Hello. We are currently trying for a baby but I've dealt with depression for the past three years. I'm wanting to know if anyone else has been depressed and how they felt after they gave birth to their first baby? Has anyone felt like they had a new sense of purpose and became happier or did you just go further down hill? Thank you all
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05-05-2016 16:15 #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- May 2016
Depression before conceiving and how you feel afterwards
05-05-2016 17:27 #2
I had pretty bad depression and anxiety on and off for most of my life and was sure I'd be high-risk for PND, but somehow having a baby completely stabilised my mental state. (Mind you, DS is only 2 so I don't know if this is permanent yet).
It's like… there's less uncertainty in my life, I guess I do have more focus and purpose, and so many of the little things that used to get to me don't bother me anymore because they just seem silly and irrelevant now.
I think our parenting style helped a bit too, very much "go with the flow", never expect bub to sleep through (and if they do, bonus!), babywear so there was never stressful battles about the baby wanting to be held all the time.
Mind you, I have still had pretty bad anxiety at times, but it's not been about my life but the big things - like war, climate change, pandemic disease, politics… Because now that I have a child I want them to grow up in a safe and happy world and I worry that they won't. I've also developed a fear of heights and am super wary around traffic and water… I'm basically on high alert for toddler danger all the time, but it's far from debilitating.
I guess it depends on where you are, but my hospital had great care all round, so once I mentioned a history of mental health issues they hooked me up with a psychiatrist and social worker. So had a few free appointments with them and they checked up on me for the first few weeks after the birth. This kind of thing is hopefully part of everyone's perinatal care! So definitely let your doctor/midwife know if you haven't already.
Anyway, that's just my experience, obviously PND can sneak up on anyone regardless of prior history.
05-05-2016 19:06 #3
I've had depression and anxiety since childhood and have had two children. My first I was very young and my mental state was very bad during my pregnancy. I had moments of feeling good and excited, lots of happy days, but overall was plagued with debilitating anxiety. In the weeks after giving birth I was the worst I've ever been. Looking back now I guess my hormones probably played a huge role in that, too. I did get better after a few months though.
My second baby was 12 years after my first and I was terrified of falling back into severe depression after the birth. The pregnancy itself was great, I did have some mild anxiety but no real depression. After I had her I was absolutely euphoric. Not a trace of anxiety. No depression. I was just happy and felt like I "should" have felt with my first. I was so very pleasantly surprised.
Make sure you tell your doctors and obstetrician during the pregnancy so they can monitor you. I did this with my second and we kept a close eye on my mood throughout my second. With my first I didn't tell anyone.. I was only 17 and had felt the same since the age of 9 so thought it was just my normal.
I have an almost 16 year old and 3 year old now and for the most part I don't suffer from any real depression (not like I used to) anymore but still tackle some anxiety here and there. I think I always will but I'm OK with that, it comes and goes and isn't caused by or related to my children
Best wishes x
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Queenie J (05-05-2016)
05-05-2016 19:26 #4Junior Member
- Join Date
- May 2016
Thank you. It's very comforting to hear and gives me hope. Thank you for sharing! May I ask did you go public or private? I am very new to all of this and don't really know which offers more support. I realise each hospital will be different but have heard both good and bad about the public system in general. I just want to take every precaution I can
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