PND: My coping strategies

Baby girl is now 9 weeks old and I should be out of the baby blues phase and settling back down. I’m not! I’m still very much all over the place and instead of things getting easier they are getting harder. I’m scared that PND is starting to take hold. I was already scoring borderline before things got harder and as Ive had it before I’m at an increased risk of getting it again. 

Instead of this post being all doom and gloom I’m going to make a list of some of the things I’m finding hard and what I can  do to help. This is a coping strategy I have used before and found useful. I’m hoping that by putting some of these into place it may take the edge off the cloud. 

1. In the mornings I’m finding getting dressed and putting on my make hard work. I hate sitting there thinking about how to dress my postnatal body and with breastfeeding friendly clothes each morning. I already (usually) get the boys clothes out the night before so I’m going to add in baby girls and mine. This means I have no excuse for sitting there in my pyjamas! 

2. Remembering to do things. This can range from really simple things like remembering to get the washing out of the machine, to deadlines like bills and things at the boys school. I already use a family calendar for big things and I’m going to start putting reminders on my phone to remind me before the deadline. 
For easier things I’m going to ask my oh to help remind me or put a post-it on the fridge door. 

3. Organisation and cleaning. Mess in the house is really stressing me out. I just don’t feel like I can get on top of it. 
I’m going to break down the cleaning/tidying into manageable pieces and timetable them. Clean bathrooms one day, change sheets and towels another. This helps it feel more manageable and also means I remember better as it’s more organised in my head.

4. Feeling like a crappy mum! This is a major one for me at the moment. I don’t feel like I’m doing enough with the boys or bonding with Baby girl very well. I’m going to try and spend some quality time each day with them, either when Baby girl is sleeping or something I can do whilst holding her. I’m also going to plan one nice thing for the weekends I have them, could be as simple as a trip to the park or swimming.

5. As I said above, I’m worrying about bonding with baby girl. To help with this I have booked onto a baby massage course and baby swimming. I’ve done both of these before and really enjoyed them. This leads me on to my next point. 

6. Getting out of the house. I find getting out of the house really stressful. Especially driving anywhere. Baby girl has reflux and I’m very anxious about her choking in the car when I’m driving. I also put off getting out which means I am then in a rush. Having things planned that are manageable at times that mean I won’t be in a rush to get back for the pre school pick up will help. I also need to have days where I don’t plan anything so that I have a day where I can just be at home.

7. This is a hard one. I need to put out an SOS to my friends. I’m not good at admitting when I need help. Even if they just encourage me to come out for a coffee it will help me to feel more normal. 

8. I need to ask for help. I hate asking for help. I like to think I can do it all on my own, but the reality is that at the moment I can’t. 

9. Talk! Another hard one. I need to be telling, especially my oh how I am feeling so that it doesn’t build up. I also need to be getting in touch with my hv regularly and possibly the doctor. I’m desperate to not go back on medication so I know that talk is vital. 

10. Things that are worrying me. This is a real sign to me that things aren’t good. I can’t get to sleep at night for worrying/ going over things in my head. I’m so sleep deprived I should be asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Doing the points above will mean that things get more organised/manageable in my head which will help. I’m also going to start keeping a notebook by the bed and writing things down. Then the next day looking at them and seeing if there is anything I can do to help. 

11. Germs. This is a weird one and stems from last time I had PND. I knew things weren’t good when my hands started feeling dirty a few weeks ago. I know this is to do with anxiety so to help this I’m going to make sure I have antibacterial gel easily accessible in places where the feeling happens. So in my changing bag, in the lounge and my bedroom. I HATE changing rooms and putting the mat down on the tables. So I’m going to buy some disposable ones to put under the soft mat for baby girl. 

12. Be kinder to myself. I’m really hard on myself and I’m really annoyed with how in feeling. I’m not sure how to help with this one at the moment, but I will try and remember to be a bit kinder on myself.

13. Make time to spend with my oh. Things started to go wrong after the birth of my second child with my ex husband. It was around this time that he started cheating on me and putting me down. This plays at the back of my mind now so knowing that this relationship is secure will help. I’m going to plan a date night out of the house once a month and plan one night a week where I make an effort to not be on my phone/laptop and talk! 

14. Remember to do the above! I know I need to help myself to feel better. 

Have you got any tips for coping/managing PND? 

12 responses to “PND: My coping strategies”

  1. I remember all these feelings so well. But I put it down to feeling so overwhelmed about motherhood. It took me a long time to realise I had PND. I think the most important thing you can do is try to talk to those around you and don’t be afraid to ask for help and support when you need it. Good luck xxx

  2. Caroline says:

    This all sounds so familiar – I was worried about germs, so I had to wipe every kitchen surface religiously before bed (lifting things and putting back where they came from too, not very good!).

