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Postpartum Depression Hits Right Away










QUESTION:

I just wanted to write and thank you for all of the great information provided by the course and the textbook. I would also like to share some of my early experiences.

During the course and in the book, it stated that postpartum depression usually occurs between six weeks and one year after delivery. In our case, it hit my wife hard within days of arriving home.

At the time, I didn't even realize what was going on and never expected it to happen so soon. I couldn't understand why she wasn't interested in caring for him (her mom kept saying that they weren't baby people).

Instead of seeking help for my wife, I just "took over" without even realizing that I was doing it. I started pulling away from my wife as she receded into herself. I started losing the admiration and respect that I had had for her when she used to interact with other people's babies and children.

I had thought she would make a great mom and became disappointed that she wasn't interested in being a mom, even though we had this beautiful baby with whom I had developed an intense bond.

Finally, after several months of me working out of home and taking care of the baby and approaching total exhaustion, my wife's lactation consultant recognized the postpartum depression and referred her to a psychiatrist.

The baby is now seven months old and my wife is doing much better. She is turning into the mother I thought she would be and we are slowly reconnecting and getting back to where we were before the baby came along.

The baby adds joy to our lives every day. I feel embarrassed and disappointed that I didn't see the postpartum depression much earlier since all of the signs were there. But I didn't expect it to happen so soon after the baby was born.

It would be great if other dads could have the information that postpartum depression can happen within days or weeks after the baby is born in some women. Now that things are good, I can see that we missed out on so much joy those first few weeks and months.




ANSWER:

Thanks a great deal; experiences like yours are what we learn from. It is unusual the depression hit so fast, but every new dad whose mate experiences this should know it can.

As far a feeling embarrassed and disappointed, you should know that you rank at the heroic end of the range for performances by new fathers, and regardless of the delayed diagnosis (healthcare providers have the responsibility for evaluating moms during the first weeks), you stepped up big time, did the best you could, and now your new family is doing great.

"After several months of me working out of home and taking care of the baby and approaching total exhaustion . . . The baby is now seven months old and my wife is doing much better.She is turning into the mother I thought she would be and we are slowly reconnecting and getting back to where we were before the baby came along. The baby adds joy to our lives every day."

At lot of guys at seven months along cannot say this, and they did not have to contend with serious post partum issues.

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