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Sleep Terrors Every Night About My Baby--PPD or Anxiety?

by Erin C
(North Dakota, USA)

I had my first child in the end of February and he is now 15 weeks old. About 3 weeks ago I started having a few night terrors a week. What happens is I wake up because I'm frantically groping the blankets searching for my baby that for whatever reason, I think is wrapped in the covers suffocating.

We have never done the co-sleeping thing except for occasionally in the mornings when I was breastfeeding (I stopped at 10 weeks. We have the highest-tech baby monitor that will sound an alarm if the baby stops breathing. I thought that would ease my mind to let me have peaceful nights, but now this has started.

The night terrors have gradually gotten worse and have escalated to multiple times a night. I woke up last night screaming at my dog, because I had this vision that he had my baby's leg ripped off and was chewing it up. I was screaming at my dog, and my husband woke me up by yelling my name and saying that our dog wasn't even on my side of the bed, he was on the floor by him. I woke up disoriented, panicky, and with a huge feeling of despair.

The dream of the baby being wrapped in the covers has now escalated to being that my husband is laying on top of the baby. I have tried desperately in my sleeping state to move him out of the way so that I can save my baby.

I have read that nightmares and night terrors are a sign of postpartum depression. I'm on the fence about whether or not I have it. One day I feel completely back to normal but there are many days where I still don't feel back to my "old self" -- however I blame that on sleep deprivation (baby is still waking once a night) and general anxiety about being a new mother.

Should I see my doctor?

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