Postpartum Mental Health: How To Support Your Partner Through Postpartum Depression? Tips For New Parents

Postpartum depression, often called baby blues, affects many new mothers. Here are some tips for new parents to follow shared by a therapist. 

  • Post-pregnancy depression requires medical intervention and support due to the significant life transition it represents for new mothers
  • Support from therapists, doctors, and partners is crucial in helping women cope with postpartum depression and other challenges after giving birth
  • Initiating conversations about postpartum depression and offering support for women with pre-term births or birth complications are essential for addressing mental health needs in new mothers

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Postpartum Mental Health: How To Support Your Partner Through Postpartum Depression? Tips For New Parents Men need to learn how to hold space for women and emotions (Image courtesy: Freepik)

Post-pregnancy depression is an important medical intervention for new moms as it is a massive life transition on every level. Some women have great support and manage fine while others struggle with connecting to the baby or have depression and low moods. Women are not offered this service and they rarely even get time to focus on the fact that this transition might be challenging.  

Mansi Poddar, a Trauma informed Psychotherapist says, "Many women struggle with body image issues, issues with their partner and his family, gender dissatisfaction etc and these need to be dealt with so that mom and baby can attach securely and the woman feels supported and not lonely in her PPT journey."

"Most women do not even realise they might be struggling with PPD or other challenges. If they do not have a supportive home environment or partner the challenges get even more and mental health intervention is crucial. There is a deep shame surrounding having depression or not being able to attach to the baby, adds Ms Mansi.

Most women feel stress and this impacts their milk supply which in turn worsens the shame and low mood. Doctors and hospitals need to initiate a conversation about PPD and postpartum challenges. For eg Mansi highlights, "Women who have pre-term babies or pre-eclampsia might need immediate support to cope. Any birth difficulties can cause severe emotional and psychological challenges and are rarely spoken about."

Tips for Supporting Your Partner Post Pregnancy

Here are some tips on how to cope with PPD:

- Seek the support of someone who has experience with women’s health. Someone who also has lived experience can be useful. 

- It’s important to have the therapist do couples and family sessions since the depression also stems from the system and if there is a lack of support it can get harder 

- Talk to your doctor if the symptoms are severe or aren’t settling after a few weeks. 

- Men need to learn how to hold space for women and emotions. Avoid being “positive” or asking her to look on the bright side. Many shut down due to helplessness. This is going to worsen the depression. Ask her how she feels and allow the space to emote and share. Even if it’s around your parents. Avoid getting too defensive 

- Get breaks from the baby. Yes. You must get some time to sleep. Eat or even go out or do something you love.