Postpartum Anxiety/ Panic Attacks? Postpartum Depression?

Updated on October 30, 2008
W.A. asks from Pearl City, HI
50 answers

Hi all. I just had an unplanned C-section on Feb 6th (yes, I posted the request about unplanned C-section and got an overwhelming response of 120+ moms...thank you all so much again)The C-sect went well and I had some minor issues with my recovery and dealing with my baby's minor cleft lip, and feeding issues. Well, a couple days ago I started getting a very nervous feeling in my chest, which came along with shortness of breath, tightness, and sometimes wheezing. It really scared me and I thought maybe it was something related to the C-section. So I went in today to get checked up. Everything came out clean and they told me that I am having anxiety/ panic attack. What?!? It isn't something that has come and gone..it's been consistent for the last couple days. Apparently the doc says it can last for a few days, and it's not surprising since I had quite a few unplanned events like the C-sect, then the recovery, my baby's cleft lip, feeding and weight loss issues, etc. Really, wow. I mean I have been really worried about a lot lately and I have been very emotional it seems. I been crying a lot..a whole lot more than I did with my daughter. But with her I cried happy tears. I notice this time around I'm crying out of fear, in regard to not doing a good enough job, of my baby having a cleft lip, like what would happen to my family if something went wrong with me, etc. Could this be postpartum depression. I am so ridiculously happy so I am not sure what to think. Help. My question is have any of you other mom's had such an issue mainly with the anxiety part and what have you done? I really have never had an anxiety or panic attack and it's really not fun nor comfortable with this pressure and tightness in my chest nad feeling like I cant get enough air into my lungs. Looking for any help. Thanks>

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so very much for your responses. I foun d so manyt of them very helpful. I came to the realization that I didnth ave postpartum depression because the symptoms so many of you listed just wasnt the same as what I was feeling..though I still wasnt sure nad decided to go get checked out. My doc gave me the all clear and put a lot of my fears to rest. While I did not have PPD I did have an issue with Post partum anxiety. After chatting with my doctor about all of my fears as well as having my son go in for another check up an see that he was gaining weight back and healthy, made me start to feel better. It's been a few days since I have had any of the anxiety feelings and I am so glad it's over. Now I am just left with hormaones which are still making me cry and the silliest things, but I at least feel normal about my tears now and not fear as I did a week ago. Thank you again for all your responses, they were ALL helpful. The best advice was to go and talk to my doctor and I am so very glad I did. Thank you all!

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A.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi W. -

I am a therapist in Westwood, and wanted to let you know that you might want to consult a psychiatrist who speacializes in post partum issues. I do know a terrific psychiatrist...his name is Merril Sparago. You can also consult with the womens center at UCLA. Dealing with anxiety can be quite debilitating. Especially when you have a new baby. Good luck!

A.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.H.

answers from San Diego on

Lifewave has a homepathic energy spray. It should be called "happy spray". This spray is sooo amazing. It gives you really good energy along with some new found joy. Inexpensive and it works! Go to lifewave.com/kherihealth for more info.

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D.G.

answers from Reno on

I have panic attacks an anxiety disorder. You should see an internal medicine physician. They will suggest an anti-depressant. That does work there are many drugs that are effective.
I take Celexa 10 mg once a day. I do not have anymore panic attacks.
My doctor suggests that it could also be hormonal as I am going thru menopause.
15% of the population experience panic or anxiety attacks so you are not alone. It can hit any age group.
All the best, D.

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E.H.

answers from San Diego on

First off make an apt with a good counselor or shrink. Second, go get some homeopathic Rescue Remedy and use as directed. It will help. I have been there. Don't be afraid to use it frequently, there are no side affects.

Keep in touch, you are doing a great job! E. H

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S.T.

answers from Las Vegas on

I had the same thing happen to me when my baby was about 6 months old. The best thing you can do for yourself is get the program through the Midwest Center for Anxiety and Depression through Linda Bassett. It is amazing! It will help you to learn to breathe deeply, worry about those things that only you have control over and let the rest go. I swear by it. My dr was ready to put me on medication and I promise you if you follow the program you will develop coping skills you will use for the rest of your life in various situtations. Just google either of those names for her website. Good luck!

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi W.,
I just had a baby too (she's 6 weeks) and started feeling sooooooooo anxious last week....it was terrible. i couldn't put a name on what exactly i was feeling till i read about it in the information my health insurance sent me after the birth. they said anxiety is common after birth. i also had many serious complications with my pregnancy and think that also might have played a part. however, the biggest thing for me that seems to bring on the anxiety on is lack of sleep. i was not struggling for breath in a traditional panic attack sense, but so overwhelmed by anxiety, i was sort of paralyzed, you know? it was horrible and weird.

so, getting more sleep has helped me immensely! my suggestion is to do whatever you can to get an extra hour or two for sleeping. my husband watches the 6 week old and our 3 year old, while i nap on the weekend days and i have to say it has helped me bunches. so, monday thru friday is pretty tough, but i try to catch up a bit on the weekend. i already feel better.

i also talked to a couple of moms who had the same feeling after birth and that helped me too, but not as much as getting some good "shut eye" as my dad used to say.

i definitely don't think you should at all feel badly if you have to take an anti-anxiety for a little while. they have ones that are safe for breastfeeding and it would only be for a short time. (some people think the after birth hormones cause some women to feel anxiety). so, that does pass...yeah!

hope that helps....
C.

