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My Ngala • View topic - Edinburgh Postnatal Test - score increasing!

Edinburgh Postnatal Test - score increasing!

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These forums are being moderated by Ngala Online. Questions posted will be answered by a Ngala parenting professional. They are open for use to all residents of Australia.

Edinburgh Postnatal Test - score increasing!

Postby PerthS » Wed 17 Oct, 2012 12:22 am

Hi Ngala

I have been struggling with the last few weeks and today had an assessment for PND where I re-did the Edinburgh Postnatal Test and scored . My last test, only 2 weeks ago, I scored a mere . During the last two weeks my little boy (10 weeks old today) has been diagnosed with reflux and has started taking Zoton. Unfortunately the Zoton isn't a magic cure and I suppose I have now gotten into a panic on how long our issues are going to remain for.

While I plan to talk to a psychologist, I would also like to get any practical advice you have to offer in this area.

My current issues regarding "changes to life" (ie parenthood!) are really around sleep deprevation and the effect on my mood, lack of excercise (I MISS it SO much) and lack of practical support (as I'm a solo parent with little family around). The things I am struggling with most include :

1 - not wanting him to cry at all, feeling like I have to 'hover' rather than take a shower or hang the washing outside (for example) as I keep reading about how parents should not let their babies cry. I know I need to stop and just get on with what I need to do at times, but I also want to ensure his needs are met promptly. I do use a baby monitor, but it seems that if he's not asleep (and he doesn't sleep well at all - night or day) then he's not happy. He's not learned at all to self settle or soothe himself. A dummy helps a little, but it often falls out and I find it frustrating to use for long periods.

2 - geting out and about as my little one doesn't like laying flat when awake, so car rides and going in his stroller he cries after a few minutes. This has made walks in a pram very stop-start and not very enjoyable for me anymore, and car trips impossible as I hate him crying in the back (I often end up crying myself). How can I make trips out happier expriences for us both? And what tips do you have on taking babies out in prams during the hotter weather? I often think it's starting to get too warm to go out for too long (stroller or in the baby carrier on me)

3 -well-meaning friends and family offering advice without me asking and it making me feel bad (such as the use of my baby carrier - I love it as it means I can still do things around the house and keep bub happy, or go for walks etc when he is not happy going in the pram). I'm fit with no back issues and he's still less than 5.5kgs. How should I best tell them to stop offering me advice without hurting their feelings?

4 - I worry about sleep associations and bad habits forming as I'm still doing "what works" at weeks old (such as rocking him to sleep in my arms before I put him into his bassinet) While I know I am the parent and he can't always have it his way, I do want him to know I'm listening to what he wants.

On the practical support side I am waiting to hear back from Red Cross as I have just had a referral sent to them. Are their any other support services (other than you) available in Perth?

Thanks
S
PerthS
 
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Joined: Thu 20 Sep, 2012 7:37 pm

Re: Edinburgh Postnatal Test - score increasing!

Postby PerthS » Wed 17 Oct, 2012 12:24 am

Sorry - 'number lock' wasn't on - my scores were 15 today and only 3 two weeks ago.
PerthS
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu 20 Sep, 2012 7:37 pm

Re: Edinburgh Postnatal Test - score increasing!

Postby NgalaOnline » Thu 18 Oct, 2012 10:04 pm

Hi PerthS

Thank you for your post. Whilst the Ngala forum is useful for providing some general advice I do feel that in your situation it would be very beneficial for you to speak to some health professionals such as your child health nurse and a Ngala helpline practitioner. I will answer some of your questions below but I do encourage you to seek further phone or face to face help and support, as the internet forum is not able to gather and provide as much comprehensive information regarding your situation.

Having a baby with gastrooesophageal reflux can be very difficult for any parent, and being a solo parent with limited support available to you it is very understandable that you are feeling overwhelmed and unhappy at times. It is very important that you care for yourself and take care of your own needs, so I commend you for taking notice of your moods and feelings and for seeking help when you are concerned by your emotions. The adjustment to parenthood can be very hard and it is even more difficult if you dont have any periods of respite or relaxation. It is good to hear that you have had your baby medically assessed and that he has been given some medication for his reflux. Sometimes it can take some time, or some adjustments to the medication by a medical practitioner before improvements can be seen. Many parents also find that typical newborn unsettledness usually peaks at 2 months of age and does dramatically decrease around 3 months of age. You are in a part of parenthood that many people do find very difficult. If you still feel that your baby is in pain and that his medication is not assisting him I encourage you to go back to your medical practitioner and seek further assessment and assistance. Ngala does not advise trying to make sleep and settling changes at a time that a baby is unwell or in pain, we advise that it is best to first have the baby's medical situation addressed. You may find it helpful, however, to come in for a day stay to get some support, learn more about settling techniques and sleep and make a plan as to how to go forth once your baby's reflux is in control. Ngala has social workers and psychologists available who are good to discuss feelings of low mood with. Alternatively, you might like to book in to attend the parent education workshop "Sleep and Your Growing Baby" to learn more about the sleep and settling changes that babies go through from 3 - 7 months of age.

