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How to help a partner with postnatal depression

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Postnatal depression is the name given to depression that develops between one month and up to one year after the birth of a baby. It affects about 1 in every 7 women who give birth in Australia each year. All parents go through a period of adjustment as they try to handle the huge changes a baby brings. For most people, this time of adjustment will be temporary and will not be overly distressing. The baby blues usually only last 2 to 3 days and you might feel teary, anxious and moody during that time.

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Postpartum Depression: What You Need to Know

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GQ Dads. Amy Ransom, author of The New Mum's Notebook, bares all so you can help her through what one in seven women suffer after giving birth. Post-natal depression PND is a bitch.

And not one you want to cross anytime soon. But it happens. Too often. It's now a staggering one in seven women who will suffer with PND after having a baby. That's at least one couple in your NCT group. If you've had to watch your once strong and capable partner struggle with the most basic of life's tasks, you'll know how tough PND can be.

On her. On you. On your relationship. This having a baby lark was supposed to be magical. Where's all the joy you were promised? Where did that woman you fell in love with go? Is she coming back? Here's some help from someone me who had PND after my third baby and recovered. She will recover too.

PND isn't straightforward to self-diagnose. Especially if it's your first baby. How are you supposed to know what's normal and what's not? But PND is actually very different to the baby blues, which most, if not all, women experience in the first couple of weeks after birth, as their hormones literally crash. It's also more than feeling tired or occasionally low. Read more: The cold reality of your sex life as a parent. Typical symptoms include constant tearfulness, anxiety health anxiety is common , panic may include panic attacks , insomnia, extreme lethargy we're talking not wanting to get out of bed or do anything at all , trouble bonding with your baby or detaching yourself from other children and feelings of doom or hopelessness.

It can also manifest itself physically with muscle aches, headaches, blurred vision and a general state of feeling unwell, leading new mums to think it must be something serious that's usually the health anxiety talking.

The most common factor is an overwhelming feeling of being unable to cope with things that never fathomed her before. PND is not something any new mum wants to confront. Lots of women worry it will reflect badly on their aptitude as a mother, which simply isn't true.

If she confides in you or you think something's wrong, the first step is to encourage her to get an appointment with her doctor. Preferably an empathetic female who's actually a mother herself.

Treatment usually takes the form of CBT and, sometimes, medication. If it's recommended your partner take anti-depressants and she's nervous about doing so, help her see it as a step towards recovery. If it takes her time to get up the courage to see the doctor encourage her, don't rush her.

It's very difficult to understand depression until you've experienced it. But PND isn't a mindset. It's not about pulling yourself together. If she could, she would, believe me. So if you can't understand the beast, just accept it. Never suggest that she's "just hormonal". Keep reminding yourself that there's a reason she's acting the way she is and focus your energies on sending it back to its cave.

PND is really tough on a relationship. And you will suffer too because it's heartbreaking seeing the person you love crumble. But she's dealing with her own demons as well as trying to look after a brand new human being, so she needs you to be strong right now, something that isn't easy if she's often the balls in your relationship. Lean on your mates when you need support and keep showing her, even when you doubt it, that you'll get through this together. When she's recovered she'll remember plenty of times when she wasn't herself.

When she cried from morning until night. When she was vile to you. She will also remember that you were kind when you could have been a bastard. She doesn't need another decision she can't make. Be considerate and take over the practical stuff like emptying the dishwasher, making her breakfast before you go to work, bringing dinner home.

She's got enough on her plate. Keep everything away from her that she doesn't need to know about. Work pressures. Family demands. Tricky mothers-in-law sorry. She will push you away. But she doesn't really want to be alone. So keep reminding her you love her.

Be tactile, even when she recoils. Hug her. She's full of self-doubt and loathing right now. But hearing you have faith in her will mean the world. Tell her you couldn't do what she's doing day in day out. That you're full of admiration for her. Read more: How to spot depression in men. Never take what she's doing for granted.

Because contrary to what we're told, motherhood isn't the most natural thing in the world for most of us. In the midst of PND, it's impossible to believe that things will ever get better. But once the right help is sought, women recover.

It isn't immediate and it can take up to a year but it will happen. In darker times, you will need to remind her and yourself of this. British GQ. Edition Britain Chevron. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. GQ Recommends. By Charlie Burton 16 May By Chris Jones 16 May

Tips for Postpartum Dads and Partners

Does your partner seem extra emotional after the birth of your baby? Seven out of ten women experience the baby blues. However, one in seven women experience postpartum depression. One in ten new dads experience a depression after their child is born. And if a mom has postpartum depression, then her partner has a 40 percent chance of being depressed, too.

For example, you might feel stressed and overwhelmed as you and your partner learn how to look after your new baby — while coping with a lack of sleep and much less time to yourselves. If the emotional changes in your partner go on for longer than two weeks and get in the way of daily life, you need to help your partner get professional advice.

We use cookies to help us improve your experience and to provide services like web chat. We also use cookies to measure the effectiveness of public health campaigns and understand how people use the website. To find out more about cookies and how we use them, please see our privacy policy. Health information and advice to stop the spread of coronavirus. Living with someone with postnatal depression can be very worrying.

I think my partner has postnatal depression. How can I help?

When his second son was born, Jared knew something just wasn't right. Although the New Jersey father's baby boy had been born healthy, and his wife gave birth without any major physical complications, the family was suffering. Jared not his real name , 33, noticed red flags immediately. His wife had significant anxiety about breastfeeding. She had trouble sleeping. When it came time for Jared to go back to work, his wife was extremely concerned about being alone with the new baby. A few weeks later, she started sending him frustrated texts and voicemails full of anger and resentment. Luckily, Jared's wife eventually made an appointment to talk to a psychologist and get the help she needed. For those first few weeks, however, both she and Jared felt completely helpless.

Advice for partners and families

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GQ Dads. Amy Ransom, author of The New Mum's Notebook, bares all so you can help her through what one in seven women suffer after giving birth.

In fact, mild depression and mood swings are so common in new mothers that it has its own name: the baby blues. The majority of women experience at least some symptoms of the baby blues immediately after childbirth. You might feel more tearful, overwhelmed, and emotionally fragile.

Postpartum Depression and the Baby Blues

Back to Health A to Z. Postnatal depression is a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby. It's a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth.

You expect a lot of joy and a little stress when your baby arrives. You expect a learning curve and some moments of panic. The good news is that PPD will eventually pass with proper support and intervention. Whether that was through a vow of sickness and health, or some spiritual oversoul bonding in the woods. Looking for a formula you can trust to support your baby?

Tips for Postpartum Dads and Partners

Postnatal depression is a common, but debilitating condition that affects one in seven women following the birth of their baby. Unlike the baby blues which passes on its own, postnatal depression can be long-lasting, and affect your ability to cope with a new baby. Depression makes coping and managing from day to day difficult — at any time of life. These other demands on you can also make it hard to find the energy and strength to get on top of postnatal depression on your own sometimes. It was the worst experience of my life. Worse than grief, worse than loss. There was nothing I could do about it, and I was scared it would last the rest of my life. If you are experiencing a number of these symptoms, and these are lasting for two weeks or more in the first year of having your baby, you may be experiencing postnatal depression.

Pregnancy and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders affect the whole family. Here are some tips that might help you along the way.

Back to Postnatal depression. Postnatal depression can affect women in different ways. It can start at any point in the first year after giving birth and may develop suddenly or gradually.

First time dads are particularly vulnerable Fatherhood institute, The peak time for postnatal depression in men is three to six months after the birth Fatherhood Institute, As with postnatal depression in mums , it often goes undiagnosed.

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