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P.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi W.,
My name is P., I feel for you. I had my issues too after I had my son.

Have you considered a balancing cream? Your hormones are out of whack right now and a natural USP progesterone cream would certainly help balancing you.

Take a look at:www.letsgetupandgo.ws
and learn more about such a cream can do for you.

I am an Arbonne Consultant and I have such creams available. They are all natural, botanically based and not tested on animals.

I live in Valley Village, perhaps we live close enough to each other so you can pick one up or I drop one off to you?

You can email me...
P.
[email protected]____.com

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D.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

W.,
You have been through alot in such a short period of time. Giving birth is not easy, having a child with a cleft palate is hard. You are right about the stresses piling up. Don't want to leave out the hormone issues. Hormone levels, the chemicals in the brain, the adrenal glands and the heart all have a looping system that can produce anxiety, depression, all the mood disorders. You need to see your MD or get a referral to a Psychiatrist. What they will do is take blood work, evaluate diet, sleeping, exercising and basic lifestyle.
Many women have had postpartum issues. Get help rather than gut it out. And take extra care of yourself.
About me: Psychotherapist, married 26 yr. 2 adult children

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R.J.

answers from San Diego on

Hi W.,
What has helped me the most in moments of intense anxiety is cultivating a feeling of deep trust in the universe...that no matter what happens my family and I will always be ok because nothing can happen against "the will of god" (our own true will.) If we set our fears aside and allow a feeling of trust and security to come in, then we are always protected.

Also, Rescue Remedy, a Bach flower essence blend is very helpful in relieving stress and anxiety. You can get it at your local health food store.

Just breathe, stay present, and drink some water.

Hopefully you're not considering prescription drugs, as they are very harmful to ones health as well as the health of breast feeding children.

With Love,
R.

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M.J.

answers from San Diego on

I had the exact same thing with my second daughter. Upon reflecting, I had it with my first daughter too but way worse the second time around. My baby was also born with major orthopedic issues that required casting her legs and a surgery in a few weeks (she's eight months). The anxiety attacks came out of no where and I felt like I could cry at a drop of a hat. This time I called my OB and she said that was PPD and that I needed an antianxiety medication for a few months. I've been taking Paxil for the last 5 months and will ween off of it next month since I've stopped breast feeding and my hormones will be back to normal. I can't tell you how much of a difference that medication made. It helped me to feel like myself again, myself being someone strong enough to get us all through the months of treatment for my daughter's condition. Paxil is non addictive and you only need to be on it a short while. It is also compatible with breast feeding. It is really hard on a mother to see her child have to go through any kind of discomfort and then on top of that throw in post partum and it just compounds things. I really hope all goes well with you and your family.

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N.D.

answers from Reno on

I also had an unplanned c-section with my third - who was also unplanned :). I went through all those same anxieties and I was SURE that this baby boy was going to die in his sleep, it got so out of hand that my doc had to put me on Zoloft! I took it for about 6 months and then was slowly tapered off for 6 weeks. That was two years ago and all is well. I believe that having lived through the shock of being pregnant again so soon ( my last two are only 14 months apart) and the drama of the emergency C-section and almost losing the baby that I did not know I wanted until at the moment his heart stopped and he no longer had oxygen, being rushed the OR was just too much at once. Then taking the baby home with my 6 year old daughter and my 14 month old son, and loss of sleep was just alot to deal with at once. Give yourself a break, and God will guide you and your family. When the adjustment period is over things should quiet down a bit, and if you need meds for PPD then take them and move on to enjoying that little prince!!

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S.A.

answers from San Diego on

Yes, yes,and yes. Panic attacks can be really scary and post part. depression is a serious thing. Don't let anyone tell ou that it is because you just had a baby....get someprofessionsl help as soon as possible...and take meds if they will make you feel better...you are not on them for life. Hopefully, you can incorporate some wellness rountines soon...yoga, walking, quiet time. If at all possible, get some help with your children and take breaks often to feed yourself. I tried to go through it alone and I was angry, sad, even thoughts of hurting myself and I too was very happy about the birth of my daughter. Everyone tried to tell me it was hormones...even my husband. GET HELP. I too am a Navy wife...of 18 years......use our resourses to get some help. Let me know if I can help further.

