Welcome to Tums to Tiddlers!

Welcome to Tums to Tiddlers! Whether you are pregnant, have just had your baby or have a toddler on the loose, Tums To Tiddlers aims to provide a growing collection of products for you and your family.

We offer Labour TENS machine hire, a library of pregnancy and childcare books and a growing range of products which we think are fantastic for mums, dads and little ones. So hopefully there is something we can do for you, but if not, just sit back and enjoy our blog with a cuppa!

Post Natal Depression - My experience

I've seen quite a lot on Post Natal Depression on Facebook recently. Having suffered from it, albeit mildly, with both my boys, I am particularly outspoken in my promotion of the condition, never afraid to tell anyone that I have had it, and that I have been medically treated as I strongly believe it is nothing to be ashamed of. If hearing my story helps someone, it's worth it. Post Natal Depression (or indeed Ante Natal Depression) can affect anyone, you don't have to be 'predisposed' to it.

With my first son, I was diagnosed with PND when Sam was 7 months old, but I realise, looking back, that it had been coming on for a couple of months. I had been finding things increasingly difficult - a combination of the stress of a house sale falling through and my imminent return to work, heightened by tiredness as Sam was an awful sleeper, keeping us up for at least 2 hours a night still. It had taken its toll not only on me, but also on my husband (Ian) and we were arguing dreadfully. It was very upsetting.

I had more and more days when I felt tearful, exhausted and as thought I was failing as a mummy. I would count the hours until Ian got home from work and then promptly hand Sam over to him whilst i escaped to the bath with a book for a while.

One day it culminated in what I can only describe as a bit of a breakdown where I had a complete panic attack just as Ian was about to go to work and basically just couldn't cope with even the smallest task. I was very lucky in that Ian's mum was able to come over for the day and I also spoke to the doctor on the phone who made an appointment for me to go in the same day.

After consultation with my GP, I decided to go down the route of antidepressants to treat the PND and am happy to say that they worked well for me. I started to feel more able to cope and keep things in perspective within about 3 weeks of taking them. I returned to work which I feel also helped as it gave me a break from being 'Mummy' and allowed me to regain a sense of identity. After 12 months on the medication, I gradually came off it and was absolutely fine.

When Sam turned two, we decided that we were ready to try for a second baby. Having suffered from PND before, it was obviously a concern for both Ian and I that I would get it again. I discussed it with my midwife on my first antenatal appointment and she told me that I had the option to go on to antidepressants as soon as the baby was born, or to see how I got on. With people telling me that ‘second time around is easier’ and ‘you’ll be much more relaxed’, I was determined not to get it again and said I’d prefer to wait and see.

Charlie was born on 14 August 2010. The birth was wonderful – I had him at home, into a birthing pool. It was very quick but very calm and felt like we’d got off to a really good start! For the first 4 weeks, despite the sleep deprivation (Charlie fed every 2 hours around the clock!), I felt absolutely fine. To an extent, it is true what they say about the second child just having to ‘fit in’. Sam still needed to be taken to nursery, and out to playgroups and singing sessions on the days he was at home, therefore it wasn’t such a shock to everyday life as a first baby is.

However, when Charlie was about 6 weeks old, he was still feeding every 2 hours and was unhappy and unsettled in between times. Cutting a very long story short, we went through scans for a heart murmur (happily nothing to worry about), medication for reflux and finally found out he was also cow’s milk intolerant. It was a tough time and we were exhausted. I started to feel anxious much of the time, was often tearful, and more upsetting, didn’t seem to be feeling the love for Charlie that I should.

With both Ian and I recognising the symptoms, I made an appointment with my GP. This time around, I wasn’t ashamed to admit that I was struggling and knew that if I wanted to enjoy Charlie, I had to get some help. We discussed how I was feeling and she asked me if I thought I had PND. I said I wasn’t sure, that I felt more anxious than depressed, but that it felt as though it was heading in that direction. We both agreed that we didn’t want to let it get to the stage it had got to with Sam, but that we’d wait a couple of weeks to see how things went. However, at my next appointment, I was still feeling the same, so once again I assented to go on to antidepressants. The type that I was put on is also used to treat anxiety so they helped on both fronts.

Within a couple of weeks I was beginning to feel much more positive and in control and started to enjoy being a mum of two. I sincerely wish I’d been diagnosed and treated earlier with Sam so that I could have enjoyed those precious early weeks and months with him too.

If you think you are suffering with PND or anxiety, however mild, my advice would be to talk to someone about it. This was my salvation. It was so much worse before I admitted how I felt as I was exhausted from constantly pretending everything was fine and trying to be out and with other people because I felt better in company. A lot of people worry they will be 'forced' on to anti depressants or that people will think they can't cope with their children, but there is genuinely good help out there, and with the right support you will get better. (See below to support links.)

Also, if you have suffered from PND with any previous babies, please don’t let that put you off having another. Firstly, there is no guarantee you will suffer with it with subsequent children. Also, not only will the health professionals, family and friends be looking out for you, you will also be much more aware of your own emotions.

Above all, don’t be afraid to ask for help – it can make the world of difference to your time with your precious bundle.

Lee xx

(This article is based purely upon personal experience and in is in no way intended to constitute advice)

Help and Resources

www.pandasfoundation.org.uk - Pre and Post Natal Depression Help and Support



No comments:

Post a Comment