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How to handle a partner suffering from post-partum depression


It can be extremely frustrating to live with someone's who is depressed, especially when you have a new baby and the house is crowded with things that need to get done right now. What you think might help, might not or could even make things worse.

You cannot make this go away.  No matter how hard you try or how much you love your wife, recovery takes longer than you want it to. You must be willing to wait this out with her.

Research has shown that a woman's depression will improve markedly with the consistent support of a significant other. The longer you pretend that the depression will go away by itself and deny it is really happening, the longer her recovery will take.

The more you expect of her, the greater your demands, the more difficult her recovery will be. You have much more power to affect the outcome of how you both feel, than you might think you do.

Her moods and emotional vulnerability will get in the way of good communication for now. Always tell her that you understand how terrible she feels and that she is a good mother. Let her know that you are working on the possibilities of her getting the treatment that will help her recover from the situation.

Avoid blaming her, telling her how ugly she has turned herself into and worst reminding her that she is a woman and has to go through the challenges since she needed a baby.

Practically helping her while around the house by cooking, washing and looking after the baby, accompany her to doctor’s appointments, and try to set limits with friends and family

Educate yourself about post-partum depression (PPD), read the books your wife gives you. Write down the concerns and questions you have and taking them to her doctor or therapist. Make a list, together, of the things that may provide an outlet for her so you can both refer to it when she needs a break.

Make yourself a good company for her. The single most important thing to do

is to be with her. Sit with her. No TV, no kids, no dog, no bills, no newspaper. Just you and her. Let her know you're there. This isn't easy to do, especially with someone who seems so sad or so distant. Five minutes a day is a good place to start.

Keep checking on her when away and ask her how she is fairing and if there is anything you can do to help. Always encourage her to get as much rest as possible and intervene so she can get some uninterrupted sleep.

Be a good listener and exercise some patience with her. Try to postpone any important decision until after she is feeling better.

Decisions that cannot wait should be made together. Childcare, work, breastfeeding will certainly make her feel enormous.

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