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Needing some mental health advice

New Member Registered

Hi all, 

New here and hoping someone can help. 

I'm a first time dad, just under two weeks ago. Pregnancy was great, nice and smooth, lowest of risks so we planned accordingly. Upon going into labour everything followed suit, nice and smooth, right until the end. We were rushed into theatre for a forceps delivery and spinal block. This was such a shock to us both as we were not expecting it and went against everything we wanted and hoped for. 

Even so, both mum and son are doing well post op.

As expected in the coming days, lots of family have been and gone to the point where we are now getting into a "new normal".

As each day goes by, I am feeling more useless, lower in confidence, more emotional, less interested in the outside world and in other activities and am starting to dread when the little man wakes up for a feed or change. Saying this though, when I throw myself into doing the tasks it all goes well and everyone is happy, I just feel anxious at the thought of it. 

I think this started when he had his first "meltdown" and we struggled to calm him down, I was exhausted from a night shift and couldn't cope.

Has anyone experienced anything like this or have any tips of advice that may help?

Thank you

Topic starter Posted : 18/09/2021 3:25 pm
Illustrious Member

Very long time since I've been there, but some of it sounds familiar. You need to talk it through with your mum, and also your midwife.

Posted : 19/09/2021 10:29 am
Estimable Member Registered

Hello @sboyd,

congratulations on becoming a father and parent ! From reading your post, what you’re describing and experiencing sounds very normal. I say this because if you experience any kind of unexpected trauma during the birthing process, it can sometimes have a knock on effect for a little while after. I’ve no doubt you would have not enjoyed seeing your partner in distress and possibly you would be worried about your little one. All these feelings, if left undiscussed can cause anxiousness. Tiredness plays a massive part sometimes too in how we see things as a new parent. My partner and I had a very traumatic first delivery of our son and he hardly slept at times. So what you have to do is take one day at a time - celebrate the fact that eventually you did manage to calm him down - the more you get to know your baby’s different cries you will be able to establish what he needs. Usually food, cuddle, sleep or a nappy change ! ☺️ Try not to be hard on yourself. It’s a massive change for you both and there are no instructions with a baby! As the previous person suggests, don’t be afraid to tell the midwife/health visitor how you are feeling. Men can suffer with post natal depression and anxiousness just like women can. Talk to your partner - don’t be afraid to gently tell her how you feel. Make each other feel loved - praise each other for the little things such as a successful feeding time, bath time or getting your son to sleep. It takes time to become adept at knowing your babies needs but you will get there ! There are lots of good websites with information on parenting a new baby, but you and your partner know your baby the best. Try to ensure that you perhaps have a separate area to sleep in when you have been on a night shift even for a few hours. Getting four hours sleep can really make a big difference to how you feel. 
Please keep communicating with each other and be kind to each other and if a trusted family member or friend offers you help with shopping, house work or taking your little one for a walk whilst you rest - do it! I learned the hard way with our first - not enough rest but by the time the second one came I accepted help. 
I wish you and your partner all the very best with your new addition and please let us know how you are doing. I’m sure you will do great. 
kind regards, Spurgeons Parent support volunteer 

Posted : 20/09/2021 12:19 pm
Eminent Member Registered

I have suffered from and still do, anxiety all my life.
People will tell you to get on with it, but sometimes what seems easy to some is a whole world of difficulty for others.

Try to write things down more and show yourself them regularly, tasks you have achieved before and it will remind you that you can do them again.

Posted : 03/08/2022 3:57 pm
NellGC and NellGC reacted

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