You just gave birth—congratulations!
But what if, instead of feeling the delight and excitement that are supposed to come with this new stage in your life, you find yourself feeling weary? This is often what postpartum depression feels like.
If your spouse is dealing with postpartum depression, it can be tough to know how to best support them. You may feel helpless and unsure of what to do. The good news is that there are things you can do to help your partner through this challenging time.
Postpartum depression is a type of mood disorder that can affect both men and women after childbirth. Symptoms can include but are not limited to: feeling overwhelmed, not wanting to look at your newborn, and losing interest in activities you once enjoyed.
Why is it hard to overcome?
Postpartum depression is hard to overcome because it can make you feel like you’re all alone in the world. You may feel like you’re not good enough, that you’re a terrible mom or dad, that you’re not cut out for this.
All of those negative thoughts can be hard to shake off. But remember that you’re not alone. There are other parents out there who are going through the same thing. You can get better, and you can overcome this.
Warning signs that your partner may be struggling
So, what are some warning signs that your partner may be struggling with postpartum depression? Well, here are a few things to watch out for:
- Excessive crying
- Trouble sleeping or eating
- Changes in mood or personality
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or worthlessness
If you notice any of these signs, talk to your partner and seek help. Postpartum depression can be treated, and early diagnosis is key to a successful recovery.
How you can support your partner through postpartum depression
You want to do everything you can to support your partner through postpartum depression. Here are a few ideas:
- Don’t judge them. Postpartum depression is a real condition, and it’s not something your partner is choosing or doing on purpose. They need your support, not your judgment.
- Talk to them about how they’re feeling. This can be tough, but they must know they’re not unaided. Let them know that you’re willing to listen to anything they want to talk about.
- Offer to help with anything they need. If they’re feeling overwhelmed, offer to take care of the baby while they take a weekend trip away, or make them a meal. Anything you can do to lighten their load will certainly be appreciated.
Postpartum depression is a tricky experience for both the individual and their partner. However, with patience, support and understanding, it can be overcome. Here are a few ways you can help your partner through postpartum depression symptoms: offer emotional support, avoid criticizing or shaming them, and seek professional help if needed. The road to recovery can be difficult, but as a couple, it can be done.