Postnatal Depression

A note from a mother we know…

“I had my first son four years ago, and breastfed him for 10 months.  When he was first born I had the usual week or so of discomfort, but the rest of the 10 months feeding him went really well.  I enjoyed feeding him.

When my second son was born, we established breastfeeding really easily and he took to it like a natural, which was a relief for me.  But then as the weeks passed, I would feel annoyed that I had to breastfeed him, and that it felt like another chore, and was a burden.  I wouldn’t call it resentment exactly, but I had growing negative feelings for my  new baby, and couldn’t really say or feel like I loved him.  It is terrible to admit that, but it is how I felt at the time.

Although outwardly I seemed like I was coping, inside my head and my heart everything was turning to custard.  There was always too much work to do, the housework kept piling up, and I didn’t have any motiviation or energy to put into anything.  Even though my two children needed me.  I would have easily stayed in bed all day if I didn’t have them to look after.

When my baby was about 8 or 9 months old, I read an article in Treasures magazine about Post Natal Depression, and I identified with the women in the story.

I went off to the doctor and described the way I was feeling, in tears.  He did prescribe medication for me also.

I came home and talked about it all for the first time with my husband.  Although I felt like a failure for admitting it, I did know that I had to tell and that I couldn’t keep treating my baby like this.  I decided that I would give up breastfeeding, as this was adding to my stress and I was just not enjoying it.  It felt like an extra burden.

As soon as we started him on a bottle of formula, I did feel one weight lift from my shoulders.  It was also good as my husband could be more involved and it wasn’t solely my responsibility.

So my baby did breastfeed for about 8 or 9 months, which is a good effort.  But I am very pleased that I have now stopped.

And I am slowly gaining control of my life, and just take things in small steps each day.”