How To Help Dads Overcome Postpartum Depression
When you’re down, your husband may be the last person you want to see (especially when you realise he is partly to be blamed for the way you’re feeling). At the same time, you might be only feeling down when you see your husband.
There seems to be a strange link between husbands and postpartum depression (PPD). But can husbands suffer from postpartum depression too?
Husbands need support too. That’s right!
This is a transitional period for him as well. After all he’s just become a proud papa and how dampening would it be for him to not have anyone to pass out cigars to?
Most times, husbands are forgotten in the wonderful period of a baby’s birth as everyone fusses over the new mother. Beautiful gifts lined up in the hall for mother and baby, congratulatory hampers and flowers all addressed to the new mom, etc can make a new father feel pretty left out. He may not have squeezed the child out of him but he did do his part by planting it there successfully.
Here are some fun and easy ways to include Dad in the process:
1. Responsibility – Give him nappy duty or if you’re bottle-feeding let him be in charge of one of the night feeds. Many new mothers are quick to dismiss such tasks as saying the new fathers are not cooperative for such things. However, that’s where the mistake lies. Most new fathers will be quick to tell you they are never asked in the first place.
Yes ladies, sometimes men just wait to be asked. But they may appreciate it loads when you do ask rather than just write them off with your beliefs. Make him feel important and proud, even if you have to ask him to do something that he himself should offer doing.
2. Couple time – It is important to set aside some time just for you and your husband. Do fun things. Take a walk, engage in meaningless banter and just enjoy the time with him. It doesn’t have to be three or four hours long. Even sharing 15 minutes over a jigsaw puzzle would do wonders for the relationship.
3. Date night – When things have settled a little at home, do something fun. Pretend you are both teenagers and on your first date. This is extremely fun and you may even see your partner in a new light.
Pick a nice restaurant that has good ambience and enjoy each other’s company for the night. Perhaps extend the date by catching a movie or a play and take your mind off the changes that may be overwhelming to you.
4. Don’t leave hubby in the dark. Talk to him about how you feel. Communication is extremely important. Husbands, as adorable as they are, cannot read minds.
If you’re feeling cranky or feel like running away from everything, don’t expect them to be able to know. Watching you suffer in silence will just make them feel worse and perhaps even depressive as they juggle the new role of daddy with the role of being a good husband.