Postpartum depression or anxiety affects the whole family, especially
taking a toll on relationships. Your partners may be taken by surprise and
they may not know what to say or do OR may say or do the wrong thing.
Let's get your partner involved today and go through how they can support
TRUE. Remember 1 out of 5 women will experience postpartum depression.
Recent studies have also shown that 1 out 5 women are also experiencing
postpartum anxiety. This is a very common medical issue mother’s face that
partners should be aware of.
Remember the first 2 weeks after delivery 80% of women experience emotional
ups and downs. However, if this lasts longer than 2 weeks or feelings are
more intense- this could be postpartum depression or anxiety.
FALSE. Know the symptoms and be mindful of how mom is doing.
This may be hard as women who have postpartum anxiety/depression may take
out the brunt of their irritability or anger on their partner.
Typical symptoms you may think of are:
She may feel sad and crying frequently
She doesn’t show any interest and enjoys the things she once did.
She has Low energy or feels tired and sleeps all the time.
Here are some symptoms that are atypical but also commonly experienced in
Preoccupation with baby’s health or feeding
Agitation and Anxiety
Irritability, Anger and rage
Appetite changes (eating too much or not at all)
Non-psychotic intrusive thoughts and images
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Being aware of symptoms and what you can do is important.
Good news is that postpartum depression/anxiety is treatable!
As a partner, if you are concerned about her, don’t try to fix this or
But rather encourage mom to speak to a healthcare provider about how she is
Let's go through a few things a partner CAN do that can support moms
experiencing postpartum depression/anxiety.
Postpartum depression and anxiety can be difficult to talk about. Mostly
your role as a partner is to listen and be a “safe space” to share and
REMEMBER you are not trying to fix anything or give advice.
It is important to talk openly about symptoms partners have seen and how
they want to help. But…share feelings and concerns in a non-judgmental
way without blame.
Moms with postpartum depression/ anxiety are already laying the blame on
strong on themselves.
Starting sentences with “I” statements to focus on YOUR feelings.
“I notice”- I notice that you are very worried about our baby's weight.
“I’m worried”- I’m worried that you are not sleeping well.
“I feel…, when…”- I feel hurt when you snap at me.
Go ahead and try any I statement now. Practice makes progress!
Reassurance and Gratitude
TRUE! Mothers with postpartum depression/anxiety often feel guilty, like
they are failing at being a mom.
You may think saying “ You are a great mom” will help. BUT they may just
think you are just saying that to make them feel better.
What does help? Highlighting the many things she does all day for baby and
family may help. And express your gratitude!
Give her concrete examples throughout the day to support her.
Support her sleep
TRUE! Sleep deprivation is associated with risk for postpartum depression
Yes, with a newborn it is expected to have sleepless nights and erratic
Try some of the following:
Divide up the nighttime parenting more equally between the two of
If she is nursing, be ready to burp and change diapers so she can
catch some ZZZ’s in between. Take on nighttime bottle-feeding if
Let mom sleep in after morning feeling if you are at home.
Schedule a time mom nap while you tend to the baby.
*Some may enlist help from a caregiver or another family member for
additional daytime or nighttime support!
That means’ emotionally and physically!
To help around the house
This is a time that partners should help around the house without having to
be asked to help. Get some dinner ready, feed the other kids, do some
Not sure how to help? Ask your partner and create a list for the day
Spend time with your partner. Postpartum time can feel so isolating for
many moms. Just sitting together or being next to her while she nurses (if
she is comfortable with that) can feel supportive. It may be hard for you ,
especially if you are experiencing the anger and irritability, but just
5-10 minutes can be helpful.
Self-care for partners.
TRUE! 1 out of 10 partners can experience postpartum depression.
Partners need to give themselves space to maintain their own mental
wellbeing. It can be hard to be there to support your partner with
postpartum depression/ anxiety and it can take a toll on your own mental
Things to do to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed or depleted:
Take some alone time- meditate, work out whatever you need.
Text/ call a friend
Partner support groups to talk to others in the same boat
While postpartum depression and anxiety can be challenging on a
relationship, it can also strengthen a couple’s bond.
Knowing the warning signs is important in order to be a supportive partner
during this time.
Remember you are a team playing for the same side!
*Some couples may benefit from couples counseling to help with more
specific tips to navigate postpartum depression/anxiety.