You’ve just had a new baby and this is supposed to be the happiest time of your life.
And, everyone – your family, your relative, even your spouse expects you to be the glowing new mother. A mother who experiences joy at each giggle of your newborn.
But what if that joy doesn’t come so easily?
What if you feel scared and overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities?
What if instead of feeling adoration toward your baby, you feel resentful and inadequate? Does this make you a horrible mother? A horrible person? Absolutely not!
What you may be experiencing is postpartum depression. (Also known as postnatal depression)
In India, 1 in every 5 mothers is a victim of Postpartum Depression.
But, it is heart-breaking to see how our society fails to support its mothers during their postpartum recovery.
Society shames the moms for the very mental health issues for which they need the most support. The only ray of hope for new moms is the support that they receive from family, especially from their life partner – their spouse.
Even, the research has shown us that a woman’s depression can improve markedly with the consistent support of the significant other.
Recalling the huge difference that husband’s support can make to new mom’s mental health, Chavvi Mittal has written a powerful note for all new daddies.
She not only thanked them but also advised them on how to deal and behave with mothers suffering from postpartum depression.
“Dear husbands/new fathers,
Congratulations on being a father!
You must be going through sleepless nights, diaper changes, crying interpretations & you must be all over the place trying to understand what’s best & what’s not for your LO.
But please also take a minute to understand your better half’s needs. Some of you already must be!
For the others, did you know post partum depression is more common than you think?
Mothers suffer from it and don’t even know it sometimes. But you, as a partner, can do more to help her than you can imagine.
In fact, you can even save her from it completely if you intervene at the right time.
When suffering from PPD, a mother could feel like crying all the time, unhappy, guilty for not being joyful, complaining, frustrated, dejected, feel like a failure, & feel as though this is the end of life as she knows it.
What you SHOULDN’T do or say?
“You’re not the only one who’s become a mother”
“Try to be happy”
“The LO needs you”
“I’m doing everything I can”
“You’re being selfish”
“Don’t cry, it’ll affect the milk”
What you CAN say though?
“I love you”
“You’re doing very well”
“Tell me how I can help”
“We’re a team”
And remember to CALL her from work just to check on her!
Trust me, a few calming words can go such a long way!
And if you see her crying, don’t try to solve her problem, just hug her tight and agree with whatever she says.. tell her again that you love her.. tell her she’s beautiful.. tell her you’re lucky to have her…
And dear dads, although you’re overworked & overwhelmed too, trust me, this will pass sooner than you know…
And you’ll have a settled baby, if you have a settled mother.
Love & peace from me to you!
We want new dads to remember that they cannot fix someone else’s depression. They cannot make it go away.
In the cases of postpartum depression, no matter how hard they try or how much they love their wife, recovery takes longer than they want it to.
They must be willing to wait this out with her.
At I For Her, we celebrate every new father or husband, who has lent a supportive hand to his lovely wife in this ugly battle with postpartum depression.
Our society needs these supportive men more than ever!