How to help a man with postpartum depression
Men get depressed in the first year postpartum, too. Here, counselor and dad Craig Mullins shares his own story of postpartum depression, and how he now works to help other men get through it at his Colorado counseling practice. We were so excited to be pregnant. Our friends and families showered us with congratulatory gestures and gifts beyond expectations. It was exciting and I was proud. In all the hundreds of supportive comments only one cautioned us of the realities of how hard parenting a newborn can be … only one, and she was cutoff mid-sentence as she was scolded for speaking such words.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Postpartum psychosis: A mother’s story - BBC Tomorrow's World
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Postpartum DepressionContent:
- Do You Have PPND?
- Yes, Postpartum Depression in Men Is Very Real
- 7 Ways to Cope with Postpartum Depression
- Signs of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety in Men
- How to Spot Signs of Male Postpartum Depression in New Dads
- Postpartum Depression and the Baby Blues
- Why We Need to Talk More About Male Postpartum Depression
- Everything You Need to Know About Postpartum Depression
- What Is Men’s Postpartum Depression or PPND?
- Postpartum Depression in Men
Do You Have PPND?
In fact, mild depression and mood swings are so common in new mothers that it has its own name: the baby blues. The majority of women experience at least some symptoms of the baby blues immediately after childbirth. You might feel more tearful, overwhelmed, and emotionally fragile. Generally, this will start within the first couple of days after delivery, peak around one week, and taper off by the end of the second week postpartum.
In the beginning, postpartum depression can look like the normal baby blues. In fact, postpartum depression and the baby blues share many symptoms, including mood swings, crying jags, sadness, insomnia, and irritability.
The difference is that with postpartum depression, the symptoms are more severe such as suicidal thoughts or an inability to care for your newborn and longer lasting. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is a screening tool designed to detect postpartum depression. Follow the instructions carefully. A score greater than 13 suggests the need for a more thorough assessment because you could have postpartum depression.
A history of non-pregnancy related depression or a family history of mood disturbances is also a risk factor. Others include social stressors, such as a lack of emotional support, an abusive relationship, and financial uncertainty.
Risk is also significantly increased in women who discontinue medications abruptly for purposes of pregnancy. Postpartum psychosis is a rare, but extremely serious disorder that can develop after childbirth, characterized by loss of contact with reality.
Because of the high risk for suicide or infanticide, hospitalization is usually required to keep the mother and the baby safe. Postpartum psychosis develops suddenly, usually within the first two weeks after delivery, and sometimes within 48 hours.
Symptoms include:. The emotional bonding process between mother and child, known as attachment , is the most important task of infancy.
The success of this wordless relationship enables a child to feel secure enough to develop fully, and affects how he or she will interact, communicate, and form relationships throughout life. When your baby cries, you quickly soothe him or her. If your baby laughs or smiles, you respond in kind.
In essence, you and your child are in synch. Postpartum depression can interrupt this bonding. Depressed mothers can be loving and attentive at times, but at other times may react negatively or not respond at all. Mothers with postpartum depression tend to interact less with their babies, and are less likely to breastfeed, play with, and read to their children.
They may also be inconsistent in the way they care for their newborns. However, learning to bond with your baby not only benefits your child, it also benefits you by releasing endorphins that make you feel happier and more confident as a mom. Our human brains are primed for this kind of nonverbal emotional connection that creates so much pleasure for you and your baby.
Human beings are social. Positive social contact relieves stress faster and more efficiently than any other means of stress reduction. Historically and from an evolutionary perspective, new mothers received help from those around them when caring for themselves and their infants after childbirth.
Here are some ideas for connecting to others:. Make your relationships a priority. Isolating yourself will only make your situation feel even bleaker, so make your adult relationships a priority. In addition to the practical help your friends and family can provide, they can also serve as a much-needed emotional outlet.
Be a joiner. Even if you have supportive friends, you may want to consider seeking out other women who are dealing with the same transition into motherhood.
Good places to meet new moms include support groups for new parents or organizations such as Mommy and Me. Ask your pediatrician for other resources in your neighborhood. One of the best things you can do to relieve or avoid postpartum depression is to take care of yourself. Simple lifestyle changes can go a long way towards helping you feel like yourself again. Skip the housework — Make yourself and your baby the priority. Ease back into exercise.
Studies show that exercise may be just as effective as medication when it comes to treating depression, so the sooner you get back up and moving, the better. No need to overdo it: a minute walk each day will work wonders. Stretching exercises such as those found in yoga have shown to be especially effective. Practice mindfulness meditation. Research supports the effectiveness of mindfulness for making you feel calmer and more energized. It can also help you to become more aware of what you need and what you feel.
Do what you can to get plenty of rest—from enlisting the help of your partner or family members to catching naps when you can.
Set aside quality time for yourself to relax and take a break from your mom duties. Find small ways to pamper yourself, like taking a bubble bath, savoring a hot cup of tea, or lighting scented candles. Get a massage. Make meals a priority.
What you eat has an impact on mood, as well as the quality of your breast milk, so do your best to establish healthy eating habits. Get out in the sunshine. Sunlight lifts your mood, so try to get at least 10 to 15 minutes of sun per day.
More than half of all divorces take place after the birth of a child. For many men and women, the relationship with their partner is their primary source of emotional expression and social connection. The demands and needs of a new baby can get in the way and fracture this relationship unless couples put some time, energy, and thought into preserving their bond. The stress of sleepless nights and caretaking responsibilities can leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
Keep the lines of communication open. Many things change following the birth of a baby, including roles and expectations. For many couples, a key source of strain is the post-baby division of household and childcare responsibilities. Carve out couple time. Even spending 15 or 20 minutes together—undistracted and focused on each other— can make a big difference in your feelings of closeness.
