Most women will have feelings of sadness, or depression after childbirth due to hormonal changes. Sadness and feelings of unworthiness are quite normal, and are called the “baby blues”. However, if the signs of depression last more than two weeks, your partner is most likely suffering from Postpartum Depression.
Common Signs and Symptoms to look for in you Spouse:
- Having no energy or motivation
- Eating too little or too much
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Having trouble focusing or making decisions
- Having memory problems
- Showing signs of feeling guilt, or a sense of unworthiness
- Losing interest or pleasure in activities they used to enjoy
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Having headaches, aches and pains, or stomach problems that don’t go away
- Having thoughts of hurting the baby, or themselves
- Not having any interest in the baby, not feeling connected to the baby
- Feeling restless or moody
- Feeling sad, hopeless, or overwhelmed
- Excessive crying
- Having trouble focusing, or making decisions
- Changed behaviour
- Taking larger risks than normal. This includes both physical risk and other types or risk such as financial risk. A person might as an example start trading in high risk financial instruments or start gambling.
No one knows your partner like you do if something seems off it probably is; home life usually has some type of regular routine, so changes are usually noticeable.
When a new mother seems detached from the baby, or you it is likely she is suffering from postpartum depression. You might notice changes in hygiene, bathing too much or too little. Your spouse may be paying too much attention, or too little attention to the baby; obsessive cleaning or caring for the baby is also usually pronounced.
Perhaps you have noticed excessive mood swings, anger, or an inability to have any patience. Does your partner speak of hurting the baby or herself? Aggression and mood swings will be common in postpartum depression. A fluctuation in mood or extensive crying is usually a good indication that your spouse is suffering from more than just the baby blues.
Most commonly, sex drive can be affected as well. Does your partner seem distant sexually, or emotionally? Do they avoid wanting to be touched, or seem disconnected? A new mother will usually show signs of low self esteem such as; complaints of unworthiness or not being a good mother, or spouse.
It is important to remember that your spouse is going through a lot of changes, and a strong support group is very helpful through postpartum depression. If your loved one is experiencing postpartum depression the best thing you can do is to give each other support.
Postnatal depressive moods and anxiety disorders affect everybody the family. The more time you spend understanding the feelings associated with these emotions the easier it will be to help your spouse.
While the problem can resolve itself in time, this does not mean that it should be left to run its course. Postpartum Depression (PPD) is not a problem that can be solved by means of an attitude adjustment. If symptoms continue for more than two weeks, you and your wife should consider professional help for her depression. It is vital to remember that these signs and symptoms can show themselves in up to six months after childbirth.
If you notice dramatic changes to your spouse it is best to open lines of communication between each other. Ask questions about her day, or how she might be feeling; address any concerns you might have for your partners well being. Communication is the key to a successful relationship and family; once you, and your partner talk about the depression you can take steps to helping them to a better mental well being. Talking makes it easier if you have to convince your wife to seek medical care or counseling.