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I looked up Brook Shields and postpartum depression on the web and there was information on the web about this. She had postpartum depression real bad. The sooner you get help the better. A lot of women have this it is more common than people think. Anti depressants and anti anxiety meds work. They say this just gets worse without treatment. The ladies that I know that went on meds even when breast feeding are all feeling a lot better now. So please call your doctor and get help. One ladies doctor told her she didn't have ppd. That was was not true she went to another doctor and found out she had ppd and is now on meds and feels so much better not crying ect. Call your hospital and they might have a ppd group and a mommies group too. Your baby needs you well. There is no shame to having ppd so many woman have it.
Sue

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C.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi W.,

I had severe post partum depression and panic attacks after my second child was born. What you are describing sounds very familiar! I cried all the time, had a feeling of heaviness in my chest that was only relieved by sleep. However, upon awakening, that feeling returned. The thing is that back then, (22 years ago) we did not know as much about PPD as we do now. Panic/anxiety attacks can all be a major issue with PPD. I had them for two years. At one point, (when I was diagnosed) I had ended up in the ER, thinking I was having a heart attack. My DR was not even sure, so he is the one that advised me to go to the ER. These symptoms are very real, and serious. Please do not be afraid to go back to your DR. I was afraid to talk to mine at length because at the time as I felt like I was losing my mind. A few things that I felt like really helped me came from my DR...Get as much sleep as you possibly can, and try to cut caffeine from your diet. This REALLY helps. Please know that I am here any time you need to talk. My name is C. and you can reach me at: [email protected]____.com.

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J.C.

answers from San Diego on

There is a goup which you can google which is for parents of children born with a cleft lip, palate, and they give good advice about feeding, care, surgeries, et. I am a psychologist and had five children. Post partum depression is not unusual when you feel overwhelmed. Try to treat yourself as well as possible, think happy, talk to friends who are supportive and don't blame yourself for any of the things that happened at the time of the birth. Get some baby sitting help if you can, and take some time to relax, exercise, whatever you feel your body and mind are needing right now.

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S.F.

answers from San Diego on

Hi W.,
Congratulations on your new baby! Wow you sure have been dealing with a lot of change and unexpected challenges. In addition, you probably have lack of sleep. Your anxiety is probably due to stress. To be on the safe side you should ask for a referral to see a doctor who specializes in postpartum depression. This is a joyous time in your life and you should give yourself every opportunity to enjoy it. I have heard anxiety attacks can be nasty and reoccur if not taken care of. Remember you are a great mommy and none of this is your fault. Try to stay positive and ask for help from family and friends. Best Wishes.

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P.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

W.,
I am sorry you are having a hard time wtih your postpartum issues and baby's condition. I have not had panic attacs but I do have postpartum depression and currently taking medication for that. I can totally relate with you about the feeling sad, crying very often and feeling hopeless and worried. Those are main simptoms of postpartum depression. It seems that you have a combination of all you talked about along with the panic attacks. It might be all related to your postpartum trauma. It is not an easy time what you are living now, I totally understand you and feel for you. You are not alone. However, the sooner you take care of you situation the better for you, your baby and your family. Believe me, you are doing great by going to the Dr. and checking you up. I personally, feel still guilty and my recovery is slow after waiting almost 10 months to get help. I started having the sadness and guilt feelings and the crying almost every day right after my baby was born and I was in denial of recognizing that I had postpartum depression. Besides, when you are depressed nothing is clear, it all seems so fuzzy and comfusing and we can't take wise desitions. My husband also, kept telling me that I was going through "baby blues" and that it will pass.... I suffered for all those months and finally I went to get help. Take care of your postpartum depression ASAP, because the more you wait, the worst it gets. I know you will be fine and that now that you have detected the probmen along with your doctor, you will be taken care of. Believe me, your baby needs a happy mama, and I know you are happy in your heart (like I was) but need to actually feel happy and make those sad tears disappear so that you can fully enjoy y our new baby. I missed all those times looking to my baby with happiness because I was sad all the time and did not understand why. I still don't feel reccuperated but I will as soon as the medicine sstarts doing it's job.

Hang in there W.. You are not alone, as I said and this is part of life, for many of us, women. Get all the support you can get. Specially of your spouse or anybody that is close to you. Make sure they understand all about what you are going through. It is important to educate those who are with us so they can help you. In my case, my husband was not of help and I am ressentful of that because he could have notice my depression simptoms went too far and still did not do anything to get me help but he was not educated about postpartum depression and and that is what your family or whomever surrounds you need to know because you can't do much by yourself when you are depressed unlesss you get help from others. Don't keep things to yourself, please. That's what I did and it went on for long months.

I will pray for you and congratulations on your new baby. Babies are blessing and we need to enjoy them and celebrate them as the greatest gifts of earth.

