Many fathers, unfortunately, do not see postpartum depression (PPD) as a real issue. That is sad because PPD is an incredibly serious issue. Both the mother and the father are susceptible of falling into that deep hole called depression. It seems so odd that after a joyous occasion of bringing a baby into the world, depression can settle over the new baby’s home.
It is normal for the parents to experience sadness for days or weeks after giving birth. This dip in the mood for the mother is typically due to lighting-speed changes of hormones in her body. For the father, most experts do not understand why men encounter PPD. However, an argument could be made since testosterone drops in men during the PPD period this is a link to depression.
Know the warning signs
Some people outside of the realm of babies, mommies, daddies and PPD, just do not comprehend what PPD feels like and how it affects the family. Due to this, if you are a new mom or dad, family member, friend, co-worker, it is imperative to have a firm comprehension of the symptoms of PPD. It is extremely difficult to pick out the PPD symptoms. For that reason, know the signs before it happens. Here are a few indicators of PPD:
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness;
- Mood swings;
- Crying spells;
- Feeling overwhelmed;
- Unable to bond with the baby; and
- Loss of appetite.
The symptoms above need to be taken seriously. Help needs to be readily available. DO NOT treat her symptoms like they are nothing!
When the mother is not feeling well, ask her to describe what she is sensing. Many new moms do not want to admit they have such awful feelings at this wonderful time of her life. She will feel paranoid that others are judging her, saying she is not capable of raising a baby.
Support for the mother is as important as the air we breathe
Some triggers for PPD are overwhelming exhaustion, seclusion as well as lack of support. If the mother is the one stressed, help her to carry some of the load. On the other hand, if it is the father struggling, he needs to ask for help. Do not feel silly requesting help from your mom or the moth-in-law, even if it is to tackle a mountain of laundry. Just ask friends and family to help. It could be a meal prepared for the new parents, time to sleep without interruptions or washing the baby’s dishes.
A long road to recovery
There is no timeline on how long someone experiencing PPD will take to get back to normal. Pray to be patient, supportive, carrying and loving – even if your relationship is strained. If it is strained, pray and do what you can to release the tension.
When to seek professional help
If PPD is suspected, do not try to self-diagnose yourself or your partner. It is imperative to take this depression seriously and call a professional. PPD is something that no one should fight alone and without a doctor’s care.
Be ready with a hug and a shoulder, whatever they need
Most new parents get so wrapped up in the new baby that they completely ignore their health as well as their partner. At all cost, try not to focus solely on your baby to the point where you are like “Hey! Somebody else lives here too? Ohhhhh.” Keep communicating with your partner.
Take time for a wellness check. Find out how they are doing. Your partner will greatly appreciate this.
Call for Action
Have you experienced postpartum depression? What advise would you give? I would love to hear how you conquered this in your life. Also, give me some ideas for another PPD blog. Thanks! Email me at [email protected]