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  5. Post-natal Anxiety... ways to deal with it, what has helped you??

Post-natal Anxiety... ways to deal with it, what has helped you?? Lock Rss

Hi I have self-diagnosed myself with post natal anxiety I have prob always suffered from anxiety (even as a child when I think about it) but have never sought professional help.

My baby is 5mths old (my 3rd child) I had a super stressful pregnancy which I never really got to enjoy because it was constant worry... amniocentesis as high risk downs (all turned out normal) then specialists thought my baby stopped growing & were contemplating early delivery at around 26wks. All ended up going very well really despite those hiccups, and all seems ok so far with my bub developmentally etc. So I felt so lucky to have this beautiful little baby I bonded with my bub immediately & love him too much really!! I totally adore him & just want to be a perfect mum to him, which is part of the problem.

I have no real need to feel so stressed & on edge something is going to go wrong with my baby. I have bouts of feeling in control & confident then little things will happen for example a friends little boy threw a ball which just missed my baby's head... a hat half fell off & covered his face a little whilst he was in his pram... my older son put his face near bubs & bub head butted him... each time something like this happens I completely freak & have a panic attack then feel extremely ill for up to a fortnight with symptoms such as I can't breathe, chest pains, teary, nauseous, insomnia, & I find it very hard to function generally. I go over & over the situation/scenario in my head for days/weeks and really beat myself up about it for not doing things differently/preventing it from happening. I carry around this huge guilt.

I had similar things/feelings with DS2. My eldest child had developmental delays so I think I carry around some guilt to do with that too & that contributes to me wanting to do everything perfectly + me placing so much importance on there being nothing wrong with my baby. Anyway my anxieties improved as my son got older & by the time he was about 10mths I was much better, I seem to just have this overwhelming sense of responsibility with little babies.

My latest anxiety meltdown this wk has made me realise I think I need to seek help to help me deal with it. I know reading back on what i've written I sound like a complete nutcase & i feel embarrassed and ashamed which is why I havent spoken to friends/family. I feel particularly silly when I think of all the families out there with really ill children & here I am freaking out over what are minor issues to a normal person. DP is pretty supportive but has a really high pressure job so I feel so guilty he has to come home & deal with me & my issues. I have made an appt with GP next wk, what do you think could help me? Has anyone out there felt like this?? I've read about cognitive behaviour therapy through psychologists?? I don't really want to go on anti-depressants... I wouldn't say I'm depressed, just anxious!! Sorry this has become an essay, thanks so much for listening.
Many thanks to both of you for your replies, it means a lot.
Foxglove your situation sounded very similar, & I must admit it is a relief to know others have experienced it and that seeking help was worthwhile. Thanks it did cross my mind I wouldn't go to my drs appt or that when I get there make up another reason to be there in avoidance of talking about my anxiety (I'm one of those people who says I'm fine or its fine even when it's not!) so what you told dr has given me some ideas of what to say!

Foxglove my DP thinks and tells me I'll snap out of it as I did with previous son and he's prob right but I think anxiety is going to keep on arising throughout my life, it has completely skyrocketed since I became a mum so I think any steps I can take to help me deal with it are not going to be wasted.

Roses are red, I am feeling really hopeful with what you have told me about cognitive behavioral therapy and that's exactly what I need to do, change my thinking patterns I have always been a cup half empty kinda girl!! Plus am always thinking the worst case scenario in pretty much all situations. But I imagine its going to be difficult to change your ways of thinking if you've been thinking along those lines for 30+ years?!! You are right it is so important to find the right psychologist I hope my GP can advise me.
smile
You can also try www.bulkbillingnetwork.com.au to find a psychologist
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