Help for Partners
Having a new baby is a big adjustment, and partners are often overlooked. You are so important to the relationship with this baby and with your partner!
Because you may also be sleep deprived, it's very important that you're taking good care of yourself. Work out a plan with your partner so that you were both getting as much sleep as possible. Consider contacting close friends, family members or a postpartum Doula to help with some of the night shifts, so that you and your partner can get extra rest. Make sure you are eating well and drinking enough water.
Research shows that up to 10% of the dads can also develop postpartum depression. Most people are not aware of this. If you notice any of the following signs, consider getting some extra support for yourself:
If any of these changes last for longer than two weeks, it's important that you get some extra support. Confide in a close friend or family member, use the resource list for therapist referral, or find a dad support group in your area. You may also consider going to your family doctor or psychiatrist for a medication consultation.
If you have any thoughts of harming yourself or others, it's important that you reach out for support. Call a crisis hotline, 911, or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room.
If you notice that your partner is struggling, you can help by encouraging her to take care of herself, get rest, talk about her feelings, and offer to take over more of the usual household obligations. Consider calling friends or family members and asking them to bring over some meals or come help out with housework. Ask your partner what would be helpful for her.
If you notice her struggling for longer than a period of two weeks, or if she shares with you that she is not able to sleep, seems overly irritable, or talks about hurting herself or the baby, this should be taken very seriously. You can help by using the PPSM resource list to get her connected with a therapist, and call her OB/GYN to let him or her know that your partner is having a difficult time. You can also call the PPSM helpline for more resources, and to be paired with a peer volunteer who can give you and your partner extra support.