Will I ever love my children again?

I have 3 children, youngest 6 weeks. I was diagnosed 4 weeks ago with postpartum psychosis, have been on medication just as long, I now feel my partner makes a better caregiver than I ever could, people on the mental health crisis team seem to think I'm getting and suggest me getting a job? Seems ridiculous in light of the fact I can barely manage to control the negative feelings towards the people I love, let alone strangers.

I feel like I'm not needed as a mother anymore, my partner does it better and really, I just don't feel able to love my children anymore so I don't want to be a part of their lives.

I know it's early days but will this pass? Will I ever love my children again? I feel nothing but irritation about them, which I know is wrong but it feels like I will never be the part in their lives that I was again.

9 Replies

  • Hello raspberries

    Thank you contacting the forum. Here you will find lots of help and support from mums who have felt as you do now. Firstly congratulations on the birth of your third child. Very early days for you and being diagnosed with PP only four weeks ago is a lot for you to cope with. Surely the care team don't think you are ready to manage a job and your family at this early stage?

    Try not to worry ...... when you are suffering with PP it's very hard to deal with all the emotions. I had PP twice some years ago and felt I was a bad mother. I wasn't coping and felt the best place for me was my bed! However, with care from a medical team and the support of my family I eventually fully recovered and built up a loving bond with my boys.

    It's good that you have the support of your partner. Please be assured that in time and with an ongoing care plan you will fully recover to enjoy many happy hours with your family.

    For now, please take good care of yourself.

  • all those things you describe are a normal part of ppp and depression and anxiety. not sure if it will be helpful to you to view them as symptoms of your disease.

  • the feeling that others can do it better, you aren't needed, misunderstood by your care team (you prob are, its often very hard to convey the extremity of emotions), irritated, and unloving...text book I would say. So the fantastic news is that as you get better those perspectives and feelings will go away. You will feel admired, and needed, and competent, and warmly loving and will enjoy your family. This is my own experience and my understanding of what I went thru. Make sure you tell your care team tho what you have said here. Its the sort of thing that they should be helping you to talk about and disclose. Very best wishes.

  • Thank you for your replies, I've been treated athome since my diagnosis, I wonder if this is productive as the triggers are all around me, yesterday I ran away from home, it made sense that if I could open our noisy back gate without my partner knowing, it was a sign to run. The freedom I felt was brilliant, I was elated running down the street in my pyjama and slippers. I don't feel able to keep myself safe anymore, but I don't know what is going to happen, I have a clinical review today and anxiety has taken over.

  • I too feel the same as you. I have a 4 month old baby and only recently in the past 2 weeks I have noticed and others around me that I have postnatal depression. I don't believe I have pp like you and for that I really feel for you and hope you feel better soon. It's a horrible feeling getting no joy from looking after your baby. I feel like I loved my daughter more throughout my pregnancy than I do now that she is here. I'm sure you're a fantastic mother and have done a brilliant job raising your oldest 2. Let us pray that things get better and look forward to the day we feel our selfs again. Good luck today and keep on being honest about the way you're feeling. You're doing the right thing to get better for your family. All the best x

  • Hi raspberries

    Its great that you have contacted the forum. I'm really sorry that you've been given this advice from your mental health crisis team. I'm not sure why they suggested this as it is very unhelpful and not something that you need to be thinking about at the minute. You need to concentrate on getting better and everyone on the forum will be able to give you lots of support and guidance throughout your recovery. Have you been referred to a psychiatrist yet? They will be able to give you the best advice. I was also assigned a Community Psychiatrist Nurse who was a great support to me.

    I know your feelings must be all over the place at this difficult time. The way I felt during Postpartum Psychosis was very up and down. I too had these feelings about not feeling any love towards my child, and that irritation you talk about. I can reassure you that this is the illness and it makes you think things you wouldn't normally think.

    You will get better from this illness but it will take time. You are very much needed as a mother and your children need you to get better. All these feelings you are experiencing will pass over time so please don't put too much pressure on yourself. You will get better in your own time.

    Let us know how you are getting on and take each day as it comes.

    Warmest regards


  • Hi raspberries

    Well done for reaching out for support here and sharing how you are feeling. I hope the review with your team has gone ok today? Do you have the option of some time in a Mother & Baby unit with your youngest if you feel unsafe at home? Staff there will be very experienced in helping with bonding and gently rebuilding your confidence.

    So many of us have felt the way you do right now. It's really common to lose confidence in yourself as a mum after the shock of suffering from PP. Things will get better truly, it will just take some time. Take things gently with yourself and gradually build up time with the baby, maybe doing a nappy change or a feed or bath time each day to show yourself you can do it. Cuddle up to read some books with your older two and try not to worry if you're not feeling love, just by being there you are giving them love.

    Thinking of you - we are here any time you need to talk.


  • Hi Raspeberries

    I haven't been on the fourm for a couple of days and have read your posts. Really sorry you're right in the middle of it all. 6 weeks is not long at all - I just wanted to say all the others have said, you just need time to recover. Not feeling bonded to my son, and feeling absolutely sure that my partner was doing a much better job than me, and that they'd be better off without me, disconnected and not feeling towards anyone, were all things I felt, as many others have said. But 2 1/2 years later I am fully recovered, have an amazing relationship with my son, and all those feelings have gone. And I can't imagine how much more you have to manage with two other children, that is crazy. I really hope you are able to get the support you need, both professional support and also support from friends/family/husband etc. I would agree with Naomi, do as much as you can with your kids, even if your heart is not in it and you don't 'feel' it, someone in the mother and baby unit said to me something very simple "you have to fake it to make it" -that was a mantra I told myself for quite a while. Even though I was quite unwell for the first year of my son's life I see no effect on him now - what I did was enough. Take care

    Thinking of you


  • That's really good advice about 'faking it to make it' Sunnyandwild, I really agree with that! To start with you're just going through the motions & it all feels so mechanical, but you keep on doing it & eventually in time, you notice changes creeping in & you're not 'faking it' anymore but you're actually 'feeling it'.

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