After giving birth, we expect fathers to step up to the challenge of their new roles with much gusto. However, not all new dads react to fatherhood in the same way. One theAsianparent Community user shared her frustrations concerning her husband, who wasn’t responding to fatherhood the way she would have liked.
It’s understandable that the anonymous user would feel frustrated with her husband. After giving birth, you need your partner to be present and supportive. However, she should also try to understand where he’s coming from. He might need your support now more than ever.
“We always know and discuss postpartum depression in women, but hardly think that men (though they don’t deliver physically) can also suffer from it,” Shruti B. responded. According to a study in the Journal of Parent and Family Mental Health, postpartum depression is almost as common in dads as it is in moms.
Symptoms of postpartum depression in men
4-25% of new dads experience postpartum depression after the birth of their babies. Symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, guilt, insomnia, lack of interest in normal activities, and suicidal thoughts. Dads with postpartum depression are more angry and quiet, and often withdraw from their partner and family.
This, understandably, can hinder your partner from bonding with his new child. If you suspect that he is suffering from postpartum depression, get him professional help as soon as you can. When left untreated, postpartum depression can cause fathers to be violent and abusive.
Click to the next page to find out how to get treatment for postpartum depression in men.
Support him, don’t threaten him
Let him know that you think he needs professional help. You can approach your doctor, your place of worship, and your close friends and family to refer you to someone who can help.
Make an effort to spend time with your husband and encourage him to communicate with you. “When a baby comes along it’s very easy to dedicate all of your time to her,” wrote Stephanie G. “Maybe it’s time to allocate a day just to be with him and let someone else take care of the baby instead.”
By getting your husband the help he needs, he’ll not only be a better father, you’ll also be saving your marriage.
READ: Why do men fear fatherhood? The 5 most common fatherhood fears and how to overcome them
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