Helping Wives with Postpartum Depression
Even if the man is not suffering from PPD, he has a significant role to play if his wife is struggling with the disorder. About 80 percent of women suffer some type of depression right after childbirth, typically associated with the biochemical changes within the body (University of Michigan). This depression can either be short term, typically referred to as “the blues," or it can be prolonged and lead to a rather severe form of depression.
The first thing to remember is that it's neither your fault nor hers, so if your relationship becomes temporarily strained, you must do your part to make life as comfortable as possible for her without getting frustrated. Here are some tips to help you both get through it:
If she just wants to vent, let her complain and listen to her patiently. Do not reason with her or be sympathetic, since she doesn't expect psychological counseling from you rather a shoulder to cry on.
Help her in whatever way you can, particularly in her day-to-day activities and household chores. If possible, get her a good book, encourage her to watch TV or relax for a while in the tub. Reassure her that you can take care of the house and the baby while she takes a break.
Pamper your wife and make her feel special since she is most likely feeling very vulnerable through her depression. Keep reminding her that it's just a difficult time and it will pass. In the meantime, make sure your own mental health remains intact since you need to be stronger for the both of you. Exercise regularly and spend some time in meditating activities.
Seek Professional Help
If you’re not having any success dealing with your wife’s depression, there is no reason to hold back from seeking professional help. There are different therapy-channels such as individual counseling and support groups. Along with therapy, proper medication can also effectively treat postpartum depression.
NB: The content of this article on men and postpartum depression is for information purposes only and is not intended to replace sound medical advice and opinion.