any additional information, please let me know.

Regards,

M.

Hi A.,

When I had my first born son, I had the same postpartum depression that lasted 2 years! I think that it would not have lasted so long if I had medication! The depression was much tougher for me because I did not have any family around to help me with the new baby. If the problem doesn't go away for you after 4 weeks, you should see a doctor and get on the medication. Start out with the lowest dosage possible. Get as much support as you can from family and friends and exercise regularly. Somehow the physical activity helps! The actress Brooke Shields had the same depression when she had her 1st born. She wrote a book about it. You can check it out at the bookstore. The name of the book is "Down Came the Rain". Take care and best of luck! V.

That is post partum and all the hormones in your body adjusting. If it gets to be to much call your doctor. Its common to get postpartum and unfortunetly enough women dont speak up. I had it and I think every mom I know had at least some form of it, some needed medication others just needed time. Good Luck! It gets better, MUCH BETTER!

Hi A.,
Yes this seems to sound like a slight case of the baby blues...But I wouls still talk to your primary care dr. and see if he has any say so in it.
I had the baby blues with my daughter and it lasted about a month and a half. I ate less sugar and took vitamins as well as routinely excercised and it went away on it's own with meds.
I hope you do well in the journey of motherhood,
K.

I know exactly what you are talking about. Scary feeling isn't it? I went the antidepressent route and I am so thankful for that option. I know they aren't for everyone, but they definitely saved me. If these feeling last for more than a couple weeks you really need to talk to your doctor. It's unfortunate that these feelings are one of the best kept secrets of motherhood. I always thought that post partum depression was just women who drowned their babies, but it isn't always that severe. There are vaying degrees of it. Do some research online on the subject. Knowledge is your best defense. Also, sunlight aids in fighting depression so keep walking with your baby! I was really embarassed about the way I was feeling and isolated myself which just made things that much worse. If you haven't already done it; share your feelings with those closest to you. It helps not to go through this alone. If you need someone to talk to you can email me at ____@____.com

A.,

Only you can decide what is right for you, I believe if you are concerned enough to ask for help here than you may be concerned enough that you need to make an appt and talk to your OB. It is nothing to feel bad about, or be ashamed of. Hormones are hell, and nothing to play with. A friend and I had our babies 30 days apart, they are both 3 now. About 2 months after her baby was born she told me she talked to her Family doc and he said he thought she had PPD. She shrugged it off and things just kept getting worse and worse. I thought she just was not interested in being friends any longer, our lives had changed dramatically. This was her third and she had always been a stay at home mom, I had always been a career woman. Well those rolls switched. Next thing we know she is leaving her kids with her mother and going out all the time. She has left her husband of 13 years suddenly and is having almost nothing to do with her family. She dresses different, talks different and acts like someone I have never met. This all started after the birth of her third. I do not know the person she is now, and she refuses to talk to any of her old friends. I wonder if maybe she had gotten help in the beginning if things would be different now. Take care of yourself, remember you need to be healthy too. If things get real bad, if you think they can not get any worse and you are feeling absolutely horrible CALL someone. Talk it out. But call your doc, take care of you honey. Take some time for you too. Good luck and congratulations on the birth of your baby boy. they are wonderful.

T.

I know EXACTLY how you feel. When my daughter was 9 weeks old my anxiety was so bad I admitted myself to the hospital. I had horrid panic attacks, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep- I basically wanted to die. I was also hearing things and lost interest in my baby. After 5 days and the proper medication I was discharged. The diagnosis was severe depression with anxiety. I still take the meds daily (my daughter is 5 months) and I have never felt better. I'm on Zoloft, Seraquel and Ativan at night. If I didn't get help when I did I don't know what might have happened. You need to contact a psychiatrist. I see Mina Oza and she is awesome. Please don't go it alone and get help. You will feel normal again.

Good for you for exercising and taking your vitamins and congratulations on that baby. From what I understand and experienced this is pretty normal. Your body has been through so much and so has your mind etc. with this baby. Talk to the doctor if you need to- there are other treatments besides anti depressants, too. Best of luck.

A.

Hi A.,
I think you sound completely normal! :) After I had my first, I would get hysterical for the first month or two, at odd times, worrying about how I was going to pay for college, and all kinds of other things! I wouldn't worry about taking an anti-depressant unless your symptoms are still coming when he is 3 months old (you should have adjusted to birth hormone fluctuation, nursing stuff, etc. by then). I felt much better after 6 weeks, and it only got better from there. Believe me, from what you've been through (pregnancy, birth, nursing, etc.) you deserve to be hormonal and emotional. Don't medicate unless you have to! it's completely normal!

Good luck!
K.

Hi A.!

I am a mother of three and it wasn't until after the birth of my last child that I encountered the same feelings as you've described. My first piece of advice is to please discuss this with your doctor. I say this because I had originally thought it was the "Baby Blues," albeit I thought it was odd that I had never experienced this with the births of my other two children. However, it quickly spiraled down to a more serious depression, requiring medical advice.

I'm not telling you this as a means to scare you, but rather I hope to prevent the situation from escalating. Reflecting on this situation now, I would have certainly sought professional advice sooner than I did, preventing this from becoming a worse situation.

Hang in there and I wish you all the best in your efforts to overcome this obstacle, which you can do.

All the best,
Anne S.

Congrats on your new baby! How exciting!

I just wanted to let you know that I too, experienced similar feelings (intense fear, sadness, anxiety) such as you describe following the birth of my second child 4 years ago. My ob put me on some mild meds right away and I stayed on them for 6 months. I decided when to stop and felt much better after taking them. I also found that when I talked to other moms ... more of them (than not) experienced similar emotions. The best thing for me was joining a moms club and getting out there with other moms. I truly marvel at the friendships I made within our playgroup during that time. Our kids are off to various preschools, but we still stay in touch with each other and it's wonderful.

An aside to share - it gets easier each time - talking about depression - the more I talk about it and share with other moms too. There's a lot of us out there.

Hang in there! Let us know how you are doing and how your little one is advancing. We are a sisterhood, us moms, and you will find more and more of us that are willing to lend a ear and be supportive than not! I did. Take care! :)

A.,

I also felt that way: anxiety, depression, foggy. In fact, I didn't even realize I was in a "fog" until it cleared up, several months later. I wish I had spoken with my doctor about it. Even when I went in to have my staples removed I lied and told the doc and nurses that I was doing well. I think I was afraid of being medicated too. Part of me also felt like I just needed to sacrifice for my new baby or that it would get better once he was sleeping through the night. I realize now how dumb that was. My point is...I agree with the other moms here: you should talk to your doc. Just be sure to ask about all your options.

Good luck! Congrats on your little angel's healthy arrival!

T. Q

Week 3 was the hardest week for me. It all comes piling down on you around this time. I felt exausted, I felt out of control most of the time,and still very unsure of what I was doing. I too at this point wonder if it was post pardum or just the blues. Luckily for me it passed, but if you ever find the depression gets worse, or you feel like not being around your baby, or hurting him, seek help, there is no shame in it! Otherwise what helped me is getting out in the sun, and getting fresh air, eating fruits and veggies and trying to rest more (I know, easier said than done :P ) good luck and congrats on your new little man!!

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