Healthy Mom&Baby Issue 25

Page 15

healthy moms

New Dads

CAN HAVE POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION, TOO BY ELIZABETH “LIZ” ROCHIN, PHD, RN, NE-BC

IMAGES © THINKSTOCK

Being a new dad can be tough on even the strongest person. And just as new mothers can suffer from postpartum depression (PPD), so can new fathers. Some 10% of men suffer from Paternal Postpartum Depression, or PPPD, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. DADS CAN BE SAD, TOO How many times have you heard the phrase, “Man up”? That’s what makes paternal postpartum depression difficult. Men are supposed to be “tough”—not sad or depressed. Men even feel ashamed to be sad or depressed; they don’t want to talk about their feelings. But it’s important for new moms to know how dad is feeling. Dads: Find other men who you can talk to. With the right support system, being a new father can be a wonderful experience. Find support among family, friends, nurses, dads meet-up groups, work colleagues, or wherever you relate to other guys. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF Dad, you need time for yourself, and time at work isn’t “me time!” Let family and friends watch baby

while you and mom take a break. Think about those things that help you relax and make it easier for you to care for your family. Self-care is a gift you give your baby and partner. Also, spending time caring for and nurturing your baby builds your confidence, boosting those good feelings that offset doubts and insecurities all parents feel. JUST FOR MOMS Mom, your partner wants to be able to support you and your needs. Just as you need that support, so does your baby’s dad. Listen and watch for subtle clues and changes with your partner. Is he withdrawing from you? Baby? Suddenly difficult to talk to? Not eating? Even though sleeping might be tough for both of you now, significant changes in sleep are important to notice. Together, with communication and the good support you both need, you can transition into the demanding but incredible roles of parenting.

ELIZABETH “LIZ” ROCHIN, PHD, RN, NE-BC, is

vice president of nursing at AWHONN: The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses, the organization that publishes Healthy Mom&Baby.

WARNING SIGNS OF PATERNAL POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION  Losing sleep; struggling to get good sleep  Feeling left out of mom and baby’s connection activities  Feeling stressed about becoming a dad  Difficulties in your relationship with baby’s mom  Withdrawing from mom and/or baby  Lack of a support group, including family and friends  Limited resources such as financial problems  Losing or gaining weight  Using drugs or alcohol to cope  History of depression Source: Postpartum Support International

ISSUE 25 / 2018 Healthy Mom&Baby

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