How can I shake the guilt of having postpartum depression the first year of my daughters life?

My question is… My daughter is eighteen months old, and the first year of her life was not an enjoyable experience due to having postnatal depression. It started by not bonding with her when she was in the womb. Everybody said to wait until you meet her, and then you’ll feel it, but I felt nothing towards her after labor. In the beginning, I was crying out of guilt only because I didn’t love her, but I think it escalated to me resenting her, and we had a horrible year. I wasn’t picking her up except to feed her or change her, and she pretty much just stayed on the playmat or in bed for the first year while I cried my eyes out all of the time. She did get some positive influences though by going to her dad’s every weekend, and he is great with her. Things did get better, and I got help. Now I’m doing a lot with and for her but six months on, and I still can’t shake that guilt. I can’t help feeling sad when people say she’s really clever for her age because I see it as she’s had to self soothe and build independence due to my neglect. I am constantly feeling like I’m never doing enough for her and that I’m never going to be good enough for her because of the pain I feel because of how badly I let her down at the beginning. I just want to know if it will ever go away because I am a good mum now, but it would be nice to say it and truly believe it.


You’re a strong mom! Don’t
Be too hard on yourself. Many mothers have gone what you went through. Just know you’re not alone.

I think you may need to talk to your doctor and have your medication tweaked. I’m not saying you need to be happy all the time but, reading this, I’m wondering if you’re not quite over the hump of the PPD.


You can’t change the past, you can only try your hardest to give her all the love you can and be the best mother you can be for her from now on. People make mistakes and things happen that you can’t control sometimes but showing your daughter how much you care is something you can do. She won’t remember the first year when she’s older, but she will remember how you treat her from a certain age. Just do your best and it will fall into place.


She’s your little girl and she loves you as much as you love her, you found help and got healed for , everyday embrace that second chance you got and try to move on, you are a strong woman

1 Like

I’m sure you’re doing much better than you think. :heart:

Well at the the end of it is quite obvious your are an amazing mum feeling all that guilt and wanting to make her happy , feeling you ain’t good enough or doing good enough it’s what all mums feel now means your doing great gal honestly! May of been hard in the begging "not feeling anything " but now your feeling all this definitely change of heart just means your doing a great job and an amazing mummy!


Listen, it wasn’t your fault. You had ppd…you can’t control that, it happens. You know what you did do? You got help! You got better! And you did that not only for yourself but for her. It takes so much to recognize,admit and accept that you have a problem and that you need help. A lot of people can’t get there. Give yourself credit where credit is due and give yourself grace. You are better now and you are doing better now. That’s amazing! Truly. Do not beat yourself up for something that was out of your control, instead pat yourself on the back for getting the help you needed and getting better and focus on the now. Don’t dwell on the past,you don’t live there anymore. You have many more years to make it up with your daughter, enjoy them. Hugs to you! You’re doing great.


It sounds like you are a single parent but honestly that doesn’t matter. Do not feel guilty for having a mental illness and getting help for it. Be proud of yourself for now and the future. I know the guilt but guilt won’t do either of you any good. Talk to someone about it. I had to seek counseling after my 2nd son was born due to serious depression. Always give yourself a break. She was not neglected by you, she was fed and cared for even if not cuddled or hugged much. Having a strong independent child is not a bad thing.

1 Like

I think you should look into cognitive behavioral therapy! They use it for many things, it’s an umbrella term that helps to treat everything mental health from ppd to bpd to addiction and everything in between. If you can’t afford or get into therapy, you can do it on your own just look it up. It’s basically your feelings are always there but you can control your thoughts and actions, only yours. Changing bad thoughts to good thoughts really helps. I’m simplifying but it also isn’t hard and can really change how you feel.

I know how hard it is, I had it with my 3rd child but you have got to let go of the guilt. Your little one loves you and I promise you will grow to have a strong bond. Sending prayers that you find peace soon and just enjoy your little one

Sending lots of love.

I didn’t have ppd but my depression and anxiety over being insignificant in my babies life and my partners meant I wasn’t the best mum I could be.

I was a good mum. And I absolutely adored him. Did all the right things but I would get confused about time a lot and lose my bearings meaning I would forget to do things. Or forget I’d already done them and do them again.

Or forget i went to do them and have to do them again

I am now a brilliant mum. I always was. But I just never was made to feel that way. I didn’t believe in myself enough.

