‘Your wife is dealing with postpartum depression’. Yes, if you are someone who had no idea that something like postpartum depression exists, not being able to wrap your head around it is totally normal.
Accepting your partner’s diagnosis is the first and most important thing you can do in helping your partner with postpartum depression. Know that postpartum depression is real and will not fade away on its own. But with your little support and patience, things can get better.
Here are a few tips that you can follow for helping your partner with postpartum depression.
1. Educate yourself
While being a father is something you prepped for the whole 9 months, conditions like postpartum depression are something no one is prepared for. So, what can you do? Learn about it. From reading the shared experiences on google to consulting your doctor to dive deeper into the condition, knowing about it will help you to understand your partner’s situation in a better way.
To know all about Postpartum depression, read- Postpartum depression: Meaning, Causes and Symptoms
2. Do not say-‘It’s Normal for New Mothers’
Postpartum depression is anything but normal.
The last thing your partner wants from you right now is you telling them things like-‘You will get over it’ or ‘It’s not a big of a deal’. Validate their feelings and let them know you are here for them.
3. Help them with the household chores
Understand that newborns require constant care, and from managing their breastfeeding schedule to not being able to sleep well, your partner already has too much on their plate. And with postpartum depression, doing these things might seem extremely overwhelming to them.
How can you help?
Share the load equally. Do not give up on baby tasks if you cannot figure them out. Instead, learn and practice. Lending help to your partner can go a long way in helping them recover speedily.
-Learn to change the baby’s diaper
-Look after the baby while your wife’s asleep
-Wash/sterilise the baby utensils(as it needs to be cleaned after every use)
4. Encourage your partner to seek help
Know that the symptoms underlying postpartum depression don’t fade away on their own, but with frequent professional counselling sessions and medication, the condition is totally treatable. Note that treating a mental health condition is as important as a physical illness, and it should be undertaken by none other than a certified professional.
5. Be Patient
Yes, it won’t be easy and might even seem to be burdening at times but remember, if you deal with it patiently, it won’t last long either. At times, when things feel difficult to manage, ask a family member for help. Do make sure to ask your partner before doing so. This way, you can get to spend more time with your partner as in such conditions, all your partner might want is your support and affection.
Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that affects some women after childbirth. Symptoms include- frequent crying spells, mood changes, loss of appetite etc. If you think your partner might be dealing with it, encourage them to get a professional diagnosis and seek help if required. In such situations, your partner might turn to you for help and even if they don’t, be there for them in every possible way. However, do make sure to respect their boundaries and give them space if they want it. A little help and support can go a long way in helping them recover from it.