I can remember so vividly how very sad I was after having each of my babies.
I didn’t understand why I felt unhappy and why I couldn’t stop crying.
With my first baby, the feelings of sadness came almost immediately. With my second though, I felt the opposite. When I had her I spent the first couple of days in a complete euphoria and I thought maybe this time I had beat the baby blues. It didn’t take long though, for that feeling to die off and for the sadness to show up.
A new mom struggling through postpartum depression is a hard time for everyone in the family. As a brand new father, I can imagine that seeing your significant other go through this must be really confusing. After all, I’m sure she’s spent the last nine months anxious for this new baby to arrive and now she’s so sad.
I can tell you that it will get better and hopefully, that will happen quickly. For others, it may take quite a while. You can help though, even if you think you can’t. There are a few extremely important things you can be doing for your wife to help her through this.
How To Help Your Wife Through Postpartum Depression
1. Get her some sleep. She’s going to fight you on this and will not want to let go of that sweet new baby to let you help out. She will probably win the battle most times, but keep encouraging her. Do whatever you can do make her feel comfortable enough to leave you with the baby while she sleeps. Getting a solid rest will help her new mom fog clear a bit. One good idea is to invite a relative she trusts to come help you with your baby duty.
2. Be kind. There’s never a time to not be kind to your spouse, but this is the time where you need to be the nicest person you’ve ever been. Hug her, wipe her tears, tell her over and over again how wonderful she is and how what she is going through is normal and will get better. She needs an extreme dose of kindness and patience from you. Everything is making her cry at the moment, so don’t give her any extra reason to be upset.
3. Don’t Judge Her. Do not for a second let her think that you are questioning her sanity. She knows she’s acting completely different than her normal self, so please don’t need to remind her. If you have questions about what is going on or need to vent, find a friend, family member or a counselor you can talk to.
4. Don’t Take It Personal. Even though you are being kind and keeping your judgements to yourself, she’s going to find a reason to upset or angry with you. Most times she won’t even really know why. Please remind yourself that it really has nothing to do with you and soon enough she will transform back into the women you love.
5. Seek Help If It’s Needed. If these feelings continue without getting better or you are concerned with anyone’s safety, get help. Many times this is something she goes through during the first few weeks after having a baby and slowly will subside as her hormones settle down. If that’s not the case for you, encourage her to get help.
Sooner or later it will get better but in the moment it will seem impossible to overcome. Hang in there, she will be happy again soon.
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Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.