Birthing Partner and mental health
25 February 2020 at 12:25 am #37068
Recently split from partner and 31weeks pregnant, he doesn’t want to be with me and it sounds he doesn’t want to care for his child either. I have a borderline personality disorder, not many close friends or family and feel like a burden. My question is has anyone chose to give birth on their own? I don’t trust anyone right now and I’m at an all time low, thinking I’m useless and unlovable but I feel like the best thing is to try and do everything on my own25 February 2020 at 10:31 am #37090
In a very similar position, split during pregnancy and I now don’t want the ex involved even if he did change his mind as so much has surfaced since he left. I had my best friend with me throughout and it ended up being quite a difficult labour that I couldn’t have coped on my own. And immediately afterwards I was that exhausted I couldn’t even hold my babe but knew that she’d stay close to us both until I was with it.
I’m a midwife and have cared for women without a birthing partner. For some it’s purely accidental that their birthing partner didn’t get there in time and others it was by choice.
My advice is make the decision that’s right for you DURING labour. It’s a challenging process both physically and mentally so think long and hard about whether you’re the type of person who needs a cheerleader. After a break up and being left in such a difficult situation as a single mum to be I think it’s normal to have feelings of little worth, unlovable and not wanting to invest your trust in other people in case you get hurt again and feeling like a burden – I certainly did. But more often than not, a baby brings out the best in those around us and those who do love you will be forthcoming with help and support, some would even feel it a massive honour and privilege to be your birth partner. People I considered friends and acquaintances have now become our second family!
Now as a Midwife: With a personality disorder I hope you’re getting enhanced antenatal care – seeing the same midwife throughout and support from the local perinatal team in the psychiatry service as all the changes of hormones with pre-existing MH can put a spanner in the works and impact the effectiveness of meds or your need for them. If not then please ask your midwife at your next appointment what services and care plans will be in place for you. You should also be eligible for targeted health visiting and your health visitor should visit you while you’re still pregnant. Both will be able to offer advice about local groups, Mind charity have rolled out ‘Mindful Mums’ groups for pregnant and postnatal women. If you’re planning to breastfeed then feeding groups are open to pregnant women too. It’s really daunting to go along to a group, your MW or HV May be able to go with you but once you’re there you’ll be welcomed and then that opens up more support networks of other mums.
Good luck x25 February 2020 at 4:39 pm #37122
I’d like to echo JosiePanda’s really great advice: talk to your midwife to make sure you get all the help you need. Thanks for posting your question, many single parents have been in a similar situation and I hope you’ll continue to post here and get lots of support from other forum members.
Good luck and best wishes,