With a lot of the focus on the mom and baby following childbirth, it is very easy for the partner to feel pushed aside and forgotten about.
While this should be an exciting and celebratory time for all, it can be the birthing ground for postpartum depression to start manifesting in partners.
There is a lot to learn and figure out when you bring a newborn into the world, let alone deal with everything else you already have going on in life. The partners’ role can become overwhelming while dealing with
- Supporting the mom
- Assisting with the baby
- Upkeep of the house
- Holding a job
- While also taking care of themselves
All of this starts compounding and creating chinks in the armor. This critical time to recognize the beginning of postpartum depression can help shorten the length and severity while providing a support system and journey to becoming the partner and parent that you are capable of.
What is PPD?
PPD, which stands for postpartum depression, is a condition that can affect both mom and partner but is generally focused and documented on mothers.
While there are other forms of depression that can form before birth, paternal prenatal depression, PPD focuses on the time after the child is born. In mothers, Postpartum depressionhas been found to affect around 15% of documented cases, whereas in fathers and partners which show fewer results and focus there is around a 10% impact rate.
Regardless of studies and attention, PPD is a serious form of mental illness that can have a widespread effect on the partner, family, and their future of raising children.
PPD has a higher risk in people who have a history of anxiety or depression, which in partners is over 50%, proving that there are more undocumented cases circulating and untreated involving postpartum depression.
Partners can have a very difficult time coming to terms with their feelings as there is a lot of pressure on supporting their new family while maintaining a respectable composure. This is where serious and more life-altering issues can arise if not addressed and treated early.
Dealing with PPD without support and awareness will make raising children and supporting moms extremely challenging and devoid of living up to your full potential.
Signs and symptoms that can help you identify PPD
Have you started to develop some new feelings, emotions, stress, anxiety, thoughts, or patterns, and aren’t really sure where they came from, why they’re there, and what to do about it?
That’s ok, you are not alone and there are many other partners out there going through the same thing you are.
Here is a list, but not limited to or in any specific order, of the common symptoms that people experiencing postpartum depression are going through.
- Stronger anxious feelings
- Depression that can be disguised as irritability or anger
- Sense of worthlessness and loneliness
- Drop in energy levels with the onset of fatigue
- Concentrating and decision-making become more challenging
- Disinterest in former activities or hobbies
- Disruption in regular sleep pattern
- Thoughts of harming oneself or suicide
While some partners may experience one or two of these symptoms, all of them, or even something not on this list, the most important thing is being aware and upfront with what you are going through.
Hiding from these signs will only exacerbate the problem leading to a long challenging road to recovery. Support is here and the fact that you have already taken the first step in recognizing a shift in your well-being puts you in a strong position to work through this.
How can postpartum depression affect your family life?
As a partner and new parent, PPD if not addressed can have a significant impact on your family life such as:
- Irritability and short temper with your partner
- Isolation from your family and social life
- Lack of intimacy
- Financial strain
- Partner becoming more stressed
- Risk of depression in a partner
- Children affected by tension within the household
- More difficulty with parenting
Actionable steps to overcome postpartum depression in partners
There is a silver lining to all of these overwhelming symptoms accompanying PPD in partners. Through taking action, working through your feelings, and practicing better self-care you can start positioning yourself in a better place to overcome PPD.
While there is no silver bullet to PPD, taking small steps in the right direction will eventually help alleviate the difficult sensations you are experiencing.
1. Communication with your partner
Establishing an open line of communication and vulnerability with your partner is the first significant step in working through your PPD. Through your vulnerability with your partner, you will be able to acknowledge and express your emotions and feelings allowing you to process them on a stronger level of self-awareness.
You will also be strengthening your connection with your partner through an established line of trust and sympathy. These building blocks are foundational to bringing everything to the surface and eliminating the belief of hiding behind your feelings. Don’t bottle up what you are experiencing and begin to adopt an open-book mentality, this will relieve you of tremendous pressure and stress.
Communication with your partner not only benefits you but them as well. The more you are open and comfortable with talking about your feelings, the more they will too. This will establish a smooth flow of dialogue through the challenging times when one might be feeling incredibly overwhelmed and stressed.
Do not underestimate the power of communicating with your partner, as it will pay dividends to foster a lifelong relationship with them.
2. Stress management during PPD
Stress is a major component that can accompany changes in life, let alone bringing a newborn into the world with no user manual! This can become even more unbearable while dealing with other symptoms of PPD.
Luckily, you can take action through certain practices to help reduce the load you are bearing.
- Meditating is wonderful for starting your day off or even ending it in a calm and collected mindset. And it only requires 3-5 minutes, in the beginning, to get started.
- Breathing techniques can quickly pull you out of or even stop a stressful moment from happening. A quick and easy one that can be done anywhere, anytime, is six deep breaths in through the nose and a long exhale out of the mouth. Add one more for a bonus to really reset your mood.
- Journaling is an incredible tool that also doesn’t require much time in the beginning, 5-10 minutes, of writing down what you are going through. This helps process your emotions and allows you to come up with solutions for working through stressful times.
- Physical activity is wonderful in helping to regulate hormones and also only requires 10 minutes of your time a day. Going outside for a jog, doing a home workout, or even just a walk in the sun can release endorphins which improve your mood and help cortisol levels for managing stress.
3. Rebuilding confidence after postpartum depression
Confidence can be one of the first things to slip away when battling PPD.
