PND Week: Pinkoddy’s story.

Today’s post for Post Natal Depression Week comes from blogger Pinkoddy who suffered with PND after the birth of her second of four boys. Here she talks candidly about the specific way in which it affected her and her family.

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Women can talk to each other about most things can’t they? From what they get up to in the bedroom to how grim it is fishing their teenager’s pubes out of the bath. Obviously some things are easier to share with close friends, and often we are more conscious of what the subject matter is when we converse with strangers. But what about Postnatal Depression – is it as easy to talk then?

Postnatal Depression – How if affected me and my baby

I never realised I had Postnatal Depression, and most women don’t. I just thought I was

Image: Netmums

Image: Netmums

low and I certainly couldn’t talk to anyone and tell them how I felt about my baby. He always wanted feeding, and I felt that was all I did. I was beyond exhausted and he was losing weight. I think in reality I was not feeding him enough, what felt like a minute putting him down in-between feeds must have been so much longer, as he rapidly lost weight. They even suggested he go into hospital and be tube fed! If I’m honest I was resenting picking him up to feed him, feeling trapped and like I never got a moments peace. I would lie and tell the midwife that I knew exactly when he had been feeding – and give her the times that she wanted to hear.

Of course the more he was not feeding the harder it was to feed him. He’d scream at me and I would not want to pick him up even more. What woman can feel like that to her newborn baby? Who she is so very lucky to have – especially one born fit and healthy: No, this is not the kind of discussion women can get into. The more I could not talk about it then the more I became depressed. The more I was depressed the less I was able to bond with my baby. The more I did not bond, the more I felt I was a terrible mother. I did not leave the house. It was too much effort to even get dressed, never mind sorting out a baby. And staying in – we weren’t communicating with each other because I hadn’t been building a bond with my baby. Feeding him as much as needed to keep him quiet and putting him back down on his mat to play with his toys. No-one came apart from the odd health visitor who told me I was doing a rubbish job said that my baby was not putting on enough weight. Some days I would cry so much that my husband had to bunk off work because he knew there was no way he could leave me (or his son).I do not know if it was really as bad as all that or it is just how I felt, or the guilt looking back. In all honesty those early days/weeks/months are a blur. All I know is my son got very thin.

Postnatal Depression – Causes

I do not know what caused my post natal depression but research suggests that some of the reasons could be due to financial, social, birth and health reasons. We had moved house to accommodate the baby and I had wrongly assumed housing benefit would cover the rent as my husband was the only one working on a low income – I was wrong. The house was cold, extremely cold, and we struggled to heat it. Before my baby had been born I was at University and so very socially active. After the baby I would struggle even to take my older child to school, so my husband swapped his hours to help. This in turn meant I saw people less and became even more socially isolated. My first labour was only 5 hours and so I had anticipated a quick birth, in fact not only was it a lot longer but I felt I was treated rather badly. I had wanted a homebirth and was forced into hospital, so not the birth I wanted. It was the first baby since the early death of my mother, to turn to for advice. This teamed with the fact that I have a long history of depression.

Postnatal Depression – Help at Last

It got to the point where the health visitor made me switch to formula. At the time I thought it was so they could see measured amounts, but now I realise it is so that my husband could make sure our son was being fed enough. I was taken to a postnatal support group (one of the other mothers drove me there and back). I do not even remember what happened at the group. I wish I knew so I could share and help others. I remember we talked, we made things, and they arranged for us to have an Indian head massage!

Postnatal Depression – Now it’s over

A picture a friend made of Tom as sadly no photos were  taken of him at that time.

A picture a friend made of Tom as sadly no photos were taken of him at that time.

I still feel ashamed now; I look back at how much weight my son lost and gained in such a short period of time and feel so much guilt that I did that to him. That time together lost. But I was one of the lucky ones. My son was only four months old when my PND was picked up, and I know women that have lost so much more time that they have been frightened to even try to have more children. I have been on to have another two children and pleased to say that I have not suffered from postnatal depression again. My husband has been very aware of the symptoms and was knowledgeable on what to look out for. My advice if you, or anyone you know, are displaying signs, or even does not feel that they love, or are connecting with their baby then just talk to someone. Do not worry if someone is going to judge you or not, the important thing is that you might be able to sort something out – and the relationship/bond you can then build with your child is worth it all.

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Find out more about the new Mums Maternal Mental Health report published today and funded by the Boots Family Trust with Tommy’s, Netmums, Royal College of Midwives and the Institute of Health Visiting.

You can find out more about and download a Well Being Plan here.

Read the most common myths and facts about PND.

All next week we will be featuring guest blogs from mums who share their own experiences of post natal depression and how it affected their lives. We hope you will pop by each day next week to read our guest blogs.

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
This entry was posted in Babies, campaign, motherhood, Mums, post natal depression, POst Natal Depression Awareness Week and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to PND Week: Pinkoddy’s story.

  1. It can be empowering or it can be massively debilitating having a baby, and new mums don’t get the support they used to. So glad you got control of your own PND x

  2. Women who are feel they are at risk from PND may want to consider placenta encapsulation. Having grown a baby and placenta it’s a way of replenishing some of the nutrients lost. We don’t yet know exactly why it appears to work for many women, but as a placenta encapsulation specialist I have had reports from clients about how they notice a difference in mood after taking placenta capsules post natally. It’s always wonderful to hear that a mum has had a smooth ride second time around after suffering the pain of PND with her first baby. The evidence is testimonial at the moment but there is now enough for the research to follow. There are many reasons why PND happens and it would be wrong to claim placenta capsules to be a miracle cure, but it does appear work for many women. For more info check out http://www.placentanetwork.com or http://www.devonplacenta.com

  3. Pip says:

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Amanda Hurst says:

    I knew I had PND. I had also suffered with depression before and was warned that it would almost certainly come back if I ever fell pregnant. Perhaps for this reason, I never had any issue whatsoever with talking about my PND. I was never ashamed of it, any more than I was when I suffered from pre-pregnancy depression. Yes, I felt like I had failed as a mother, I suspect the c-section and my inability to breastfeed were huge contributing factors to my slip into PND, but I never felt it wasn’t something I could talk about and ask for help for. It was a chemical imbalance in my brain, a medical condition that needed treating. It upsets me to think anyone could feel this is something to be ashamed of, any more than if you broken your arm or had the ‘flu. Is just because it is a mental health issue and, whilst having anything wrong with any other part of your body is acceptable, having something wrong in your brain isn’t?

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