Tim

Postpartum Blues?

Hello! I’m a first time father to a 5 month old baby girl. I’m new to Winnie but I wanted to express my feelings about being a dad. About 2 months after she was born, I started to experience increased anxiety and even some physical symptoms, like sweating/loss of appetite etc. I’ve always been susceptible to anxiety and have seen a psychiatrist for many years and for the most part I’ve been well! So when I didn’t feel like myself I wasn’t sure if other dads can go through this. Being a first time father is great but part of me is scared/anxious/sad at times. I’ve never really dealt with kids throughout my life so it’s been a bit of an eye opener. Any kind of advice or insight would be wonderful. Thank you all!

  • Eric
    Dec 21, 2018

    Having a child is a major life event and as such is likely to magnify existing mental health conditions. I definitely went through something similar after our last child was born. Get in touch with your therapist doctor or support group if you’re not doing well and best of luck with symptoms

  • Anonymous
    Dec 21, 2018

    Hi Tim ! Let me just say what you are feeling is completely expected, having a child is a huge life changing experience and makes you think about things that would have never even thought of . I suffer from bad anxiety and having twins definitely made it worst. I use CBD gummies but only at night when they are sleeping . It helps me sleep and unwind after a long day. Something to consider. Also continue to see ur psychiatrist and express those feelings . The Winnie community is here for you !

  • Tim
    Dec 22, 2018

    Thank you guys for your input! I will make sure to continue to see my psychiatrist and address any feelings I have. It really is a tough adjustment having a child. I can’t even imagine having twins! Best of luck to you!

  • George
    Dec 25

    Just want to let you know that you are not alone. I had the similar anxiety when my daughter was born. As long as you admit the issue and talk to you doctor, you will get better soon. Family’s support is important too. Best of luck and get well soon.

  • Tim
    Dec 26

    Thank you for your advice George! I will certainly keep tabs on this with my doctor. Hope you are doing better now! If I may ask, how did you better yourself and control the anxiety?

  • molly
    Jan 01

    Tim, So refreshing to see this honest post. i think not too many dads recognize this or ask for help (and there are a lot of things to blame for that including how we neglect dads and their sentiments). I know my hubby went through it, struggled with it and didn’t end up acknowledging it or asking for help until baby was almost a year old. We were not prepared for how overwhelming and tiring being a parent is. Plus we weren’t smart enough to get help from every quarter we could. partly my hubby’s panic was that life would not be as free as it was- fewer week day tennis sessions etc. now his time was not all his. and we both were really eager to have the baby so hubby also felt guilty expressing how he felt now. We navigated anxiety by having an honest discussion about how we both were scared , how we hated bits of being a parent ( gratitude remains intact though), but would be each other’s champions so we don’t just assume the other one is there for support when in fact they may be needing support that day. we got as much help as we could and made sure hubby had two fun things planned for himself away from baby duties- even if that was watching a game on tele at a sports bar- without dad guilt. Things get better as baby gets older. for us toughest was 6-10 months. you’ll be great. good luck!

  • Tim
    Jan 02

    Hi Molly! Thanks for the response. I appreciate it! I’m relieved to hear I’m not the only father that feels anxious/overwhelmed/frustrated etc. I definitely have not adjusted to losing a lot of my free time. It’s something I need to work on. I love my daughter but at the same time I feel guilty that I’m not doing more for her/with her. I do diaper changes and baths, playing and reading but idk I just sometimes miss life before being parents. But I’ll work on that

  • molly
    Jan 02

    I hear u. I miss my life before being a parent and I resented the change in secret as did my hubby. And we were desperate to have this baby so we felt horrible fessing up to our feelings. A friend of mine told me ‘you both will get your life back when the baby is close to 3 but things get progressively easier every few months until then.’ we noticed things got easier at 14 months then closer to 18 months etc. Baby gets a better schedule, parents find their stride. Baby starts engaging with you and it all suddenly feels like worth it. before it feels like a thankless job. Maybe get a babysitter every weekend for the afternoon so you can get some down time. Don’t feel guilty about it- a happy parent is better than an unhappy one. Just read an article on NY times about expectations of hyper parenting- doing more for kids, feeling like we aren’t doing enough. You are doing your best, you are a great parent and you need to take it easy sometimes. Some days are no bath days, take out , no story time days. Your daughter is safe, loved and provided for. you need to look after yourself as well.

  • Tim
    Jan 08

    Such a good point Molly. We as parents need to stay happy or else the baby will suffer. I feel like I do a good job right now, and I hope you are right as the months move along things get somewhat back to a normal routine. Thank you for your input! Much appreciated!

  • SWAGGERDAD
    Jan 09

    Hey Tim, I didn't go through postpartum but I was scare. Having to care for another person is life changing for everybody. So is understandable what you going through.I salute you for even asking for help. My wife had it I know it can be tough and it was tough on us but what worked for her. She meditated daily and always told herself "I Can Do This" to be a parent. After a couple of months she was back being a loving mother. Do something that makes you happy, before you had your daughter what was that? try doing that, that's my advice. Good luck with Everything...