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25 Oct 2006

Solo children
Had a baby this year and am on medication for PND. Really struggled to cope and am only now am beginning to feel semi-sane again (baby is 8 months old). NEVER EVER EVER want to go through those early months again. So, am pretty much decided that he is going to be an only-kid.

My questions are:

- Will this put him at a social disadvantage? I've been berated by parents (and only-children) saying that it's a cruel fate for a kiddo. At the same time, I don't want to have another just to serve as a play-mate for #1.

- They say that you shouldn't take drastic action after a new baby, but I'm considering permanent birth control (sterilisation). Is it too soon to make this decision? I don't want to forget how I just couldn't cope and have a second one by accident.

I'd ordinarily not worry about the latter, but I'm in constant fear of getting pregnant again and conventional birth control doesn't reassure me sufficiently.

Is this absolute aversion to having a second baby (though I love my little guy to bits) something that I need to be concerned about or is it a reasonable decision?

The last thing that I want is for two years down the line to think that another baby would be a grand idea and add another child into the equation when I was almost suicidal with the first one. I am positive that the same thing will happen with the second (and add compound the problem). Or is this a self-fulfilling prophecy?

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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

It need nt put him at any disadvantage at all to be an only child --- they often turn out to be nice and particularly intelligent people. ( Anyone out there guessing that I am an only child ? :} ) Its not at all cruel, and with creches and school, they can have plenty of playmates, and also learn to be self-sufficient, which is also handy in life.
One should of course be cautious about making irreversible decisions, and sometimes a session or two of counselling can help to clarify one's thinking and to be sure one has considered all aspects of such a situation. It does sound as though you could be over-reacting to the PND --- there may be a higher than average risk of PND in a later pregnancy, but it is far from inevitable that it be repeated, and of course one could be vigilant, recognize it early, and start treatment early, too. Caution may be appropriate, but not aversion or obsession. You are risking the creatoin of a self-fulfilling prophecy --- maybe a spot of CBT would help balance this all ?
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