new here - postpartum anxiety? — The Bump
Postpartum Depression

new here - postpartum anxiety?

Hello - first, I'm sorry this is so long - I just really need to get some of it out and hear from others!

I haven't been on the bump in a while but I'm a week postpartum and already struggling with anxiety and maybe some depression. I have dealt with anxiety in the past (the most severe being shortly before college graduation/my wedding 2 weeks later) but had gotten it pretty much under control. It actually went away almost completely while I was pregnant.

I had my 1st panic attack in a long time in the hospital one night and have been having them ever since. I have had almost constant heart palpitations since right before leaving the hospital on Thursday (which of course leads to more anxiety that something is actually wrong with my heart) in addition to the panic attacks. I am feeling really guilty because I feel like I can't properly care for my son with this going on.

The anxiety causes some depression and sometimes I have no appetite (no good for a EBF mom). I have also had some depression issues with the fact that I had to have a c-section instead of the completely natural birth I had planned).

I have an appointment with my midwife tomorrow (1st postpartum and staple removal) and will talk with her about it then but I wanted to hear from others going through the same thing. I normally have turned down medicines (the one I did take before my wedding I had a bad experience with - I think it may have been BuSpar) but I am seriously considering taking them this time because I really want to enjoy this time with my son! Are there meds that can be taken while breastfeeding? Any other tips and/or encouragement that I'm not the only one? I feel like postpartum anxiety is not talked about near as much as postpartum depression.  

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Re: new here - postpartum anxiety?

  • This post could have been written by me! I felt exactly the same way. It (anxiety) started about a week post-partum and I had some panic attacks and then pretty bad insomnia + loss of appetite. Yes, NOT good for EBF. I, too, had anxiety + mild depression once in the past (again, caused by a huge life change) and finally, FINALLY after not wanting to, went on meds for 1 year, then weaned off them successfully.

    I called my midwives/OB about 1.5 weeks post partum and given my history, they prescribed meds (Welbutrin and Zanex as needed)...both safe for breastfeeding. I did not want to take them and the 2nd week post partum was good so I thought it was just hormonal. Then week 3 hit and the anxiety was worse. I finally started the Welbutrin (1.5 weeks ago) and take 1 or 1/2 of a zanex right before bed to help me sleep (after I do a feeding). I feel a zillion times better. I no longer have panic attacks and the anxiety is minimal. When I do feel anxious, it goes away...not there all day like before. I felt like once the anxiety was mostly gone and I could sleep better, I got my appetite back and was making more milk.  I agree, not many people talk about the anxiety. At first, I couldn't pinpoint WHAT exactly, I was worrying about. Now (and I think this is just because I am home with LO all day and he's all I think about) I worry about how much he's eating, how he's sleeping, should we be on a schedule...etc...I am a first time mom and never in a million years did I think I would worry this much about being a parent! My husband is as calm as can be!

    I find being outside for walks helps, a soak in the tub helps in the evenings (although check to make sure your incision is healed enough to do this..), talking to other people (moms). I was worried about the meds too, but my midwife reassured me that what we are doing was safe...the zanex isn't permanent...more just until the Welbutrin is fully kicked in...although I can tell a difference already on it. I am also certain that when I get cleared at my 6 week pp visit and can exercise (more than just walking) again, I will feel better too. Hang in there!

  • I had severe PPD and PPA with my son.  This time around I had some mild anxiety.  Yes, there are so many medications you can take while BFing. I am EBFing my daughter and I just started taking an SSRI (Celexa) a couple weeks ago to prevent any PPD symptoms.  I take some Ativan at night for sleeping (I had severe insomnia which led to anxiety about a month ago).  All fine for BFing.  
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  • imageUseonfire:
    I had severe PPD and PPA with my son.  This time around I had some mild anxiety.  Yes, there are so many medications you can take while BFing. I am EBFing my daughter and I just started taking an SSRI (Celexa) a couple weeks ago to prevent any PPD symptoms.  I take some Ativan at night for sleeping (I had severe insomnia which led to anxiety about a month ago).  All fine for BFing.  

    This...I could have written this exact post.  I started with Celexa at first, but it didn't help me.  You have to experiment with different meds to see what med and what dose works for you.  I take Trazodone and it is an antidepressant, but not an SSRI drug.  It works for deperssion/anxiety and sleeplessness.  I also believe it is safe while nursing.  I used Ativan while nursing too.  My pedi said it was fine.  I also took it at night for sleep.  I am done nursing now and my son is 21 months old, but I am still dealing with PPD/PPA.  I still use meds...Serequel for racing mind, my trazodone and now I use klonopin at night before bed for sleep.  It is also a benzo like Ativan, but it just just longer acting and helps people with panic disorder.  I like it better than Ativan, but you would have to check if it is bfing safe.

    Good luck!!

     ps....I totally freak out about ever becoming preggo again b/c I don't ever want to go through this again.  I am totally 100% pro breastfeeding too, but if for some reason I have to take a med that isn't safe while nursing I will have to become OK with formula b/c being a good mom to my baby and me being happy is more important. 

    PPD/PPA Mom...it has been super hard, but I'm making it! Slow steps...
    Mom to Carter (6), and Calianne (1).  
    Proud VBAC, natural birth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering momma!


  • I remember feeling this way too! i was so anxious about having baby #2. I was so prepared. Our second daughter was born on halloween 2011. THe minute I left the hospital I called my physician that treated me for PPD and Anxiety with our first born. 2 days later I could start feeling lack of hunger, no real connection..etc. I took the zoloft and just waited for it to kick in. It took about 3 weeks and I was so glad that I prepared myself fully for what could come. We are doing well with our two girls, one is almost 5 yrs. old and the second baby is 7 months old. They are doing GREAT. I am still on zoloft and I plan to be on it for a year. No more children for us, but when I became pregnant the second time I knew that I had to be prepared for the PPD to kick in again once baby was born . I felt calmer knowing what to expect and having the resources in place to contact immediately.
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