So, you’ve just become a dad, your partner is tired, irritable, crying regularly, and spending a lot of time worrying about the baby. You may be wondering whether this is normal? Well, if it is just a few weeks after your baby was born, then rest assured, it is.
It is worth mentioning that some women are extremely good at hiding their distress when they’ve had a baby. If the house is immaculate, she has a full face of make-up on every day and answers each question with “I’m fine” then this may, bizarrely, be a sign that she is not actually fine on the inside.
Try to encourage her to rest in bed with the baby, to get lots of skin to skin contact and to allow the pressures of the outside world wait a while. Feed her, tell her she's amazing, and look after the housework. This will set her up for a great start to motherhood.
Research shows that a supportive partner is protective against the development of postnatal depression.
If she still seems irritable, has angry outbursts, and is crying regularly, these are warning signs of postnatal depression. Express your concern and encourage her to talk to her GP or Health Visitor.
Whilst she might seem to be coping, there may come a time when the pressure she is putting herself under becomes too much. To avoid this, talk to her, help her around the house and with the baby, let her know that it’s okay to have a bad day.
Research shows that a supportive partner is protective against the development of postnatal depression, so the more you can be there for her, the better.
Mia Scotland is a Clinical Psychologist Specialising in Perinatal mental health. She is also a birth doula, a hypnobirthing practitioner and author of “Why Perinatal Depression Matters”.
Postnatal depression affects 1 in 7 new mums, but it's important to realise that 1 in 10 men are also affected. Share your story with us by using the hashtag #IhadPND to raise awareness and to help others who are suffering in silence.