Hi,
The short question is does anyone have any recommendations for a great postnatal therapist for helping me get back on my feet again? I live in New Farm and have a 10 month baby and am on public transport so it needs to be inner city or accessible by PT eg New Farm, Spring Hill, CBD, West End.

Background: I have a beautiful and delightful 10 month old baby soon to be 11 months. I can't complain because my situation is better than many - I am currently able to work from home due to my flexible job, but I am due to go back to work one day a week in July, and this will build up to 2 days per week next year. I am not getting anything done at home because I had 3 au pairs in a row leave after 1-2 months and after a slew of interviews with people I just didn't think were great I decided to just look after my baby alone. This means I do my work at night if at all.

My main problem is I am miserable almost the whole time, completely drained and specifically I feel a psychological paralysis (very hard to describe) that began after I gave birth and which means I can't face any of the things I need to do for myself - I have given everything to the baby and can't go beyond that - not just energy wise, there's a block where I just can't act.

I already have a life long history of depression which I have learned to manange and well - so I never thought I had postnatal depression - I had baby blues straight after the birth but was able to manage and get a reasonably ok mood afterwards as long as I kept up yoga in the morning - of course I've had many bouts of low mood but I've always managed to pull myself out of the whole with a few days of baths/yoga and journalling.

I have fibromyalgia and lately I've had so many flare ups I haven't been able to do the yoga and it means I'm running on low mood most days now. Before I got pregnant I spent 2 years tapering off antidepressants which I took for 10 years for pain and depression. When I got pregnant I was still on a very low dose which I cut over 6 weeks.

Now, I am loathe to go back to antidepressants because getting off them was so hard won (those 2 years were a struggle but I did it) and specifically, I am breastfeeding (I am aware the medication I took is classified as safe but studies exist proving otherwise). I also feel I suffered cognitive decline due to long term antidepressant use, that the antidepressants had worn off, and that it was time to go off them - they did their job of getting me back to work when I got sick...

Because of my age, mid-late 40s now, I am terrified of putting a foot out of place so I do everything I can to make sure he gets the best. But I see I have also made life hard for myself - in these 11 months I've never left the baby for more than 3 hours. I pumped twice months ago and tried to give the baby a bottle of breastmilk twice - but he refused both times. Due to psychological paralysis I can't bring myself to pump again - while if I did, it would mean I could leave the house - and wouldn't have the stress of worrying what I will do when I am gone for work. It took a huge pep talk from various people to convince me to pump at all. I can't bear the throught of leaving the baby in childcare - he takes a while to warm up to people and until the last month he didn't like any baby classes (books and rhymes or music classes etc.). Now he is at a crucial point where I'm teaching him to walk and talk, I want him with me all day even more. He breastfeeds 6 times a day, and has just stopped feeding at night (fingers crossed) - and he eats three big solids meals a day plus snacks. But shows no sign of being close to lessening the breastfeeding - and I can't bear the thought of weaning deliberately because I love him and feel he should decide when enough is enough not me (as whatever he wants is probably related to his development). I could always put him in childcare at my work and also breastfeed him then at childcare - if I were willing to leave him.

But I have a psychological block about going back to work and what is going to happen - since I can't face these options. But I'm the main breadwinner so I can't have this hopeless mentality. I have a work meeting in a few weeks and am going to get my husband to take the day off work (ridiculous I know) - and he will pram the baby around in a park near my work meeting - and I'll breastfeed before and after the meeting. But this can't be the arrangement when I am working. The last au pair we had I never trusted - she would often not listen to what I asked her to do - so I decided it was best not to leave her alone with the baby. But I will need someone I can trust and soon as it needs to be a good solid situation by July. But I'm having trouble finding good au pairs - they ask for $20-25 but often have no experience or qualifications and many don't have functional English language skills (one brought her cousin to translate in the interview). I want to wait till he's at least 2 before doing childcare, but I'm getting burned out with this situation.

I am in a lot of pain with my hips after the birth which I am told is the result of relaxin and will go away. But I need a new bed as I'm sleeping on an old ikea fold out couch which is very hard. But I feel paralysed in terms of making a decision and "closing" on the new bed. I want something natural but the natural material beds are all quite hard. So after a few weeks of research I just gave up. Now I can barely walk after a massage that was too hard and I need physio to rehabilitate the hip. All in all the bed project seems hopeless.

My career is shot because I don't feel the motivation to start the new project I need to start - if I don't I'll fall behind at work and since we are performance measured, my workload will go up if my performance goes down and this worries me every day, but I don't make a start.

At one point I said to my husband, even if everything was working well, I'd probably still feel like my life was over. I didn't recognise it at the time, but that is definitely depression talking. I just feel like I'm frozen and can't make decisions or face anything - but I do everything I need for the baby and with huge love. The baby's birthday is in about a month and I just can't take action - while everyone is telling me I should do something. We don't have family or friends here which is another factor.

It occurs to me that maybe the increased estrogen from breastfeeding is the cause of this amotivational syndrome/tendency?

Does anyone have any recommendations? I'd be grateful.

Thank You all