- Lack of decision making
- Wavering support for your family
- Loss of purpose and worthiness in your role as a partner
These are all signs your confidence has weakened. Fortunately, confidence is something that can be built back up again through a variety of exercises.
- Exercising regularly is the foundation for bringing confidence back into one’s life. By improving your health, body image, and overall well-being, you are taking care of yourself giving you the ability to take care of your family.
- Maintaining a healthy diet of nutritious and whole foods will allow your body to feel better, healthier, and stronger for you to step up and be decisive in challenging times.
- Limiting alcohol and extracurricular activities while increasing your water intake will bring more clarity to your thought processes and concentration.
- Positive self-talk will vastly build your confidence and self-compassion. Your internal dialogue should be as if you were talking to your child, best friend, or loved one.
Working on being self-supportive through how you treat yourself will give you an unwavering approach to being there for your family.
4. Embracing gratitude
A life of gratitude will make you appreciate the small things, developing a mentality of what you have and the good things in your life. Gratitude is a tool that not only helps work through PPD but should be practiced on a daily basis for the remainder of your life.
Your perspective of all the things wrong and lacking in your life will be eliminated through a consistent embracing of gratitude. Imagine waking up every day and being thankful for the opportunity to embark on your journey with another day in this amazing world.
Gratitude teaches you to be thankful for everything, even the small things as they can bring joy and abundance in your life. You will not take things for granted and appreciate the little wonders that life has given you.
Expressing gratitude can make a profound effect on someone else’s life just through a sincere thank you or a compliment. Your heart will be nourished and your life will be more fulfilled through a perspective of daily gratitude.
5. Finding support
Reaching out for help is never a sign of weakness, if anything it is quite the opposite in showmanship of strength with your awareness and being able to effectively address it.
Understanding that you are not alone in what you are going through will open up your ability to connect with a
- Support group
- Online community
- One-on-one help
- Therapist, counselor, or coach.
Trying to go it alone will be a difficult undertaking as not having someone to talk to, navigate with you, hold you accountable, and support you along the way can be a steep uphill battle.
Support is not only beneficial to your well-being but to your family as well. By getting involved in an online group or with a coach, you will have a new method of outreach, relieving the pressure that your partner may be feeling.
With a signature program created by a coach, there will be a defined journey to be navigated to a compelling future where you will become the partner, parent, and human you are capable of.
6. Supporting your partner
While working through these actionable items on dealing with PPD, it is important to be aware of your role as a new parent and partner in this growing relationship.
Not only will being there for your partner help with the overall well-being of your household, but it fills your soul with worthiness, confidence, and love. Knowing that you can help out feeding the baby, changing diapers, and picking up a sleep shift will improve your self-compassion proving that you can do it!
Sometimes we make a mountain out of an ant hill, especially when it comes to raising a newborn with our partner. However, remembering to take small steps and having patience with your approach will lower the barrier to becoming more involved in the daily tasks with your partner.
You do not have to go in with a home run-hitting mentality, as that will highlight the need for perfection which is unattainable not only in this but in life. The little things you do will not go unnoticed and your partner will appreciate everything you do for them and your newborn.
7. Overcoming stigmas and stereotypes
Mental health in general has an unfortunate perception to it that forces people to have a distorted image of it. With that being said, it is even harder if you are the one struggling with PPD yet you do not want to be viewed as a “crazy person”.
One thing to always remember throughout this is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and there are countless other partners in the world that are going through what you are, have gone through it, and have now come out on the other side as a stronger person.
Embracing and accepting that you may be affected by postpartum depression is the biggest step towards not becoming a victim and instead becoming a victor in the fight against this condition.
Stigmas and stereotypes throughout our society have been created out of false beliefs, and when you can accept that about your condition then you pull back the curtain and start taking action in bettering yourself and your family.
It takes a stronger person to confront their feelings and emotions than it does someone who continues hiding and being afraid of what others think. You will be surprised by the amount of support out there and the people willing to help in any way possible so you can get through these challenging times.
How can Caproni Coaching help you in dealing with PPD?
As someone who witnessed an incredibly traumatic birth nearly taking the life of my wife and child, I became overwhelmed with emotions that inhibited my ability to show up for my family with the person I knew I was capable of.
Working through the different emotions with a trial and error roadmap taught me how to grow back my confidence, embrace a life of gratitude, and fulfill my life with love and joy. There were a lot of challenges and lessons that I learned along the way that I am proud to have gone through and can now use that to help others going through PPD as well.
With Caproni Coaching you will be given a signature program that will take you on a journey from your difficult times to a compelling future through a system of processes, exercises, and accountability.
Your well-being as a partner in your new family is paramount to your children’s upbringing and the relationship with your partner, and I am here to make that a priority. The fact you are here now reading this shows your awareness of your feelings and what you are going through, now take your next step and schedule a connection call with me to help guide you on a path to a compelling future and the life you were meant to live.
Thank you for starting your journey in overcoming postpartum depression by reading this and acknowledging what you are going through. If you can take one thing away from this, remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE and many many other partners are going through or have gone through what you are.
Seeking support will bring back the confidence you used to have, instill gratitude in a life full of things to be thankful for, and grow your love and support for your family. Your story of overwhelming emotions does not define you and I encourage you to take the next step and come be a part of a movement that is bringing awareness to partners with PPD and your compelling future!
Schedule a call with me now to work towards a transformed mindset and perspective on child birth and raising children that encompasses more confidence, trust, and peace in your family life.
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