information for partners
Know the signs
Most new moms experience a change in their mental health after delivery. It is normal for Mama to have some "baby blues" for up to 3 weeks after delivery. She may be weepy, short tempered, forgetful and overwhelmed. Your job is to support her to bond with the baby by offering to give her a break, letting her know that you are here for her and making sure she is getting healthy food, fresh air and some sleep.
It may be Postpartum Depression or Anxiety if she is experiencing any of these symptoms....
- She is weepy and feels overwhelmed for longer than 3 weeks after delivery
- She feels that her symptoms are unbearable
- She is unable to sleep even though she is exhausted
- She wants to sleep all the time or is sleeping more than usual
- She is crying continuously
- She doesn't seem to enjoy your baby and doesn't want to spend time with him or her
- She is anxious or has intrusive thoughts about the baby being harmed
- She feels rage or extreme anger
- She withdraws from activities she normally enjoys
- She tells you she just doesn't feel like herself or you sense in your gut that something is wrong
Help her get support
Once a mom knows that something just isn't right it can be hard to ask for help. She might feel embarrassed or that she will be judged for sharing her experience. You can help by telling her it is NOT her fault and many new moms feel just like she does.
You can offer to find a resource for her by either reaching out to the Postpartum Support International warm line at 800-944-4773, someone will get back to you within 24 hours. You can also visit www.psychologytoday.com to search for a therapist in your area.
If you believe that she might be in danger of harming herself, you or the baby you should call 911 immediately or go to your local emergency room.
Take care of yourself too
Partners also can experience depression after having a baby. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and being mindful of your feelings. Do not wait to ask for help, your babies health depends on it.
Another great resource offered by Postpartum Support International is the chat with an expert monthly call for dads. You can get support and ask questions about how to support your partner and yourself. Click here for more information.