Pregnancy is a life-changing moment in anybody’s life. As a father, you experience the joy of holding a little one in your arms and guiding them through their life. Pregnancy is one of the happiest moments in a parent’s life.
However, as much as it brings joy, we know it can take a huge toll on a woman’s body. Consequently, your wife may go through several unpleasant phases that would have to do with several changes in her body. Her estrogen level may fall, her metabolism may slow down, she may lose stamina, experience body aches, and hairfall, and may also feel constipated. In a nutshell, there are several unpleasant after-effects a woman’s body might experience after pregnancy.
Well, these are only physical changes, but what about the changes related to mental health? Only seldom is it talked about. Did you know about 22% of mothers in India suffer from postpartum depression? Chances are very high that your wife may have the same. But how do you recognize postpartum depression? Here are a few indicators you have to keep an eye out for.
Signs of postpartum depression
- Mood swings and bad mood
- Excessive crying
- Difficulty bonding with the baby
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Loss of appetite or unusual overeating
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Loss of energy and fatigue
- Reduced interest in activities enjoyed in the first place
- The fear of not being a good mother
- Indecisiveness and lack of focus
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Self-harming thoughts or thoughts related to death
Remember, it is essential to recognize the symptoms. It can be embarrassing for her to admit it – so watch out for the symptoms, and don’t rely on her answer if you strongly feel she is suffering from postpartum depression. As a supportive husband who loves her wife in her thick and thin, it’s your job to help your wife cope with postpartum depression.
We’ll be telling you how in this article.
Ways to deal with postpartum depression
Be available for your partner
Many women suffering from postpartum depression may experience loneliness; just having someone around can help in this situation. So, it’s important to be there in the picture if your goal is to help your wife deal with postpartum depression.
Now this might be difficult if you have a 9 to 5, but you can try if you can opt for work from home or use your paternity leave. If these two things are not the options, maybe you could go in late or come in a little early. You can also ask a friend of yours to help if your job is making it extremely difficult to be available as long as you should.
Give your wife some me-time
As much as it is important to be there for your wife, it is equally important to give her space. Sometimes, the last thing your wife would want is for you to shadow her all the time. It can get annoying, and she can get irritated.
So, to keep things simple, the key here is to strike a balance. Let her have her me-time and be present when she needs you at the same time. Be around her, give her a hug, cuddle her, but don’t bug her when she doesn’t need your presence. Don’t force her to talk about what she is feeling. Give her space.
Pamper your partner
Knowing that someone is there for you can be reassuring. You can do so by pampering her. Hug her, cuddle her, shower her with her gifts, or the food that she likes – say nice things to her.
In case your wife is struggling with low appetite, or not finding time to consume a healthy diet, you can probably feed her. Healthy eating habits can make your partner feel good. Ergo, find little healthy ways to pamper her and tell her that you care.
Give her reassurance
It is very common for a new mother to feel that she is not doing a good job as a mother. It is one of the symptoms of postpartum depression.
If your wife is experiencing the same, you can offer her reassurance. You can tell her she is doing good, and it’s just that she is afraid. It takes time to adapt to motherhood – but eventually, you learn. Tell her the same. You can even give her examples, little instances, wherein she did well as a mother. You can also tell her that self-doubt is also a sign that she is doing good.
Don’t give up, hang in there
As difficult as it can be for your wife to accept and deal with postpartum depression, it can be challenging for you as well – to help your wife cope with it. You may give your best shot, but in the end, see things falling apart for both of you.
This is when and where you have to be patient. It is possible that you might run into fights with her, and feel you have had enough. However, you have to remember, these are the testing times for both of you. So, be patient, don’t give up, and keep hanging in there.
Postpartum depression is difficult to deal with – both for your wife and you. You can try as best as you can and for as long as you can. But when everything fails, you have to take the help of a professional. A professional would be the expert who can effectively help your partner deal with postpartum depression. It is very likely that your wife may not be feeling comfortable talking to you about her condition out of guilt or shame; a professional, in this case as well, can be of help.