Helping yourself and your Family
Pregnancy and postpartum mental illnesses can affect the whole family. Enduring the process of your loved one experiencing emotional distress can be very challenging. If you're a spouse, partner, family member, or other loved one who is seeking help for your loved one, we have listed some great resources below.
It's also important to take care of YOU. Resolving your loved one's illness does not fall solely on your shoulders. Please utilize the resources on this site to help you find professional and peer support to aid in this process.
Experiences from partners.
"I wish I would have known about postpartum depression. I just want to be helpful. I can't do that if I'm never told."
"I never realized having a baby would almost tear apart my relationship."
"I just want my wife back."
Resources for you.
Start here. Learn more about risk factors, signs & symptoms. Know what's normal and what's not.
Know you're not alone.
Understand that emotional/mental health cannot be separated from overall health. Mental illness surrounding pregnancy and after delivery is the MOST common health problem during that time of a woman's life. National estimates tell us approximately 1 in 5 women will experience anxiety, depression or another mental illness during pregnancy or after. It's important you also know that spouses/partners are also at risk for experiencing mental illness during this time. In fact, when Mom is experiencing a mental illness during this time, her spouse/partner is at GREATER risk of also experiencing emotional distress. National estimates tell us approximately 1 in 10 men will experience this.
Depression, anxiety and related illnesses are TREATABLE. The faster you talk about it and seek help, the sooner there will be a treatment plan and path to wellness. FIND HELP HERE.
What do I say to my loved one?
"I'm concerned you may not be feeling well. I want you to know I care about your health and I want to help you feel better."
"The way you're feeling is not your fault. You're a wonderful Mom. I want to help support you and find the right help."
"I read about emotional illnesses during (pregnancy/after delivery). I found some help nearby; would it be ok if I call and make us an appointment?"
Let her know you want to hear how she is feeling.
Listen without judgment or feeling the need to offer quick solutions.
Provide tangible support in her daily life: complete household tasks, share in caring for baby.
Have a discussion about rest and sleep, ask her how you can be helpful.
Let her know she isn't alone and you will support her getting the help she needs.
PostpartumDads is a great online resource for Dads to gain insight, support and learn signs/symptoms of when YOU may be experiencing emotional distress.
The FIRST Monday of every month, Postpartum Support International hosts a free phone chat with an expert just for Dads and partners. Visit their site for more information HERE.
Dr. Daniel Singley shares excellent insight and advice for men on his WEBSITE.
Click on the book images below for more information about each book.