The first step in helping your wife with postpartum depression (PPD) is to understand what it is. PPD is a form of clinical depression that can occur in the weeks or months following childbirth. It’s important to realize that PPD is not simply the “baby blues.” The symptoms of PPD are much more severe and can last for months, or even years if left untreated.
If you’re a husband who doesn’t understand postpartum depression or have no idea what it is – do keep reading on! In this article, we’ll be providing you with some tips to help you navigate the situation so you can be of more help to your partner as she goes through this challenging period.
What are the Symptoms of PPD?
While PPD can manifest in various ways, some common signs that your partner might have PPD include:
- Feeling overwhelmed or hopeless
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Excessive worrying about the baby’s health or development
- Hair fall or increased amount of hair loss
- Intense mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
- Loss of appetite
That said, it’s important to note that every woman experiences postpartum depression differently. Some women may only experience a few of the above symptoms while others may experience all of them.
If you or your partner is going through a period of intense hair fall, feel free to visit our blog on how to deal with postpartum hair loss.
What Causes PPD?
There is no single and identifiable cause of postpartum depression, as it is likely the result of varied physical and emotional factors afflicting a new mom. And while the exact causes of PPD remain unknown, there are several factors that can contribute to its development, including hormonal and changes in the body, broken sleep patterns leading to sleep deprivation, and bouts of anxiety and stress. So, if your wife or partner is suffering from PPD, it’s important to be supportive and understanding.
On the physical side, hormonal changes that occur after childbirth can play a role in the development of PPD. In the weeks after delivery, levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop sharply. This can lead to a chemical imbalance in the brain, which can trigger or be a cause for depression.
Additionally, many women do not get enough sleep during the first few months after childbirth. Sleep deprivation can also contribute to the development of PPD.
On the emotional side, adjusting to the demands of motherhood can be challenging. For many women, becoming a mother is an overwhelming experience. And again, every woman experiences PPD differently, so while some of these possible causes may serve as a reason for some new mommies, it might not be the case with others:
- Lack of sleep
- Constant demands of a newborn
- Changes in one’s body
- Fear of not being a good mother
- Feelings of isolation and loneliness
- Anxiety about the future
What Should You Do if You Think Your Partner Has PPD?
If you think your wife or partner is suffering from PPD, the first thing you should do is talk to her about it. It’s important that she knows she’s not alone and that you’re there to support her.
You can also offer to help out around the house more so she can get some much-needed rest. If she’s struggling to care for the baby, see if you can take on some of the child-rearing duties, even if it’s just for a short while.
It’s also a good idea to encourage her to see her doctor. PPD is a treatable condition, and the sooner it’s diagnosed, the better.
How Can You Support Your Wife with Postpartum Depression?
In addition to the above, there are some other things you can do to support your wife as she goes through PPD.
- Be a good listener. Your wife may not feel like talking, but it’s important to let her know that you’re there for her. Just being able to listen and offer a shoulder to cry on can be helpful.
- Offer practical help. If your wife is struggling with day-to-day tasks, offer to help out with household chores or childcare.
- Encourage her to get professional help. If your wife is showing signs of depression, encourage her to see a doctor or mental health professional. PPD is a mental health condition that is treatable, and the sooner she gets help, the faster she recovers.
- Take care of yourself. It’s important to look after your own mental and physical health while your wife is going through PPD. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.
- Be patient. Recovery from PPD can take time, so it’s important to be patient and understanding. Remember that your wife is not to blame for her illness, and that she will get better with time and treatment. Empathy goes a long way.
Acknowledge how PPD can be a very difficult and confusing time for both of you, so it’s more than crucial to be patient with your wife and try to understand what she’s going through.
Encourage her to get outside help if necessary. If her symptoms are severe, encourage her to seek professional help. This could be in the form of therapy, medication, or both.
Be gentle and make sure she’s taking care of herself. Self-care is important for anyone struggling with depression, but it’s especially crucial for new moms. Make sure she’s eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly – and all these things require care and communication, so be ready to become as communicative as possible.
Becoming a Better Husband to Your Wife with PPD
This is a very crucial time for both of you, and it’s more important than ever to be supportive and understanding. If your wife is struggling with postpartum depression, know that you are not alone. Many husbands find themselves in a similar situation.
As a husband (and a new dad), you have to be open to your wife or partner about what she’s going through, offer to help out around the house, and encourage her to seek professional help if necessary. By taking these steps, you can help your wife get through this tough time, and with the right support, she can make a full recovery.
Moringa-O2 provides herbal hair, scalp, and skin care products in the Philippines that can help with postpartum depression. If you are a husband or partner to someone suffering from PPD, and you notice your wife or partner’s thinning hair, don’t call her out on it as if she’s any less attractive. Instead, be a better husband or partner, ask her how she feels every day, and what can you do to make her life easier as she recovers from PPD.
Disclaimer: Moringa-O2, as a brand, is no mental healthcare and medical services provider, so it’s recommended that you always consult your doctor for any health-related concerns.