People often associate postpartum depression to new mothers. However, male postpartum depression is as real as the hormonal changes of women when they are pregnant. It is not widely and openly discussed because males are supposed to be tough, strong and dependable.
Most times, pregnancy and the arrival of the baby trigger strong feelings from men. Feelings that men are not comfortable with manifesting to their partners and families such as fear, anxiety and depression. One study showed that depression among new fathers increased by 68% in the first five years of the baby’s arrival.
What to do when you are experiencing postpartum depression?
1. Get enough sleep and rest.
Not getting enough sleep is not uncommon when you have a newborn. Your baby keeps you awake at night for months and this can cause you to have negative emotions towards yourself, your partner and even, your baby.
Though it is hard to sneak in a rest during your busy day, you have to do it in order to be able to function and think well. Decide with your partner on your sleeping schedule so that both of you can get enough rest. These days, you can hire a night nurse to help in taking care of your baby.
2. Eat well.
You know how food can affect your mood. Do not deprive yourself from eating well because you need every ounce of energy in taking care of a newborn. No matter how full your hands are, do not forget to eat on time to elevate your stamina and mind.
You can ask your relatives and friends to cook for you. They can prepare ready-to-eat food so that you can easily grab it whenever you are hungry.
There is no need to spend an hour in the gym just like before. Squeeze in a few minutes in the morning to do physical activities. Exercise helps in improving your mood. It releases body chemicals that make you happy and positive. It keeps your body and mind occupied.
If you do not have time to go out and exercise, help out in doing household chores. These can surely burn those unwanted calories while making your partner happy.
4. Avoid doing vices and other reckless behaviors.
Having a new baby is an overwhelming experience and some turns to vices and bad actions as an outlet for their anxiety and exhaustion. Abusing alcohol, drugs, gambling and having extramarital affairs do not help in juggling your role as a husband and father.
Do not put yourself in a tempting situation. Surround yourself with people who will influence you to be a good provider and partner. Do not feel bad when you take time off in doing your hobbies or interests to relax and calm your mind.
5. Join support groups.
It helps a lot when you listen to people who are in the same situation as you. You can learn from them and you will understand that what you are going through is normal. It comforts you upon knowing that your postpartum depression can be treated.
You can ask your family or friends if they know a support group for new fathers in your community. You can also look into online forums that discuss issues and expectations on parenthood. You have to constantly remind yourself that there will always be people who will be there for you every step of the way.
6. Discuss your feelings with your partner or trusted someone.
As a new father, you have so many questions, plans and fears about your child. Do not hesitate in discussing your feelings with your partner or with a person whom you trust. Male postpartum depression can easily creep in your system when you choose to bottle up all your emotions and thoughts.
Communicate with your partner because you are on the same boat. If everything becomes unbearable and unpleasant, seek help from a medical professional. Bear in mind that what you are feeling is temporary if you aim to be well.
Where to ask for help?
Male postpartum depression is a serious mental issue. It should never be considered as a stigma where men will always pose as strong, brave and vigorous. They should not be judged or criticized when they show their emotional and sensitive side. Just like new mothers, they need guidance and support as they venture into parenthood.
Mindshift Psychological Services offers therapy near me and counseling sessions to those who are struggling with male postpartum depression. It opens its doors to new fathers to discuss their experiences and feelings to qualified therapists and psychologists.
Some of their therapies are Depression therapy near me, Family therapy and Individual Psychotherapy. If you are a resident in Riverside, California, Corona, California or Los Angeles, California, you can directly contact them at (714) 584-9700. If you wish to know more about their services and their medical professionals, you can visit their website.