Now I know I’m doing a great job at this. I know I have a great kid and we have the most amazing bond. People have tried to weaken it and trash it but he loves me far too much for that to happen

Parental guilt never goes away imo🤷‍♀️ They have been telling me for years and years to “get over” my daughter being molested but neither my husband, who is her father, or I really can totally let it go. The advice I will give you is not to let that guilt rule your parenting decisions because we did and now we’re working even harder and at a much older age to break some pretty bad habits, behaviors and routines. I finally just had to come to terms with the fact that no matter what I did in the past, now, today, I am giving parenting my girls everything I have asked striving to be better all the time! It took years and years of counseling, psychiatrists, groups and other different strategies to get us where we are today though. We cannot change the past and a whole lot of even the present, so just try to focus on what you CAN do and change and 1 day you won’t even realize it but you will feel better🤷‍♀️ That’s the best I’ve got sweetie so good luck to you!

Don’t b so hard on urself. Ur there 4 her now n that’s what’s important. Stop feeling guilty n enjoy ur baby!!

1 Like

I would say individual therapy so you can process the guilt and put it behind you. I had post partum psychosis and it was horrible. I had a ton of guilt and I had individual therapy for 6 to 8 months after and it really helped. Glad you are doing well now.

You did what you needed to do…get help. I bet the next year’s will be more important than that first year in her development. Many kids have bad starts and do great. Don’t blame yourself for a chemical reaction. Salute yourself for getting help!!! You did it!!

She forgives you and she loves you :heart:

1 Like

There’s nothing that you can change from the past. You have to truly forgive yourself for what happened. Focus on the now, which you’re doing an amazing job already. Although it’s painful to remember the past (& inevitable) bring yourself back to the present time and value these moments. Give yourself the credit you deserve. You got help and you’re in good place now. Enjoy her to the fullest.

Hopefully you told your doctor and he put you on zoloft/sertraline

If it’s ppd go to a doctor if you haven’t already! Maybe seeing a councillor might help too

It wasnt your fault. You did get help. And the fact you worry about it and feel guilty shows you are a good mom now. Keep going forward stop looking back. The future can be as good as you let it be and the past cant be changed.

1 Like

You need to believe in yourself, as mothers we feel a lot of guilt. Over the smallest things. I would tell you to stop feeling guilty but that is like telling trees to stop producing oxygen. The guilt will ease, but don’t buy her love and affection with gifts, keep spending time with her. Post and Anti natal depression causes so much angst during the time you experience it that you can’t shake the guilt ever. I was this way with my daughter. Once I got myself seen to I slowly got those loving feelings back for her. Unfortunately my daughter developed separation anxiety from my lack of attention. She is now 7, I only feel guilty occasionally but then I remember how far we both have come. She is bright, caring, has an amazing group of friends, and intelligent. Try to enjoy the bonding moments you have now with her and try to not live in the past

I feel you cause I was there not too long ago. My son is almost a year and I’m finally bonding with him. I feel so horribly guilty for the feelings I had those first 11 months. But something just…changed.
Remember that PP is normal, but not healthy. Guilt is a normal feeling but not healthy either. Give yourself a break momma, more of us go thru this than we know. And it’s the part no one wants to talk about because you’re shamed into feeling like a bad momma. And lord that’s not it at all, in the least.
Usually PP will start to wane by 12-18m after, as hormones start to regulate to prepregnancy levels again. Less fluctuations.

She will never remember that first year and you can’t change the past so all you can do is leave it in the past and move on making good memories from here on out. Don’t let the guilt rule how you parent either. Let it go and be the mom she needs now.

1 Like

Start showing her the love you didn’t show her, you can’t change what you did, you can only change what you will do.

She will be fine you’re not the first mother this had this happen nor will you be the last. Some of us will just Bond more with our children when they get older and that’s fine. Just continue working towards creating positive memories

Use that as motivation to be the best mom you can be for her now from this day forward. Give her all the love and affection and physical comfort that you can. Be there for her. Let her be comfortable around you. When she gets older talk to her about things that other moms are afraid to talk to their daughters about. Let her trust you and don’t let her down. You can make up for that time you feel like you’ve lost. Just remember that she didn’t ask to be born and it’s your job to give her the best life absolutely possible. I’m 6 months postpartum and I have depression bad myself. But mine is the complete opposite from yours. I feel so guilty for having my baby when I knew that we weren’t ready. I didn’t want to become a mom at all. I didn’t bond with him until he was a month old. And I feel so guilty for that and I think it makes me a better mom. It makes me love him more and hold him more and stops me from getting frustrated with him. He didn’t ask for this life. I vow to show him nothing but love

You need to forgive yourself. She dont remember it, and you love her now. That’s all that matters.