Individual therapy or marriage counseling — A good therapist can help you successfully deal with the adjustments of motherhood. If you are experiencing marital difficulties or are feeling unsupported at home, marriage counseling can be very beneficial. Antidepressants — For cases of postpartum depression where your ability to function adequately for yourself or your baby is compromised, antidepressants may be an option.
However, medication should be closely monitored by a physician and has shown to be more effective when accompanied by psychotherapy. Hormone therapy — Estrogen replacement therapy sometimes helps with postpartum depression. Estrogen is often used in combination with an antidepressant. There are risks that go along with hormone therapy, so be sure to talk to your doctor about what is best—and safest—for you. If your loved one is experiencing postpartum depression, the best thing you can do is to offer support.
Give her a break from her childcare duties, provide a listening ear, and be patient and understanding. You also need to take care of yourself. Dealing with the needs of a new baby is hard for the partner as well as the mother. And if your significant other is depressed, you are dealing with two major stressors.
Encourage her to talk about her feelings. Listen to her without judging her or offering solutions. Instead of trying to fix things, simply be there for her to lean on.
Offer help around the house. Chip in with the housework and childcare responsibilities. Make sure she takes time for herself. Rest and relaxation are important. Encourage her to take breaks, hire a babysitter, or schedule some date nights. Go for a walk with her. Help her by making walks a daily ritual for the two of you. Postpartum Depression — Difference between the baby blues, postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis.
The Regents of the University of California. Baby blues or beyond? Recognizing postpartum depression — Diagnosing postpartum depression, the risk factors, and treatment options. In the U. In other countries : Find Local Support and Help.
Authors: Melinda Smith, M. Reviewed by Anna Glezer, M. Last updated: October Anna Glezer, M. She is the founder of Mind Body Pregnancy.
Yes, Postpartum Depression in Men Is Very Real
New moms can suffer from an array of perinatal disorders, but male postpartum depression is also very real, and can leave a family struggling. Jenna Berendzen, ARNP , UnityPoint Health provides a unique perspective—not only does she have specialized training in postpartum depression PPD , she and her husband lived through it after the birth of their first son. She explains male postpartum depression symptoms, an easy way to approach a new dad who might be struggling and the single biggest risk factor, which leaves men 50 percent more vulnerable to paternal postpartum depression. Male postpartum depression is also known as paternal postnatal depression PPND.
When it comes to postpartum depression, a spouse can do a lot to support their partner. It may not be easy, and it may not be pleasant, but a spouse can help their partner overcome - or at least live with postpartum depression and anxiety. We asked Eric Dyches, founder of the Emily Effect, for some partner advice when it comes to postpartum depression. Your husband is being great and helping out around the house, and I can tell you what he was thinking.
7 Ways to Cope with Postpartum Depression
As many as 80 percent of mothers have these feelings for a week or two following childbirth. While some of the symptoms sound the same, postpartum depression is different from the baby blues. Postpartum depression is a lot more powerful and lasts longer. It can cause severe mood swings, exhaustion, and a sense of hopelessness. The intensity of those feelings can make it difficult to care for your baby or yourself. Its symptoms are severe and can interfere with your ability to function. Symptoms of postpartum depression vary person to person and even day to day. Symptoms are most likely to start within a few weeks of delivery. Symptoms may let up for a day or two and then return. Without treatment, symptoms may continue to worsen.
Signs of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety in Men
It could be paternal postpartum depression. When his first child was born in October , David Levine, was thrilled. Levine, a pediatrician who practices in Westfield, New Jersey. Within days his initial elation eroded, replaced by anxiety and fear.
Learn about an increasingly common condition called paternal postpartum depression, which few men can bring themselves to discuss. You've heard plenty of stories about women experiencing postpartum depression. After all, the condition affects about one in nine new mothers. But you may not know about paternal postpartum depression PPND —the one your partner may experience after your little bundle of joy arrives.
How to Spot Signs of Male Postpartum Depression in New Dads
PostpartumMen is a place for men with concerns about depression, anxiety or other problems with mood after the birth of a child. Yes, men do get postpartum depression. As a result, most men with postpartum depression suffer in isolation. See Below to Learn More.
The period after you have your baby can be filled with countless emotions. You may feel anything from joy to fear to sadness. If your feelings of sadness become severe and start to interfere with your everyday life, you may be experiencing postpartum depression PPD. Symptoms usually start within a few weeks of delivery, though they may develop up to six months afterward. They may include mood swings, trouble bonding with your baby, and difficulty thinking or making decisions.
Postpartum Depression and the Baby Blues
While we typically associate postpartum depression with women, new fathers can experience serious mood changes after bringing baby home, too. The frequent night feedings. The rearranging of your days to tend to the constant needs of a brand new baby. It can all catch up to any new parent. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Postpartum blues are especially common three to six months after the birth, with as many as one in four dads experiencing symptoms.
Many people may wonder whether or not men can suffer from postpartum depression. In reality, men are susceptible to postpartum mood disorders after the birth of their child. Unfortunately, there is not much awareness surrounding postpartum depression in men because it is not as common as PPD in women. The condition often goes undiagnosed and untreated. If you suspect you or your loved one is suffering from paternal postpartum depression, educate yourself on the symptoms and treatment options available for new fathers.
Why We Need to Talk More About Male Postpartum Depression
Being a parent is hard. And being a new father of an infant is especially hard. And conflicts with your partner that arise after a few sleepless nights can make things harder.
Everything You Need to Know About Postpartum Depression
What Is Men’s Postpartum Depression or PPND?
Postpartum Depression in Men