Postpartum depression support

How to be a Supportive Partner- The Partner’s Playbook in Postpartum Depression

As a partner who may have battled postpartum depression or not, but is now in a role of supporting their partner with PPD, it is important to understand the dynamics of what is happening.  

There is a mental condition, a mood disorder, brain pain, or whatever you may call it that is now affecting your partner, what do you do?  How can you play a role that is supportive, caring, forgiving, and understandable, while at the same time raising a newborn? 

Look no further as this article will peel back the layers of understanding what it takes to support your partner with postpartum depression.  While some of the topics discussed here may not work with everyone, the most important thing to keep in mind is YOU ARE NOT ALONE and you are capable of being the supportive partner in your relationship you were meant to be.

PPD affects 1 in 7 mothers and goes undiagnosed in half of the cases because of concern for privacy and disclosure with family. 

4-25% of partners experience PPD, and that is also a low statistic because of the stigma that dads and partners have with admitting some form of mental difficulties. 

How does PPD affect both partners?

Mom

While PPD can affect both mom and partner, mom has a better chance of coming down with this condition and experiencing heavier symptoms.  

The amount of hormonal changes and what the mom’s body has gone through over the course of pregnancy and birth creates a more fertile ground for mood disorders such as PPD to manifest.  

PPD usually affects the mom within the first year. The symptoms she may experience can be 

  • Overwhelming stress and anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Isolation and social withdrawal
  • Negative thoughts and self-doubt
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • And significant mood swings

While there are other symptoms, these tend to be the most predominant ones seen in new moms.  

Partner

Partners who are supporting a mom with PPD can be affected in different ways that might not seem as serious but have significant changes in their well-being. 

They can experience an emotional burden with an overwhelming responsibility of supporting mom, baby, and themselves.  

They may also feel a heavy strain on their relationship, as they may have trouble communicating with mom who is withdrawn or feels isolated. 

There could even be a lack of understanding of the partner not comprehending what is going on with mom, potentially even leading to a feeling of helplessness and loss of hope. 

How to be supportive when your partner is going through PPD?

The number one thing that anyone can do when they are in a relationship with someone who is struggling with a mood disorder, brain pain, or mental condition is to be supportive.  

Being supportive not only shows your concern and care for your partner but also helps them avoid feeling alone.  When your partner is experiencing PPD, the last thing they want to feel is alone, and being there for them will help put the pieces of the puzzle back and your life on track as well.

The amount of information on PPD in mothers is immense and as a partner, doing your due diligence and getting a comprehensive understanding of what is happening is the first critical step in supporting mom.  

Having some foundation of an educated approach to being there for mom will better prepare you for unexpected things to happen.  

As a mom who has a partner going through PPD, there are different approaches to being supportive and showing compassion.  Here are some steps to take when your partner is the one going through PPD:

  • Educate yourself-learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatments to better prepare yourself for what your partner is going through
  • Validate their feelings-do not discourage your partner and let them know what they are going through is valid and that you are there to help work through it
  • Share responsibilities-help out with some household chores and baby time, working together to create a balanced and supportive environment will be very beneficial
  • Encourage vulnerability-being open and having an honest line of communication with your partner will encourage them to share what they are going through
  • Advocate for professional help-let them know they are not alone and that talking to someone who has experience in this can help pave a smoother road to recovery

Things to say and things to avoid when your partner is suffering from PPD

Here is a list of recommended things to say to your partner who is experiencing PPD:

  • You are not alone
  • I am here for you
  • It’s okay to ask for help 
  • You’re doing an amazing job as a dad/mom
  • You are a strong and resilient person
  • I know you are capable of overcoming this

Here is a list of things that probably should be avoided when communicating with your partner:

  • Get over it
  • It’s all in your head
  • You’re just tired
  • It’s not a big deal
  • You’re not trying hard enough
  • It will get better on its own

How can PPD become easier to tackle with a supportive partner

PPD is a very challenging condition to go through alone and having a supportive partner can make the journey to recovery so much easier.  

Knowing that you have someone who cares for you and is willing to pick up where you left off with chores, listen to you with their heart, share a sympathetic connection, and be there for the baby as well can take a massive load off the affected person’s chest.  

There is so much to be said for having an open line of communication and understanding from a supportive partner that alleviates the symptoms of PPD.  Processing one’s emotions and working through PPD with a partner who is educated and supportive along the way will lessen the severity and shorten the recovery period.

How Caproni coaching can help you with PPD?

Support is a critical component to have when battling PPD not only from your partner but from an outside source as well.  Caproni Coaching is that source as I understand your pain and have worked through these challenges to create a compelling future filled with love, confidence, and gratitude with my family.  

I create an empathetic connection that will help lay the foundation for a roadmap to living the life you were meant to live.  If you feel like you have been overwhelmed with emotions and are struggling to adapt to life with a newborn, I encourage you to take 30 minutes and schedule a call with me to see how I can help support you.  

We are all in this together and you can be a part of a signature program to live the compelling future you are so worthy of.

Addison Caproni

Enjoy a life of love, gratitude and confidence with your family

5 Proven Steps to Working Through Postpartum Depression

Download Our Free eBook for Partners: 5 Proven Steps to Working Through Postpartum Depression