Earlier, we discussed Post Natal Depression and Babywearing generally. Here, we bring you ButterflyMama’s experience:
I used babywearing to help me overcome my Post Natal Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after Miss S’s nightmare hospital induction.
Truth be told I did not want her anywhere near me – had major connection/attachment issues. I had this child ripped from my body and then it would scream for me to meet its every need – most of which of my own were not even being met, because it was too difficult for me to even comprehend. For the first six months of Miss S’s life all I (barely) managed was getting up out of bed, putting on some sort of clothing, sculling coffee as fast as I could and putting on the brave poker face; I was very good at that, though. It’s amazing how easy it is to smile and pretend everything is OK when it’s not, because people expect it. PND is such a taboo subject – heaven forbid the mother of a newborn child is not totally and utterly in love with him/her and gushing to every single person she meets!
I had bought the Ergo with infant insert while pregnant after researching thoroughly and deciding it would be most likely to suit my needs – crook neck, best for bubs spinal development as compared to the Bjorn. When Miss S was 6 days old, the day after we got home from hospital, I had been crying all day long (for no *apparent* reason) and on the suggestion of the midwife that came to visit, I popped her into my “sling”. I didn’t want her near me, I didn’t want to be in such close earshot to her piercing newborn cries let alone feel her weight against me. But I did, and from that day onwards I wore her every day. We didn’t have an instant bond, Miss S and me, we had to work on it very hard. We almost had to do what I would describe as “forced parent/child attachment”. She began to have her biggest day sleeps on me and although I would hesitate to admit it, I began to really look forward to them. By about the six months of age point, we were fully fledged babywearers and I knew that on the days where I felt the worst, the best therapy (combined with CBT, exposure therapy and medication) was to have my daughter close.
I guess the rest is history. Miss S and I had to really work at our relationship to be what it is now and I can say that babywearing, although I hated it at first, had a massive hand at improving our relationship – and still does, every day. PND is such a hard thing to battle and although I think I am mainly “OK” now with regards to it, I still have my crap days and know that babywearing even a little helps, for “compulsory cuddles” (where she has no choice but be close to me 😉 even when she is, at 21 months of age, chucking darkies left right and centre). I think my daughter caught my fiery nature, poor thing, genetics can be so harsh.
I extend my support and understanding, empathy and frustration to those experiencing PND currently. It is a dark world in which it can be all-consuming, I know exactly what that is like. There seems to be no way out, but there is. So hang in there.
Thanks to ButterflyMama for sharing her story. For many of us, including myself, it’s comforting to know that someone else has made it out of the blackhole. Have you experienced Post Natal Depression? Did it follow from a traumatic birth experience like ButterflyMama? How did you get through it? Leave a comment and share with us.