Welcoming a new baby into the family is one of the most beautiful, yet most difficult, human experiences possible. And for many women, this can spiral into postpartum depression (PPD).
It’s very hard to see your partner and the mother of your child struggle with PPD. Use this simple guide to help you navigate this new phase of your life while offering support to a partner with PPD.
Be Emotionally and Physically Available
The best thing you can do for a partner with PPD is simply be there.
While it is impossible to be present 24/7, try to make time for whatever assistance your partner needs. For example, let your partner sleep in for a few days. Or, you can take the task of checking when the baby cries in the middle of the night.
Moreover, try to be at home more often. Either going home early or working from home, just to be around your partner. Doing so will help prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness.
It doesn’t have to be anything in particular. Sit together quietly while the baby naps. Ask them how their day is. The little things can really go a long way.
Let Your Partner Enjoy Some “Me Time”
Identity crisis is one of the most common postnatal depression symptoms. Due to a change of environment and additional responsibilities, a parent may feel like they’re losing their old selves.
To support a partner going through this crisis, find ways to give them a “me time”. Encourage them to go out with their family or friends for dinner or casual catching up every now and then. Encourage them to spend time on their hobbies, like reading a book, playing video games, or arts and crafts.
Lighten Your Partner’s Load
New parents, especially mothers, often feel the need to be perfect. This can quickly lead to overworking and being too hard on themselves, which in turn worsens PPD. Help your partner get out of this mental hole by voluntarily taking over tasks.
There will be times when your partner will find it difficult to ask for help, causing frustration and stress. So, try to do things without your partner asking. For example, you can do the groceries. Take the baby with you, too, so your partner can enjoy a well-deserved nap.
Another thing you can do is to help your partner with household chores. Let your partner know that you have free hands to help around the house. Or, you can find tasks where you can step in.
Reassure Your Partner
People suffering from postnatal depression in the UK and worldwide also experience overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. Sometimes, a little reassurance keeps these feelings at bay.
Try to reassure your partner by pointing out specific things. For example, comment on their perseverance during tough times or express admiration on how they gracefully handle taking care of the baby. Give them compliments and remind them that they are enough.
Listening Support for PPD
Dealing with postpartum depression is never easy for both sufferer and caregiver. Making it harder is the fact that individuals with PPD find it hard to confide even in their loved ones.
When things get overwhelming, remind them that support is only one call away. Talking for Therapy’s advisors are trained to actively listen no matter what you’re going through. Whether it’s PPD, depression, emotional distress, or just a bad day, we are here for your 24/7. Book an appointment today.