Take care,
Susana

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B.S.

answers from Reno on

I had very simialar experiences after birth. I did get some professional help and was diagnosed with obsesive compulsive disorder! I always felt like I wasn't doing good enough and everything had to be perfect for my son! I would obssese and panic over formula, breastfeeding enough, the right diapers, making sure everything was clean all the time and sterile! Anyway, my point is that pregnancy and post partum periods are full of different emotions and hormones. Be patient with yourself and it is bound to pass. (it took about eight or nine months for mine to pass) Get help if you feel you need to or you are thinking of hurting yourself or your babies! Good luck!

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I.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

It is normal for some woman to expirience these issues especially if it is your first child. Do not feel like you are alone. Ask for help, if help is offered take it and do not feel guilty if you want some alone time away from the baby. I know it was hard for me when I breastfed my babies to get away, but it is better to be healthy and to enjoy your time with the baby without the panic. I know it can be overwhelming but their is help out there if you need it. I know people are drawn to children and would love to help you hold her, or play with her, let them and allow yourself a break. I have a handicap child myself and I know it can be more difficult to face the challenges. Let me know if I can help you further.

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D.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am a mother of 3 girls and I too had anxiety and panic attacks. I promise you will be yourself in about a week or so. This hit me me for about 3 weeks after I had my 2nd daughter. I thought for sure i was going crazy and I remember telling all my friends and family members that I just want to be myself, I wanted to be normal. I had the shortness of breath, I remember being asleep and just jumping out of bed and turning the lights on. I don't know I thought the light would help me breath. I just wanted to let you know that you will be okay and all of this will go away.

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T.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

After helping moms for several years dealing with these similiar symptoms I recently had a panic anxiety attack...It was aweful...I had to put my own principles into action...I first tool Rescue Remedy available over the counter in most health stores then I got a bit more calm...Try it...then I called my healer and coach and I prayed a lot...when I got to the root of what was bothering me and changed my situation..I no longer had the anxiety..In your situation..it sounds really hormonal, there are many natural ways to balance the hormones...

What you are going through is extremely normal and there are many general info I can assist you with for free...Please feel free to call me, I would love to help you further as a fellow mom or a healer or coach..###-###-####..or www.livingmybest.com LOOKING FORWARD TO SPEAKING WITH YOU

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S.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

W., I am a counselor and what you are describing does sound like a panic attack or generalized anxiety. It can sometimes feel like a heart attack because the tightening in your chest gets so bad. As for post-partum, that is a real possibility also. The hormones are crazy after having a baby and if you are breast feeding it might add to it (in my experience). There are many options for you and if you are interested, I know a suppost group for post-partum in the South Bay. Let me know if you would like the number. Hope this helps.

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S.W.

answers from San Diego on

I had severe Postpartum Depression which came in the form of anxiety and panic attacks. The feeling of being out of control was so overwhelming. We were thrilled with the birth of our beautiful son and I couldn't understand why I was so scared of EVERYTHING! I was on bedrest for 5 months prior to his birth and perhaps that contributed but I don't know. Anyway, I began talking to a therapist 2x per week and went on Paxil. It took a little while for me to get better but eventually I did and I am now off the Paxil. I received some exellent advice when I would begin to feel the anxiety I would ask myself, "Is the baby okay." If I could answer yes then I didn't get to worry about anything else. You are definitely not alone. Hope this was helpful.

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N.G.

answers from Santa Barbara on

W., it is common for unplanned events to cause/exacerbate PPD. Definitely talk to your doctor. Giving birth id an emotionally draining event by itself. When unexpected events happen...it just multiplies. Good luck

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C.B.

answers from Las Vegas on

I did!! My baby was born with severe heart problems and we were life flighted to Primary Children's. Where my daughter underwent open heart surgery and we stayed in the hospital for a total of five weeks! This was just a year ago and also my first child! I remember blaming myself for my baby's health problems and the more I blamed myself, the more scared, depressed, and stressed I felt! I was so stressed out that I developed a heart problems myself, my heart would start beating very fast and would sometimes skip beats! I was lucky enough to have my Mom, my husband and my sister there with me. They were able to take over when I needed a break or felt to overwhelmed at the struggles my tiny daughter was having! My advice would be to take a break, have family and friends help out and let you get away from all the stress that having a new baby with health problems creates. Go for a walk(alone), go to the store(alone),a nap, a bath, go out to lunch with friends, do anything that helps to take some of your stress away! You are your baby's primary care giver and he needs you to be on top of your game so that he can get all the special care that he needs! Also I don't know if you are religious or not but prayer was a huge help to me! Pouring out all my fears and feelings to a higher power, helped to make me feel more at peace so that I could be a better mom to my tiny baby! If you are not religious find a good friend and confide all your feeling to them, you are not alone, there are many people who probably would like to help you! Good luck, I hope that this helps!

