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Thread: Anxiety and Depression about having to go back

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    227

    Default Anxiety and Depression about having to go back

    Sorry, this is my really rambling way of writing when I'm super anxious.

    So, I have always known that I have to go back to work, but I'm really upset about it. We have been over all of the other options and it just doesn't work any other way. I was on leave for 10 weeks and will be going back part time for 2 weeks on Monday then full time following that. I am lucky to have a work environment that is very supportive of pumping at work and my shared office (shared with 2 others) has a bathroom I can pump in. Also, my DH will be home with her for 2 months then she will be with her Grammy's.
    Even with the initial 2 weeks of part time, the supportive environment and knowing she will be with people who love her I am freaking out! I don't want to leave her for even a little while never mind for 9 hours every weekday. There are many logistical things that I could be worried about such as will I be able to pump enough, will she take the bottle (has only taken 1/2 oz so far), will she have nipple confusion or start to prefer the bottle and so on, but I can't even get that far because I am just so horrified that I have to leave her. I know that there are millions of well adjusted people out there whose mothers went back to work, but knowing that doesn't seem to help. I want her to have the best of everything and I know that her needs are best met when I can breastfeed her on demand and maintain the connection throughout the day, everyday. I just don't know if I am strong enough to handle being away from her every day.
    I always knew that becoming a parent would change how I think about things, but I didn't know how much it would change me. I always took pride in my work, worked hard to get my masters so I could do the work I love and now I could care less. I'm sure it will get easier, but it is so hard to handle right now. This is just such an important time in her life. My DH is great, but men aren't made with the proper equipment.
    Okay, better stop now. I guess I needed to vent.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Anxiety and Depression about having to go back

    I had a really hard time going back to work when Joe was 12 weeks old. I also felt just ... depressed. It was very, very difficult. I did it anyway, because I had no choice (I am the income-earner in my family), and it sucked. But as I saw how well things were going at home with my baby and DH, it got easier. I took it easy, tried to work from home a lot, and tried to treasure the time that he and I had together. We still cosleep and snuggle at night to this day, a habit that helped me reconcile myself with being gone all day. Breastfeeding (and pumping at work) helped me feel like there was one thing I could do for my baby that no one else could - breastfeed, and provide breastmilk. That made a difference too. So did having this forum and knowing I wasn't alone in feeling the way I did. In time, I did learn to enjoy my job again. It came slowly, but it came.

    But I'm going to go through it again this autumn, and I am not looking forward to it!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern NM
    Posts
    712

    Default Re: Anxiety and Depression about having to go back

    I have had to go back to work with all three of mine, including when DD was going through chemo, because I was the main income provider and had the insurance. I am a teacher, so there was no way to work from home. All three of mine would want to nurse right when I got home and hug and cuddle.

    It is hard to leave them at home. (Heck, I am having a hard time thinking about sending DD off to middle school next year ) Just the logistics of pumping, and cleaning, and getting all of those household things done is hard when you would much rather be spending time with your baby. It is tiring.

    It does get easier. I know it was easier with the second two than with the first, mostly because I knew it could work. It is great that your DH will be taking care of her to start out. DS2 is home with DH because of his unemployment and having him there rather than in daycare has been one of the blessings of his extended unemployment. (Not that I wouldn't be happy with him getting a job.) But it is perfectly okay to be upset and depressed about going back.

    Join the folks over in the pumping chit-chat thread if you can surf the internets while pumping. I pump weaned back at a year, but I still lurk there from time to time.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Anxiety and Depression about having to go back

    I so know what you mean. I too loved my job and didn't think it would be so hard to go back. Those first few days and weeks are tough but it does get easier. Like PP said, once I saw she was OK and happy it made it a lot easier. Don't worry too much about pumping. You will get enough and if not, things can be done to boost supply. I found it took about 3 weeks to really get in the groove of pumping, but then it was pretty smooth sailing for me.

    My DD has never developed a bottle preference. She loves her nursing and snuggle time and sometimes we spent almost the whole evening nursing, if she wants to. I wear her as much as possible while doing evening chores so she can be close (if DH is not playing with her ) and we cosleep.

    It is still hard to leave her but we do what we have to. And most days I do enjoy my job too. I try to work from home some and get her early from daycare and make the most of our time together.

    Let us know how it goes for you we are here to support
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Anxiety and Depression about having to go back

    I really wish I could work from home some, but that too is not an option. It was a really rough night tonight as we are trying to get her to get used to (or just take) a bottle. I know we can try cup/syringe feeding, but I want her to feel comforted while she eats not just get the food in. I was upstairs while DH tried to get her to take the bottle and she just screamed and screamed. I finally couldn't take it anymore and went down and fed her. It just breaks my heart that I won't be able to do that when she is upset and I'm at work. I think I would be upset even if she was taking the bottle easily. It just seems so unnatural to leave her so early. It is good to hear from others who got through it. I know it will be fine. It is just so hard. Thank you all for your support.

    Join the folks over in the pumping chit-chat thread if you can surf the internets while pumping.
    I have checked it out and found some useful info there. thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Anxiety and Depression about having to go back

    Take a deep breath... it will ALL be fine, I promise That won't make the first days and weeks back at work any easier for you. But it WILL be OK.



    And my guess is that if she's so resistant to the bottles, you won't have to worry too much about confusion or her rejecting you. Deep breaths!

    You may want to experiment with some different bottles/nipples to find one she likes a little better. There's all sorts of kinds and configurations now, and babies have preferences just like we do (interestingly, my guy prefers a regular old silicone nipple, the ones designed to "mimic" breastfeeding more - either in shape or how they function - he wanted nothing to do with. Go figure!)

    Good luck and hang in there

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Anxiety and Depression about having to go back

    You may want to experiment with some different bottles/nipples to find one she likes a little better.
    We did try 7 different bottles / nipples. The only one she doesn't choke on is The First Years Breastflow bottle. She can do it she just prefers not to. I think we might end up syringe feeding her and allowing her to suck on Daddy's pinky (nail side down). That's our latest plan to try tonight. We'll see how it goes. Again, thank you all for the support.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Anxiety and Depression about having to go back

    Have you tried leaving the house? I have read here some have success with that. Babies are smart and know when momma is nearby
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Anxiety and Depression about having to go back

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*pizanite View Post
    Have you tried leaving the house? I have read here some have success with that. Babies are smart and know when momma is nearby
    I'll try that. Thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    416

    Default Re: Anxiety and Depression about having to go back

    I know just how you feel, because I felt the same way about going back to work when DS was 3 months old. I'm not gonna lie, it was awful at first. I would sit in my office, pump, and cry because I felt like a milk cow hooked up to the pump and I missed my baby and I would think that I could be home breastfeeding him, but instead here I was in an office by myself pumping. It was pretty dreadful for a couple of weeks, to the point where I really considered quitting, even though I am a doctor and it took me YEARS of training to get to where I am now, and I was always very dedicated to my work until my baby was born. I will say, though, that after several very rough weeks it got easier to leave him and I now usually enjoy being at work. It helps that I have cut my hours and am only gone about 6 hours/day on average. My own mom watches DS while I am at work and he is happy, thriving, and seems to be doing fine although I always feel like he is sad when I leave, but then he's fine all day while I'm gone and thrilled to see me when I come home.

    No real practical advice, just wanted to add another voice of someone who has been-there, done-that, and knows what it is like. I think it is completely normal to feel the way you do, and I also think it gets easier with time. Best of luck.

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