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Do NICU moms get different post partum depression then other moms?


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  #1  
May 18th, 2010, 04:52 PM
shannonranee
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I feel so depressed latley. I dont even want to go to the hospital. not because I dont want to see natalie or take care of her - I just dont want to do it there - I WANT HER HOME. I dont want someone standing over me while I am trying to get her to eat, or asking me every two minutes if she latched on when i am doing non nutritional breastfeeding (breastfeeding during a tube feeding). I am not producing as much milk - which i personally think it has to do with giving her a bottle while I am there. I pump like maybe 250ml a day but they are giving her 320 ml a day - I had some stocked from the week she wasnt eating but I know they have to be running out now so at some point they are going to start giving her formula and that bothers me becasue I dont see how it can be good to give her some feedings of breastmilk with human milk fortifier and then do some feeding with similac special care 24 cal formula. I also think they are feeding her too much at a time. out of the bottle she will eat 32 ml and they will force another 6ml into her with a tube (the difference in formula is waste becasue they always put extra in the tube feed that just stays in the syringe after it is done). then I have to be really really careful moving her because she spits some of it back up - maybe that should tell them she is getting too much??

she is doing really good - in my opinion. she weighs 4lbs 5.4oz now (so has gained almost a pound since birth 3 weeks and 5 days ago). but the drs say she is not doing good, growth wise, becasue she is below the 10th percentile for a 36 week gestation baby - but they are comparing her to a baby thar is still in the womb that is NOT working to eat, NOT working to breath room air, and NOT working to maintain body temperature, and has NOT has any surgical procedures that they had to heal from. she is in an open crib and off oxygen (took her off oxygen last night).

the only thing she has to do now is nipple all of her feedings - but to them that means nippling 35-38ml out of a bottle in less than 20 min - including burping and everything. IDK about her A's &B's though - she is still having them but they say they are just watching them so I am not sure if that will effect her coming home or not.
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  #2  
May 19th, 2010, 09:04 AM
rebeccabaltimore and more's Avatar (rebeccabaltimore)
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Mine was delayed. I have baby blues complicated by bipolar disorder, and while the baby blues typically hit after birth, mine didn't start until we left the hospital, and I'm struggling with them now. Don't get me wrong, I cried 3x a day while he was there, but focusing on absolutely every procedure and test and goal distracted me for awhile. Once I got home and he was doing well, the mood disorder, hormones, and cumulative stress hit me like a freight train.
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Last edited by rebeccabaltimore and more; May 19th, 2010 at 09:28 AM.
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  #3  
May 19th, 2010, 09:11 AM
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Hi...I used to be active on here, but had closed my account and recently rejoined. My son, Logan, was born at 25 weeks and spent 123 days in the NICU. I had my own "hotel" room in a portion of the hospital that I lived in the whole four months he was there because the hospital was over an hour away from home. There were days when I would dread going to his room, and I felt major guilt over it. For me it was a fear of how his night had gone, or some new infection he may have. When he came home he was on oxygen until he was over a year old and we were homebound for several months. I think I was in survival mode during that first year. I didn't address any of my depression or grief while he was in the hospital or when he came home, and it caught up with me later. Once he was about 18 months old and was doing well and healthy in my eyes I started to recognize the depression. My doctor told me post partum can occcur up to two years after birth, and most likely mine was delayed because I was so busy surviving and taking care of Logan. I have also read some stories about moms having some PTSD when they have had a traumatic birth. I am a therapist myself, so it was hard for me to acknowledge my depression and that I couldn't handle it on my own. Talk to you hospital social worker or OBGYN, they can help you identify if you need any medication or an evaulation for post partum. Best of luck!!
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  #4  
May 19th, 2010, 01:38 PM
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It's common for NICU parents to have PTSD-style symptoms. There was a New York Times article about it recently.

I coped with the NICU through denial. I pretended everything was perfectly fine and normal...it helped that Jim was mostly a feeder and grower, but even on the bad days, I just told myself, "This is normal, he'll be fine." Even when clearly he WASN'T fine and even though nothing about the NICU experience was normal. It was about a year later that I started to really be a mess, right around the anniversary of my water breaking. That's when I started bursting into tears over random stuff--like, the if I smelled Ivory soap because that's what they had in the pumping room at the hospital, or one time I went to check on Jim and I realized his bed is pointed the same way that his crib was at the hospital, so it was like looking at him in the NICU again. I still do that sometimes, although it's better since we started therapy (DH and I go together--DH has full-on PTSD symptoms like nightmares and anxiety).

This stuff is hard, seriously hard. All the guilt and the anger and the grief and the fear, it's not easy to live with. It is a really good idea to get help, I wish I'd done it much sooner.
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  #5  
May 19th, 2010, 03:39 PM
SarahBethsMommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I had moments where I dreaded going to the NICU. I remember one particular day when I was driving there and I was praying. I said, "God, I know we have a LOT to handle and I know I just have face this, but I REALLY need a good day today." It was a good day (it was actually the first day I got to hold her), but that drive there I just dreaded the walk from my car to the NICU.

