A lot of people know about PP depression but PP anxiety isn’t as talked about, certainly from my experience. This is something that I just don’t talk to people about because I’ve never known what to say or wanted to make excuses for the things I do. I wanted to put a label on how I’m feeling but I just couldn’t. It affects 10% of new mums. After countless talks with the doctor he diagnosed me with post partum anxiety. And we talked about why I could be feeling this way and I realised one of the main reasons comes from my pregnancy and a very stressful final month/early birth. I went into labour at 34 weeks and had Felix at 35 weeks, it was a very hard and stressfull time with such a traumatic quick birth! Also the separation from my baby so early on, because he was premature he had to be taken away for a while and there’s nothing worse than being separated from your newborn, topped of with a very long stay in hospital for us both!This is one of the big reasons that I feel so overwhelmingly protective of Felix and only trust him with a very few people. Even some people holding him gives me anxiety. One doctor described it as anxiety is a natural response to protect one’s baby, and often that’s expressed with hyper-alertness and hyper-vigilance’
Some of the main symptoms that I have/are experiencing are:
- my thoughts are racing. I can’t quiet my mind. I can’t settle down. I can’t relax.
- I feel like I have to be doing something at all times. Cleaning bottles. Cleaning baby clothes. Cleaning the house. Doing work. Entertaining the baby. Checking on the baby.
- I’m worried. Really worried. All. The. Time. Am I doing this right? Will the baby wake up? Is the baby eating enough? Is there something wrong with the baby that I’m missing? No matter what anyone says to reassure you it doesn’t help.
- Thoughts fly into your head unwanted and you know they aren’t right, that this isn’t the real you, but they terrify you and they won’t go away. These thoughts may start with the words “What if …”
- I feel a sense of dread all the time, like something terrible is going to happen.
- I’m afraid that if I reach out for help people will judge me.
I reached out for help and I’m getting it but don’t worry if you feel the same you are not alone. Feel free to message me, sometimes a chat with a stranger or friend is the best therapy. I know I will always be really protective over Felix but what mother isn’t?! But whilst he is so little there will always be that dread and anxiety of not being with him. I was worried to speak out but I would love to give some reassurance to mums or dads who feel the same and not make it into a taboo of a subject.
But overall I am very happy and have a gorgeous baby boy, a loving partner and I couldn’t ask for more.
Love Cyah xxx