Ease up on yourself. Only you know the reason for the depression.
Buy Pat yourself on the back as you realized and have done something about it.
Remember you can not change the past but you can Direct the future ahead of you.
Keep up the good work mommy, let yourself be happy and love ur baby.
This is my opion.

I never had that but can’t judge so I would say it’s time for you to go out now and teach any woman having kids that this can happen and there’s help & have a good circle of people that are there to really help …baby’s are Soo precious and a hard job as well …I use to hear as a kid it take a clan to raise your baby like cave man days but as I got older I realize it’s true it helps for sure for everyone to help if they can …God Bless You Amen

You are getting all of my prayers. At the time I am there with you but for different reasons. So I get it. You are in my prayers and I am happy you are getting help. Keep the help up and just love her and enjoy her now. :two_hearts:

Stop wasting your energy on guilt. It’s behind you and you were brave enough to admit it. She won’t remember that year. You have right now to give her an awesome childhood and life. There’s a reason you went through that hell. I’m sure it’s hard to accept that. Just do what’s best for her from here on out. You sound like a great mom. Your mind was taken hostage but, you survived and now you’re better. You got this. Kids are resilient. She won’t care about yesterday if today is awesome.

1 Like

She has a life because of you furthermore you have gotten help and love your child. Release your guilt to enjoy your little miracle that feeling serves no one.

1 Like

I say stop beating yourself up. Yes you know you should have done better. But she does not know any of that she knows you are her mom an you love her…
pray an ask God to guide you an continue to be a good mom

Girlfriend! Chin up! You did the most amazing thing for that baby you could, you got help! Postpartum depression is a real, big, hard thing to deal with. She won’t remember when you cried while she cried. Just be honest stay on top of the situation.


Postpartum is a real thing. More mothers suffer than you know. You were sick, and to hold that against yourself is only going to hold you back from being the best mom you can be. Nobody is blaming you, but you. The beautiful thing about children, is that we get to mess up, and they love us all the same. She doesn’t know why you acted like that, or that it wasn’t normal. She wasn’t aware that she needed to be held constantly. She knows her needs were met. She was not harmed. Her cognitive ability as an infant has shielded her from everything you think you did wrong. But you’ve done nothing wrong. You had a child and the chemical reaction in your body didn’t accept that. You’re her Momma, and she knows that. Nothing can take that from you, except for you. It takes a strong person to admit all this to a place known for chewing people up and spitting them out. That is your first step to becoming someone your little girl can look up to. Don’t beat yourself up. Just hold her a little longer each night. :heart:

1 Like

If God can forgive murderers, druggies and many others don’t you think it’s time to forgive yourself,cause that’s when TRUE healing begins!!! You are great,love that child with all you got and show that everyone has down times but you get help,forgive and go again!!!:clap::clap::clap::clap::pray::pray::pray::pray:

1 Like

First off… you were always a good mom. Having baby blues does not make you a bad mom. You kept her safe, fed, changed, clean, when you didn’t feel like it. You powered through and stuck it out. That is brave. Second, she will not remember, nor will she ever think that you were a bad mom that first year. Third, I am so proud of you for getting help and remaining self aware. A lot of people deny deny deny and you havent done that. You have acknowledged, accepted, and moved through it. That is an awesome accomplishment.


You are a good mom you realized you needed help and got help for it. Just because you didn’t hold her all the time doesnt make you a bad mom.

You have to forgive yourself by understanding the human condition and intelligently moving on past our weaknesses. Motherhood is every emotion wrapped in a tight ball that slowly unravels as we age. I’m 62 and Still have guilty feelings of where I failed my 33 year old daughter. But I know I did the best I could. But I look at her now, mothering her own kids with strength and patience and love, AND bad days, screaming, crying and begging for help. It’s a new ball of emotions slowly unraveling. Forgive yourself my Dear. Allow yourself to feel God’s GRACE.

I felt like that after my son was born. I ended up having a c-section and for some reason they didn’t bring him to me until the next day. And when I finally did hold him I felt no love. I might as well have been holding another baby. Then I got the postpartum depression. I couldn’t finish a sentence without crying. But medicine did help and my mom was always willing to lend a hand. It will get better for you!

I thought of something else.
It’s a weird comparison, but you can take a neglected animal, and adopt it. It doesn’t trust you, know you, or obey your requests. And start showing love, comfort, and time and you will change everything about that dog. Your daughter is already healed from your depression like that little animal, and is responding to your love. You have to put it behind you. She has!!