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M.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

W.,
I would go to another doctor for a second opinion. Sometimes doctors don't take women seriously when they have complaints. If you are having a hard time breathing I am concerned. Does it come and go or is it constant? I am concerned since you had a c-section which could cause problems. Please get checked out again and be advocate for yourself, you deserve it.
M. T.

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M.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

i am sure you will receive many suggestions for medication but i strongly recommend some talk therapy! those feelings of tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath are so often related to worry & unexpressed feelings. you would be amazed at how quickly they pass after a good clarifying conversation that also provides the opportunity to release some the emotions that are building up. that kind of crying has a very different effect than the endless tears of worry,self doubt & exhaustion that serve to make your symptoms worse. there are some therapists that will do phone sessions too if getting away is difficult at the moment. one possibility s to check out "The shared heart foundation" on line. they are very helpful & do work over the phone. they are a husband & wife team but you could speak to either one. good luck.

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M.D.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi W., the time right after having a baby is SO hard emotionally and physically. I have a 4 month old girl and have also recently been trained as a PEP volunteer, where we learn a ton about Post-partum Destres/depression. We call it post-partum distres now because anxiety is more common in ppd than actual depression. 90% of women have "baby blues" with crying and just not feeling happy for about two weeks after the baby is born. After that period, 1 in 10 women will develop ppd in some form. This is due to the massive hormonal shift that has gone on. Give yourself time to heal, make sure you're eating and sleeping enough. You have just had major surgery with the c-section. Get family to help out if not. If you are still feeling badly call the PEP warmline ###-###-#### and talk with one of the volunteers and/or see a psychiatrist. There are meds you can take while nursing and they can make a huge difference.

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D.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

W.,

I feel for you. It sounds like a lot going on and sometimes hormones get the best of us. How many times have I known that I was premenstrual and yet still bit my husband's head off determined not to!

First, I'll send a little prayer arrow your way. (I hope you don't mind.) Second, I recently learned that one nutritional deficiency associated with post partum depression is electrolytes. I deal with coaching people how to clean the insides of their bodies, realizing their health potential. I can offer a clean version of an electrolyte replacement drink that is refreshing and similar to Gatoraid. It will have the side benefit of giving you more energy healthfully. It is safe for nursing women. If you'd like to know more email or call me at ###-###-####. Otherwise, definitely get some Gatoraide and see if it helps.

About me: I am a stay at home working mom of 2 - 10 and 12 girl and boy. Both children were unexpected c sections.

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Don't worry that is all normal after having a baby. Everytime I would breast feed I would get the same problem with my heart and having a hard time breathing. ITs all hormones it will go away.
THey never tell you about what happens after child birth and do you notice how women don't talk about it either.
Enjoy the baby it goes by so fast.
C.

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H.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I can empathize -I suffered from anxiety attacks as well. They aren't fun. (I too am a stay at home mom.) I think it sounds like you have a lot going on. A birth that was sudden and probably not the way you planned, a newborn child who has some problems and a daughter to take care of as well, a marriage, home. It is a lot to deal with so I am not suprised. When we had our daughter 7 years ago, she had breathing difficulties and was sent to NICU. I couldn't even take her home. She stayed 19 days. After that she had multiple health issues and didn't seem to be developing like other children. She has feeding issues too.(I have a 15 yr. old boy too) Two and a half years ago we found out she has Williams Syndrome. In the beginning I would have enormous anxiety attacks. Wondered what was going on, how was I going to deal with my sick/needy child, working, raising an older child etc... I would curl up on our bed and cry. Worse, wondered if I'd done something during my pregnancy to cause her problems! I finally sought counseling. I am not saying that is what you have to do... that is up to you. I just want to pass on what I've learned. You need to just take a breath. Find someone to watch the kids, go out with your husband or by yourself and relax. Take a hot bath, go for a walk on the beach. Don't cry out of fear. You ARE a good mom. Look yourself in the mirror every day and say it! The fact that you are asking for suggestions shows that you are! Your new baby's condition can be repaired. Just take one day at a time and don't worry about tomorrow or the next thing that you don't have answers to. Do one thing at a time. Become proactive- go on the internet and learn about his cleft lip and feeding issues. Talk with other parents who have had similar problems, find out how they dealt with it. Find doctors that you like and are comfortable with - talk to other families and get referrals. Empowerment is a powerful thing...and it makes you feel better :)Panic attacks happen when you worry about things that you just can't change or that you don't have the answers to right now. It is a fight or flight response for your body. When it happens just stop, focus on a good thoughts and take slow breaths and relax your body until you work through it. Rocking in a rocking chair works for me or wrapping myself up tight in a blanket. When you're worrying about something, write down what it is and then list the steps you need to take to deal with it. This gives you the power to deal with things - eventually you won't panic and it will become a natural response to a new challenge. Another way - keep a journal. That is so theraputic! Plus, your kids will enjoy reading it when you are old :) Let your family and friends help you - don't try to do everything yourself. It doesn't mean you are weak! Take advantage of that support network - you can still be a proud stay at home mom. Best wishes to you and congratulations!