    Getting clothes ready was a game changer and yes, even for myself every night. Its awful trying to think about how to dress your postnatal tummy, never mind doing so while all hell is breaking loose elsewhere in the house.
    Take care and be kind to yourself and if you find that your brain is being too hard on you, don’t be afraid to go and get some CBT from your GP.
    And use #pndchat on twitter. I’m @poptartsandpnd x

  3. Honest Mum says:

    Sending you love and strength. Would CBT help or a counsillor. After a traumatic birth with my first a councillor gave me so much support to deal with the trauma of it all. Thanks for linking up to #brilliatblogposts x

  4. Hugs for you xoxo

    Writing everything down in a blog post and coming up with coping strategies is a really good start and fingers crossed it does help you in some way. I don’t have any experience with PND but it does sound very similar to Depression/Clinical OCD/Anxiety etc which I can relate to. Don’t be afraid to have a chat with your doctor like you say, there may be other things rather than medication they can give you if you really want to avoid that route xx

  5. Thank you for sharing this and I hope you get some comments from the other lovely ladies I know who have been in the same situation. It’s brave to reach out, and strong of you to think of things to be positive about. thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

  6. Katy F says:

    It sounds like you are doing a fab job. Baby is only 9 weeks old so you definitely need to number 12 lots! Getting dressed and putting on a bit of lippy is really good as it will just bring some normality and routine. Maybe go get a haircut and ask for clothes vouchers for Christmas so you can treat yourself to something nice? Going to baby massage is a great idea, getting out and about is so important. Something I did every day was leave the house, even if it was just to the local shop for some milk, that way I had a purpose other than feeding the baby!! Well done for sharing it all, I hope it has helped writing it down! Also, I have lived with reflux (my baby is 1 now) and it does get better. Have you been to the docs? Make sure they listen to you! If you want to message me at all about it feel free as I have been through it all with the docs and have come through the other side! xx

  7. Hello, nice to meet you! Just to say, I can totally sympathise as I had PND! Only just really coming out of it now. I love your coping strategies but I wanted to reach out and say you are not alone and I can highly recommend you getting involved in #PNDhour over on Twitter run by Rosey PNDandME. If we follow each other I can start introducing you to us! They have all been amazing and we cheer each other on and laugh and joke!! PND doesn’t mean all doom and gloom!! We are a witty bunch promise! Any, invite is there! We would love you over! Kat @beautwins on twitter. I’ve also blogged about PND on #SundayStars xxxx

  8. Aby Moore says:

    Lots of love huni. I had a difficult birth after a traumatic time trying to get pregnant and I really struggled. I was diagnosed with PND when Baby was 7 months old and am still on medication now. I think you have got such great strategies in place and the fact that you are open and aware will help you. There are lots of us who blog that have PND, so you need never feel alone. Thanks so much for linking up with #TheList xx

  9. Sounds like you have a great plan in place and I wish you all the luck in the world. I found babywearing to be a great way to combat my PND and my youngest’s reflux as it kept him upright (although I needed a muslin to catch the inevitable vomit!) It gave me the closeness and bonding that I needed while still being able to do things with my other children (at one point I had 4 kids under 5!) or the things that need doing around the house. The great thing about a stretchy wrap in particular is that you can tie it on then pop baby in and out with only minor adjustments as and when needed which is great for car journeys too. I think I wore mine non stop for about 5 months! #sundaystars

  10. Sounds like you’re doing an excellent job to me! Your baby is only nine weeks old and you’ve already got things planned. The fact that you’re worrying about things also proves you’re a good mum. Please try and remember that love is the main thing kids need and sounds like you’re giving them all plenty of love. Don’t be overwhelmed, take one day at a time and really try to live in the moment and appreciate the little things. Give more hugs and take your own advice – be kind to yourself!!

    P.S wish I looked that good after giving birth!!


  11. Firstly, great post and very brave for putting it down into words. That has got to help you, but also many others feeling the same. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect. It’s very early and so what if some of your other jobs/family members are being ignored – you have a newborn and that’s a tough job! However, I agree with Vicki (Honest Mum) in that you should maybe talk to someone if you are not doing this already? Really hope you are doing OK. There is a lot of support on twitter and through bloggers on PND and many have gone through the same. Thanks for sharing it on #sundaystars

  12. I can relate to a fair few of these coping strategies. I think that you are on the right track with working through all of your feelings and finding positive ways to deal with them all. I might make a similar list myself. Thank you for linking up to #MaternityMatters x x

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