This week our focus at Welcome Baby Care has been paternal postpartum depression and the often overlooked dad. Today we’re posting a father’s testimony. PostpartumMen.com (included as a resource in Monday’s article on Depression in New Dads, see here), was an important part of his journey out of the dark days that followed the birth of his daughter. Read on for his story.
Our first baby girl was born about a week ago and I completely fell to pieces once she arrived (in good health). I had been depressed for about a year in high school and it felt just like that, so I was very scared I had relapsed and wouldn’t be able to support my family like I had planned (it took about 3 months for the meds to even me out back then). I even sought out a doctor at the hospital. After telling her how I felt scared and sad and couldn’t stop crying her response sums up to “That sucks for you…ask your doctor”.
Finally we were released from the hospital and able to do web research. After reading [the Postpartum Men] site thoroughly I had key knowledge that I had been lacking:
1) I’m not weird, this is a common affliction
2) it is likely temporary and each day gets better
3) if it is full post-partum depression, it is very treatable.
With this knowledge in hand, I prepared for the worst (full post partum depression) and invited my mom to come stay with us for a few weeks. That way, if I was “out of action” going to the psychiatrist, having crying fits, sleeping, etc. then I knew that my wife had someone to help her out while I put myself back together. Luckily, my wife had been a rock and, other than fatigue, was in good health and able to keep it all together and provide me much needed emotional and physical support. My baby blues passed after 4-5 days and those last 3 days were a lot easier to manage thanks to [Postpartum Men]. It is very comforting to know you aren’t alone.
(Reprinted with permission)
To learn more about postpartum depression in men, see PostpartumMen.com
To join the Postpartum Men forum, click here.