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C.F.

answers from San Diego on

Have you had your iron levels checked since having the baby? Be sure to ask your doctor to look specifically at iron. The sometimes over look anemia and shortness of breath and rapid heart rate are some of the symptoms. I personally went though this last year.

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E.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi W.,
My name is E.... Hope this e-mail finds you well. I've been going through something similar with regards to Panic/Anxiety attacks. It is incredibly freaky. It all started about two months ago. I have an adorable 13 month old baby boy who is just fabulous. Unfortunately, this summer he developed a staph infection in his spine and he was in the hospital for 3 1/2 weeks. They thought he had bacterial meningitis, but thankfully he didn't. However, it wouldn't have been caught in time, we could be in a very different situation. Fortunately, he's okay now, but we had quite a scare.

Recently, I've been feeling like something is wrong with me --I've gone to my internist, a cardiologist and a pulmonary doctor because I started having shortness of breath, inability to catch my breath and a very rapid heart beat. All the doctors have said that it is likely panic/anxiety. I think I'm suffering from a bit of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome after what we went through with my son this summer. Every day I feel like something is physically wrong with me and the fear of something happening to him six/seven months ago has now transpired onto something being wrong with me. I'm sure that you are just worried about your baby and are going through a bit of shock with having a C-Section and him losing weight, etc. I had a really hard time right after I had my baby -- breastfeeding was so hard and he lost a lot of weight really quickly. Well 13 months later, I'm still nursing :) I stuck with it and persevered, but it was hard. It sounds like you are going through a lot of changes and worry, but from what I understand and from what I've been reading about panic attack, these feelings you're having are normal. The doctors suggested I get onto some type of anti-anxiety medication, but I decided I'm going to try and work through it myself, or just by talking to someone - I don't want meds.

I'd love to chat more, so if you would like to as well, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]____.com.

I hope you feel better soon. It is the scariest feeling in the world not being able to catch a breath, or feeling like you can't breathe.

Be well,
E.

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B.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, yeah, it's normal for new mom's to have anxiety and depression after a baby is born. I experienced depression pretty badly. I didn't know, at the time, that it was due to the hormonal changes. Your anxiety is understandable. You have had to deal with a lot. Anxiety can be managed easily by taking slow breaths. You can do as follows:

1. Breath in through the nose, counting, one-one thousand, two-two thousand.
2. Breath out through the mouth, counting one-one thousand, two-two thousand, three-three thousand, four-four thousand.
3. It's important to "count" as your breathing. It distracts the mind from the anxiety and allows your body to calm down.
4. Do the breathing exercises for about 1 minute (about five counts) at a time.
5. Also, be aware that anxiety can't hurt or harm you in any way. It's just scarey and uncomfortable.
6. Sooth yourself with positive self-talk, such as..."of course I'm feeling anxious, I just had a baby with a 'surprise' C-section." or, "of course I'm a little nervous, it's hard to know that my little baby has a cleft lip." or, "I know I'm a little scared about doing a good job, but I'll adjust and learn as I go." Or, something TRUTHFUL that is gracious and understanding toward's yourself.

I know it may be a little hard to take these deep breaths (since you indicated that it's hard to take in air). I just know that when I experienced anxiety, this helped. Also, you can get a relaxation CD and sooth yourself with that.

There are lots of things to help with anxiety. Ask your doctor or look on-line for techniques to manage anxiety. Anxiety is VERY common for lots of people who have not even experienced the birth of a child.

Anyway...hope this helps a little. My name is B. and I'm a Marriage Family Therapist Trainee in Southern California. If you need more help, I can refer you to some materials to help manage anxiety.

Best of luck with your new little one. :)

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J.B.

answers from Las Vegas on

Sounds like a lot of really good advice from people. Therapy, relaxing massage therapy...giving birth alone is a traumatic event but to have an unplanned major procedure can be be traumatic. Sounds like you could have post traumatic stress? I'm not a professional but I have had post traumatic stress which included all the symptoms you have. Therapy sounds right on.

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K.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am a Grandma. W. you have had a lot to worry about. Take a minute now stretch out your arms up above you and give these overwhelming problems back to God. Say out loud, " Lord I can't seem to handle this today, Please take this worry and do as you see fit" If you really Trust this little prayer will help you. I am not an over religous person but I have had my share of LIfe's worries. This little prayer always helps me. We try to live our whole life in one day and Fear over whelms us.
Enjoy your children. Children and babies can feel your fear or your happiness. It is not easy what you are dealing with. You are strong and you can overcome these problems, with help from your doctor and a support group of real friends. You are not alone. Let me know how you are doing. I live in Wildomar. You have reached out and that is theraputic in itself.
I babysit my 3 1/2 grandson and 1 yr old granddaughter, one day a week. I just LOve this job.
God Bless you all.
K.