Still when I smell the soap they use in my hospital my heartrate jumps. I'm not so much nervous, but I feel it. It is ingrained into my very being now.

If you doctors are really saying she isn't doing well, they are idiots. I mean honestly... any baby in the NICU who is able to move to a crib and be off oxygen is doing GREAT! My doctors NEVER said anything like, "she isn't doing well." Even on the days we were waiting to see if this treatment worked or she would die. They were constantly positive. On the day we were being discharged, one of her doctors came in and said, "I never wanted to tell you until I was sure she was going home, but Sarah Beth had the worst lungs of any child I've seen in my 35+ years of practice who has lived." I was thankful he said it then (when we knew she was going home and doing well) because I know it was a miracle that she is so well now. So, next time your doctors say something like that, tell them you really don't need to hear it.
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  #6  
May 19th, 2010, 09:52 PM
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I have post traumatic stress disorder and had postpartum. McKenzie spent 2 months in the NICU and Madison spent 5 months before she passed away. i had a lot of things to deal with. I still can not drive past the hospital without bawling.
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  #7  
May 20th, 2010, 05:38 AM
Just Jen's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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It's a situational depression and PTSD. If you aren't sad, depressed, panicked, ___________ (fill in the blank with a description of your choice) then you aren't actively coping.

It's 100% OK to be feeling any one of these things, or all of them at once. The nurses have had other parents, just like you, many many times.

It is totally fine to take a break for one day. You need to protect yourself. Your body doesn't want to go because it realizes how much the situation panics you, and would like to not do that to itself, kwim?

You can not take care of your child if you are not taking care of yourself. You know that, in your heart, and the nurses know that too. You have their permission, and you won't lose your "good mommy" badge for it either. I promise.

And as far as her feedings go, they are giving her the right number of calories and fluids for her size. You could absolutely ask the provider to scale back a bit, but it's a nutritional formula they are following. I just had this exact discussion with the nutritionist on Monday when they bumped her up to 40ccs per feeding.
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  #8  
May 20th, 2010, 05:45 AM
Just Jen's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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OH! As long as she is following a growth curve, she is doing well. It can absolutely be her own curve, as along as she is actively following a pattern.

E is 5 pounds today, and is 39weeks CGA. She is below the 3rd percentile. She will never be a big child, but so long as she is growing proportionately they are pleased.

Are you in a level 1 NICU? or level 2? Do you know?
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  #9  
May 20th, 2010, 06:37 PM
shannonranee
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Originally Posted by Just Jen View Post
OH! As long as she is following a growth curve, she is doing well. It can absolutely be her own curve, as along as she is actively following a pattern.

E is 5 pounds today, and is 39weeks CGA. She is below the 3rd percentile. She will never be a big child, but so long as she is growing proportionately they are pleased.

Are you in a level 1 NICU? or level 2? Do you know?
Natalie started out in a Level 3 needing level three care. she is still in the level 3 but her drs and nurses all say she is now level 2 they just have not physically moved her bed to the level 2 area yet (they said she is just a feeder grower now, with the exception that she MIGHT need another transfusion before she comes home - they will test her blood levels again tomorrow and maybe one more time before she comes home if they are still good tomorrow).
they took her off oxygen support on thursday. all she has now is the pulse/ox monitor, heart rate and breathing monitors. the only medication she is on is caffine. she now weighs 4lbs 8oz so she has gained 1 pound and .05 oz since she was born (4 weeks ago yesterday). she is now 36 weeks cga.
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  #10  
May 20th, 2010, 07:33 PM
Chatterbox's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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For a long time I would jump every time that I heard the phone ring because, usually, it was Cayden's doctors calling with information or needing permission to do something. He's been home a little over a year and I can feel my pulse quicken and my heart race when my phone rings unexpectedly during the day at work or late at night. I still keep my cell phone on at ALL times and take it EVERYWHERE I go because I had that habit while he was in NICU. I still hold my breath a bit when his doctor's listen to his lungs, worried that they aren't going to be okay. I instantly switch to NICU mode when I see monitors showing vital signs, etc. where I read them and interpret what is happening and I have NO medical training.

I very much believe that we are in survival mode during the NICU days and once our babies come home, especially if they come home needing other medical support such as O2, etc. You do the best you can to move through the days and make sure that their medical needs are met, in addition to anything developmental.

We tell people all the time that we didn't get to process our feelings for a long time and we are finding that they are popping up now here and there. For example, Cayden's primary nurse came to see him for the first time since NICU a week ago. The next morning when I was talking to my friend about it, I lost it and was crying. The emotions of seeing her and listening to her talk about my child's medical issues with me and knowing him in such an intimate way was a surprisingly emotional thing for me. This woman saw me at my worst with my baby and my best. Things, scents, moments, sights can bring back multiple memories of people or things that you have an emotional tie to in ways you can't imagine until it does.

