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For Dads & Dads to be

Postpartum Depression Information for Dads

Does she not seem like herself? Is she withdrawn, irritable or prone to frequent crying? If you and your partner have recently had a new baby, you may be wondering how she is doing if she doesn't really seem like herself. Is she withdrawn, irritable or prone to frequent crying? Is she overwhelmed and unable to cope? Are you worried about her?

The person you love may be suffering from Postpartum Depression (PPD) and she needs your help. It is important that your partner receive treatment, however, it is equally important that as her partner, you also receive support because it is hard to witness the woman you love going through something you never would have imagined. You ask yourself, "where is the woman I fell in love with?" and more importantly "will she ever come back?" And the answer is, yes, with treatment and support for both of you, PPD is 100% treatable.

Some Important Information to Remember

  • Postpartum Depression affects 20% - 30% of all postpartum women.
  • Women are most likely to experience an emotional illness following the birth of a baby than at any other time in their life.
  • It is a real illness. PPD is a clinical depression that can occur any time during the first year postpartum.
  • If your partner has been diagnosed with PPD, it is very important for you to be informed and to be a part of her treatment.
  • PPD is nobody's fault. It is not your fault; it is not your partner's fault.
  • This did not happen because your wife is a bad mother or doesn't love you or the baby enough and she cannot "snap out of it."
  • This is not fair. This is not what you expected and it is sad that it is happening.
  • Try to reassure your partner that there is nothing she has done to make this happen and you will stand by her.
  • She will get better and return to her "normal" self. Although it will take some time for your partner to recover, the more supportive you are of her treatment, the smoother her recovery will be.

Although you may feel helpless and out of control, there are many things you can do to help.

What to say...

"I know you feel terrible."
"This is not your fault."
"You will get better."
"You are a good mom even when you feel terrible."
"Our baby will be fine."
"I know you are doing the best you can."
"I love you and I am here beside you through this, I am not going anywhere."

What you can do...

  • Change diapers, play with the baby, help soothe the baby during fussy times
  • Keep track and help with feedings
  • Help with housework or find others who can help
  • Make sure she is eating nourishing meals, encourage friends and family to bring food
  • If there are other children, help care for them
  • Reassure your other children that mommy will be okay
  • Listen to your partner
  • Support your partner to get help
  • Attend therapy sessions with her to become informed about her treatment and recovery

Postpartum Depression is an illness that affects the entire family.

Mary Joan Brinson MSW Certified EFT Therapist

A Note For Dads: Could You Be Depressed? Find out here.

I can help you and your partner feel better.

Call 613-848-3683 for a free telephone consultation.