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K.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

It's amazing. With everything we put up with from the military, you'd think we'd be anxious over that, but instead we get the anxiety attacks after having children.

I experienced the same symptoms not only after my first daughter was born (now 5) but also while I was pregnant with her. At that time, prescription anxiety/anti-depressant was the best thing for me. Do what is right for you, whether it's therapy or prescription. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about your choice of treatment. It does pass eventually, but I found that it passed more quickly when I took ownership of it (admitted) and sought my solution.

And of course, keep talking to people about what you're feeling. Build your network of supporters and keep them close to you. Some of my greatest stresses have been releived by talking to a girlfriend for 20 minutes or so.

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B.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would call and talk to your doctor about postpartum. See what he says. I do know that a support group is great. Just keep talking about things. You have natural fears. But don't let them take over your life.
Good luck, you are in my prayers.
B.

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K.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi W.,

Sometimes women suffer a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after birth. It is not that uncommon. Sometimes it happens when there are interventions that are either unwanted or unexpected. Sometimes it happens when one's body has a hard time accepting what happened to it during the birthing process. When it happens many different sorts of symptoms can occur including: fear, anxiety, busyness, feelings of inadequacy, depression and panic attacks. If you are interested in understanding more about the body and how it responds to and can heal from traumtic events you might want to take a look at www.traumahealing.com There is a practitioner list on the site if you think this approach might help you. It might be worth going in for at least one session to see if you can learn some tools that might help you alleviate the fear that you're experiencing.
All the best,
K. F., Ph.D.c

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K.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

that happened to me years ago when i was driving into work (very random since i'd never experienced that before). luckily, my boss had & new exactly what to do. she got me a book off her shelf & told me to go outside across the street to the park. she said i should lay down on the grass & begin to read & take some deep breaths.
i snapped out of it really fast once i did what she said & it never came back.
good luck!

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J.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Good Morning,
I had anxiety/panic attacks before and after my twins.
Twins was panic enough for me.We were young and had been married a year, as kids we were badderest kids ever. We were really scared. And having hard lives we had more than enough fears and worries than ever. We wondered if we could be good parents. Iam telling you we had and have are hand full.
But, there is a good reason.
The second we found out we were having "children", we grew up and started to rationalize "everything". Being preganat does that to you alone. When you add pain from a c- section, and painfull breastfeeding you are out of your comfort zone. You are emotionally, mentally, and phisically challenged. The attacks are just like a fire alarm reminding you the you are only human. As a young mother of double trouble I feel like my heart will expode a million cherrios a day.I just try to remember that god gave me only what I could handle. Call me a worry wart but I like to be safe instead of sorry as long as there isnt any blood these days I know I will survive. I know you have alot on your mind and hope you can take some time out for yourself. When your heart starts pumping fast put the baby in a bouncy seat and let the baby watch you in a nice warm bath tub. We have to take the time to relax, over exerting yourself is very easy after a c section and other worries.
Take Care
Feel free to contact me if you are in a panic moment i have learned to make light of almost any situation, including poo-poo walls.

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I now they suck, but when you are going through one remind yourself to breathe slowly. i know, easier said thend done but it really helps. Think of something calming.

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S.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! Congratulations on your new baby! Postpartum anxiety, depression etc, can be relieved by contacting a certified licensed massage therapist who specializes in pregnancy, postpartum massage! Massage helps puts the body back in balance after the trauma of conceiving! Hope you will seek a massage therapist who can definitely help you! Best wishes! Enjoy your wonderful blessing! Suzie

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D.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi W.:

I have been through something similar. I am also a stay at home mom....CEO of the Household..and proud of it. I had a two year old son, when my second one was born. When my second child was born, he looked as healthy as the next at 9 lbs. 3 oz. Shortly after his birth, (within minutes) they told me that he had a heart murmer, that he would have to be monitored by a cardiologist. Before we left the hospital, they informed me that it was a valve that hadn't developed the way that it should, and it was too small. They would monitor it to see if it grows, if not...he would definitely need surgery or he would die. For months I had that pressure in my chest, headaches, moodiness, depression, anger etc. that "I hadn't made him correctly." I had to change insurance and luckily got a doctor that explained things a bit better to me and said "things like this just happen some times. Luckily, it can be fixed, if need be." She told me it wasn't my fault, but how can you tell a guilt ridden mother this. We are hardest on ourselves. I worried that if anything happened, and I wasn't there, they wouldn't have the necessary info for him to help him. To boot, I couldn't breast feed him either, due to the stress. I was a kind of "basket case" myself.

