Posted in Mental Health, Postpartum Recovery, For Dads, Self Care

Paternal Postpartum Depression?

Anonymous

Does anyone have experience with their spouse being depressed after baby was born? My husband has been uncharacteristically frustrated with our second baby. With the first, he bonded very quickly. Last night, the baby started to cry and he insisted on trying to calm her down even though he seemed frustrated. I offered to do it and for him to take our toddler instead, but he wouldn’t let me take over, and was angry with me for trying to do it. When I came back after putting the toddler to bed, he said that he needed to try to calm her down because he was worried because he didn’t know if he could “do it” (take care of the baby, calm her down). He said he feels like this time our roles with the baby are reversed (last time I had PPD). I want to help him, but he’s the kind that would never seek therapy or medication. Anyone know what I can do to help other than listening? I’m also worried because I don’t want him to be around the baby when he is feeling frustrated.

  • Noel
    Oct 06, 2018

    He really needs to get some meds for it. I know it's hard to get men to get help for that sort of thing but it'll make him feel so much better. The only suggestion I have if he will refuse to see a doctor is to make him take vitamins. Lots of vitamins. It helps the body regulate everything better, including depression and hormones

  • Anonymous
    Oct 06, 2018

    If he sees the roles are revered and saw how you coped and did/didn’t receive help, maybe he’ll be more open! If you explained it like “when I talked to my doctor I felt so much better, I bet you would too” or “as soon as I got on those meds I felt like a new woman! I bet you’d feel the same!”

  • Josh
    Oct 06, 2018

    New dad here to a wonderful week old girl. Has your partner stated he has PPD. I was actually talking to my wife today that sometimes it is frustrating. Not in a negative way towards the baby as in I don’t love her or have a connection. More in a I want to be more active during night hours so she can get more sleep and rest in between feeds. Maybe his frustration is resulting from the same? Trying to be more involved to lesson your stress or just his attempt to be helpful. I am not saying PPD isn’t a possibility, just that it makes more sense to drill down to his concern ( probe by asking questions around the main issue if he doesn’t like talking about it directly) It’s provably because I’m against taking medications. Seems to me that dialogue is the key. Regards New Dad

  • Anonymous
    Oct 07, 2018

    Thanks New Dad, it seems my husband and you are on the same page about medications, lol. I don’t think he wants to be more active/involved as we already take shifts, but I do think he is such a good dad to the first that he wants to be able to be the same kind of father to the second. I think that he doesn’t remember how hard it was with the first because he kind of took the lead for me-he had to because I was so overwhelmed. I think he saw how quickly she and I bonded and maybe got a little intimidated because it’s easier for me to get her to stop crying, and she often has more crying fits with him (I think it’s how he holds her to feed, she doesn’t seem to love it, but I don’t want to tell him and seem like I’m criticizing). I don’t like that he has done things with the second out of frustration that he never would have done with the first, like getting so angry he told her to “shut up” once she started crying, and leaving her to “cry it out” for a few minutes when I was there. I get if you need a minute to step away, but it’s completely unnecessary if the other spouse is there. Anyway I will keep trying to talk to him. I tried something different last night that seemed to help-I stayed up a little longer to put her down for another change/eat/sleep cycle just before he came in so he didn’t have to do that last part and that she would sleep a little more when he came in. I’m just trying to make it easier for everyone, so he is less stressed and so am I.