It sounds as though you are a wonderfully responsive mother wanting to provide her baby with the best care possible and attend to all his needs. It is important to also meet some of your own needs to give you the energy to be able to keep meeting his needs. Regarding your feelings about not being able to leave your baby's side for fear that it may harm him, it does sound as though you may be experiencing some postnatal anxiety. This is very common but is very important to talk through further with a professional. It might be helpful to consider looking at local gyms and seeing if there is one with a creche that you would feel comfortable using for your baby. Giving yourself permission to have a half hour or an hour of exercising and socialising whilst your baby is cared for may be very helpful for how you are feeling - exercise has been shown to have a very powerful influence on uplifiting mothers moods and decreasing rates of postnatal depression. It is quite common for newborn babies to dislike car rides and prams, this often changes as they get a little older (often around 3 -4 months) and start to become interested in looking at the stimulating sights on offer. Your baby may object to lying flat or having his stomach compressed by the angle of the pram if he is still suffering reflux pain. A mirror that the baby can look in can sometimes be a helpful distraction, or a dummy for pram and car rides. It is unfortunately a phase that often has no easy answers, but fortunately one that does often end when the baby becomes a little bit more alert to outside stimulations. As for using a pram in hot weather, keeping baby lightly dressed, giving bub a cold facecloth to play with or suck on, or a damp muslin over the pram can help. Limiting walks to the cool parts of the day and to shady areas can also help.

A sling where baby sits upright on you is a great idea if he is settled in it, and being upright like this can also reduce refluxing episodes and pain. As you have found, slings are a great tool for many mothers and can be very helpful for letting you get some things done whilst your baby is kept close by, safe and happy. It is difficult when people offer unwanted advice or criticism and this does often really knock a new mother's confidence in her own abilities, especially if she is feeling vulnerable, unsure or low in mood at that time. It can be helpful to remember that their "advice" is more about them than it is about you - they may be trying (misguidedly) to be helpful or enjoy sharing stories of their own opinions or experiences, however this does not mean they are right or that you need to share those same opinions. You are the expert on your baby, no one else in this world knows him as well as you do. A friendly but firm reply such as "thanks for your thoughts on that, but this works well for me and my baby" or "thank you, but I would like to form my own conclusions about that" or even "I know that you are trying to help but sometimes I do feel upset by your comments, as I feel that you are criticising the way I am caring for my baby" may help. This link has some further helpful suggestions:

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/dealing.html

Given your baby's age, his reflux pain and your current feelings of low confidence and low mood I do not feel that this is the right time to make suggestions regarding changes to your baby's sleep or settling patterns. I feel that the most appropriate thing for you to do right now if focus on caring for yourself, seeking further support and help for your mood and your baby's reflux if needed. I do feel that you would benefit from some further face to face assistance with settling and I do encourage you to ring Ngala or speak to your child health nurse about that. At the moment doing whatever works and helps you does seem to be the best course of action.

I am glad to hear that you have contacted the Red Cross about some in home support. It would be worthwhile asking your child health nurse to connect you with other local mums, particularly other single mothers. Further supports are dependent on your location, but some other ones to try include the following:

CLAN:
http://www.clanwa.com.au/

Meerilinga:
http://www.meerilinga.org.au/

This website is a good source of information and support regarding reflux:
http://www.reflux.org/

Parents Without Partners:
http://www.pwpaustralia.net/index.php?o ... 18&lang=en

Some women's health clinics that provide low cost counselling and also postnatal depression and anxiety groups.
http://www.kemh.health.wa.gov.au/servic ... /index.htm

I hope that this information has been helpful, however I do stress again that this is not a substitute for face to face help and I encourage you to seek further support. I wish you the best of luck, parenting can be very hard at times but it sounds like you are doing a great job.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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