When he was 9 months old, they did have to do surgery on him to correct the small valve. I had to keep reminding myself that as scarry as it is, he didn't have cancer, luckily they were able to balloon his heart through an artery and not open heart surgery, he didn't have a missing limb, or retardation that would prevent him having a great life, etc. I must have done something right.

He is now a healthy 8 year old, and I have struggled with many health issues with him. He has since had surgery for his tonsils, adnoids and had tubes put in his ears. He had developed sleep apnea and was almost deaf due to allergies. That has been corrected. He has had (just like my other two boys) eczema that has been out of control at times. I have dealt with Roto Virus with my youngest, and so on.

I am proud to say that they are fairly unscathed. They are all healthy, thank God. The only advice I can give you is, take each thing in stride. Your C-Section was NOT your fault. The recovery is longer, but you will recover. It takes a non-C Section woman at least 6-9 months to fully recover, so you may not feel 100% for a while, but that is OK! Your emotions are perfectly normal, and there will be a day that you will feel like yourself again. All will pass, and look for the blessings in life instead of dwelling on things that are out of our control. We are a couple of lucky moms. Whatever life has thrown our way, no matter how unfair, someone out there has a much tougher road to travel. I'm not belittling your feelings, mind you, I HAVE BEEN THERE!!! I have also seen MUCH WORSE.

Don't be so hard on yourself. Please do that for me...and enjoy your babies. They are precious gifts, and you did a great job in giving them life, and being there to care for them. It is the hardes "job" anyone can ask for, or do. But you are doing great. You need to give yourself credit, know that you are lucky (even though it may not seem that way at times) and don't be so hard on yourself. Things will work out.

P.S. My son that has had most of the medical issues...he is self sufficient, very smart, doesn't let much keep him down, and has an amazing personality for all that he has been through. That is the wonderful part. They are the ones I believe will be the most successful in life, with the love and support of their family. Just treat him NO different that any other.

I do hope this will help you get on the road to a quick recovery. Take care!

D.

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A.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

W.,
Hang in there, your body is freaking out. I too had all those things happen after my C-section. Please talk to your doctor, it is your best defense to fight all the hormones and chemicals in your body right now. I don't know how you feel about medication, but that is the avenue that I took. Postpartum is very real and can be address with medication. My panic attacks felt like someone was standing on my chest, right over my brest bone. I thought I had to be crying or really upset to have a panic attack, I was the opposite, almost catatonic. Talking with others also helped, you are on the right track!
Ally

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear W.,

it sounds like you have a lot going on. I haven't experienced this, but I want you to know that there are so many women who feel like you do and it can last more than a few days. It is very normal so don't stress about that. Please get some support. Ask your doctor or at the hospital. I'm sure they can help.
Best wishes
C. C.

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C.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I had the exact same thing happen to me. I was very happy with my newborn son, but severe anxiety. I didn't know what was happening. I didn't feel depressed at all, but the anxiety was keeping me up at night and my body was miserable. My doctor said it was post partum and she prescribed an anti anxiety pill which saved me. I am not a pill person, but I couldn't deal with the anxiety. The pill worked instantly, I didn't feel drugged at all and most importantly I could take care of my little guy and have fun again.
It will pass, so hang in there. Excercise helped with the anxiety as well.

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D.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear W.,

Your entry really tugged at my heart. You have been through so much in such a short time, it is a wonder you feel anxious. No where did you mention if you had any friends close by that could be supporting you at this time. We so need other woman to help us during this transitional time. Our bodies go through so much at child birth, then to add trying to care for a toddler and a new born with special needs. Is your husband at home or serving away on a mission?
My encouragement to you is to reach out to others around you who may just be able to come alongside while you transition with the baby. I too suffered from anxiety attacks, and medications may help, but obviously your doctor would have to be watching that, and it may effect the baby if you are breast feeding. I do not know what your faith is, but a scripture that lawyas encouraged me was 1 Peter 5:7 that says: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I pray you will know that despite your anxiety that God is with you and cares for you, and that he will bring people to you who can walk through this challenging time with you.

Sincerely,

Deb Ringler

I have been a single mom since my 17 year old was 4 years old after his father passed away unexpectedily.

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D.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

My first baby was breech so c/s it was. I also had pre-eclaympsia and HELLP Syndrome. I had many bouts of anxiety. I was afraid to sleep because I was worried about not hearing my baby breath. Being a new Mom can bring on a lot of anxiety. It is normal and all I can say is to try to meditate, relax and sleep when you can.

Good Luck,
D.

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N.V.

answers from Las Vegas on

You might want to contact the ICAN chapter in Hawaii (International Cesarean Awareness Network) at [email protected]____.com and check out www.ican-online.org. One of their goals is to support women who've had cesareans, along with preventing unnecessary c-sections and promoting VBAC. I wonder if you could be dealing with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). I don't know much about it, but ICAN probably has more info on that. I hope you get the help you're looking for. Please let me know if I can help you further.
Thanks,
N.

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