You aren't alone. *hugs* Sounds like she is doing rather well if she is level two now. =)
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  #11  
May 20th, 2010, 08:29 PM
shannonranee
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Originally Posted by Chatterbox View Post
For a long time I would jump every time that I heard the phone ring because, usually, it was Cayden's doctors calling with information or needing permission to do something. He's been home a little over a year and I can feel my pulse quicken and my heart race when my phone rings unexpectedly during the day at work or late at night. I still keep my cell phone on at ALL times and take it EVERYWHERE I go because I had that habit while he was in NICU. I still hold my breath a bit when his doctor's listen to his lungs, worried that they aren't going to be okay. I instantly switch to NICU mode when I see monitors showing vital signs, etc. where I read them and interpret what is happening and I have NO medical training.

I very much believe that we are in survival mode during the NICU days and once our babies come home, especially if they come home needing other medical support such as O2, etc. You do the best you can to move through the days and make sure that their medical needs are met, in addition to anything developmental.

We tell people all the time that we didn't get to process our feelings for a long time and we are finding that they are popping up now here and there. For example, Cayden's primary nurse came to see him for the first time since NICU a week ago. The next morning when I was talking to my friend about it, I lost it and was crying. The emotions of seeing her and listening to her talk about my child's medical issues with me and knowing him in such an intimate way was a surprisingly emotional thing for me. This woman saw me at my worst with my baby and my best. Things, scents, moments, sights can bring back multiple memories of people or things that you have an emotional tie to in ways you can't imagine until it does.

You aren't alone. *hugs* Sounds like she is doing rather well if she is level two now. =)

Yes to me she is doing very good. I just wish they would quit messing with her feedings - for instance Dr P comes in and writes orders to fortify her breastmilk with infacare formula, then 2 days later Dr C comes in and writes orders to quit fortifying and just tells me what I should be making sure I get in my diet (becasue natalie was puking up all her milk with it being fortified), then the next day Dr G come in and writes orders for reglan, then the next day Dr P comes back in and writes orders for her milk to be fortified with infacare again (she does ok with it this time), but Dr S who comes in 4 days later doesnt like fortifying breastmilk with infacare so discontinues the infacare and orders the nurses fortify with human milk fortifier, she is on this for 4 days and dr P comes back in and says he doesnt like human milk fortifier so discontinues that and orders infacare be used. we ended up talking with a group of people and told them quit doing that - unless there is a medical reason to change it leave it alone - for them to change her fortification every 4 days just becasue it is a new dr and they like to use something different is stupid IMHO.
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  #12  
May 20th, 2010, 11:36 PM
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I have to agree with the others. In a way I am thankful for this post because I know I am not alone. When my son was born, my husband was in Iraq. He was born at 23 weeks and was a very sick little baby for a very long time. My husband came back and forth a couple times before he got to stay for good. We went through a lot with him coming back from Iraq to THAT. A sick baby. He was having his own issues while I was having mine. We were both on survival mode. We communicated about....never. It was very bad, but oddly enough, I never felt "depressed", I felt overwhelmed and was only able to take things a day, hour, or minute at a time. My son came home on oxygen, an NG tube, and a monitor. It was like the NICU at home, and we continued in survival mode. 10 months after my son came home, DH and I separated. I became EXTREMELY depressed to the point that I literally did not ever want to get off the couch, not even to play with my own amazing son!! It was horrible and I finally got help. I was also experiencing some pretty intense PTSD symptoms, to include flashbacks and severe OCD. After two months, DH and I decided to try again, and we got counseling. All of that has REALLY helped, but it is still hard. I think that as NICU moms we definitely go through a much different type of post partum/PTSD. Hang in there and don't be afraid to get help, and get it NOW before it gets to the point that I let it get to. Good luck!
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  #13  
May 29th, 2010, 09:16 PM
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I had a significant depression post NICU, and my twins were adopted-they were born at 28w in Feb 09, we moved to the NICU in May 09 for a month, they came home healthy, but I had a 2 year old at the time, a husband doing shift work, and no family to help us out. By Aug 09 I was on antidepressants, and feel better than I have in years. NICU is exhausting, mentally and physically for the entire family. I'm glad we're talking about this, I felt like an awful mom for a long time b/c I had these three (now four) amazing kids, and I was so overwhelmed and exhausted and crying all the time. I didn't feel I deserved them since I couldn't cope. Once the meds kicked in, I felt great and got my resources to gether and we're coping and thriving, but those first few months home with the twins were very dark.
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  #14  
May 30th, 2010, 07:28 PM
rebeccabaltimore and more's Avatar (rebeccabaltimore)
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I just wanted to come back and say that my baby blues turned into full blown PPD. Which was complicated by post traumatic stress. So PPD for NICU moms may include some post traumatic stress as well.
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