Postpartum depression is a prevalent (and some would say primarily ignored) condition that affects new mothers and can often lead to relationship difficulties. In this article, we’ll be looking at eight ways to know if your partner has postpartum depression — and if so, how you can help them.
1. She Is Crying Unexplainably
It’s not uncommon to go through periods of crying when you’re new parents. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, and it’s okay to shed a few tears. But if your partner is crying for no reason—or if they start crying for reasons that don’t seem related to the stresses of parenthood—it could be a sign of postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is a severe condition that affects women who have recently given birth. Symptoms include feeling sad or hopeless, irritable, and having trouble sleeping. If left untreated, postpartum depression can lead to thoughts of suicide or self-harm. If you notice any symptoms in your partner, talk with them about getting help immediately.
2. She Is Eating More Than Usual and Not Realizing It
Postpartum depression can create a false sense of hunger in new mothers. They might feel they need to eat more than usual because they think they’re hungry when they aren’t, or they might not realize how much food they’ve already eaten. In addition to this, some women will binge eat during their pregnancies and then continue eating more after giving birth.
3. She Has Lost Interest in Things She Used to Enjoy
The postpartum period is a time of immense change for every woman. The body, mind, and heart have endured much during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. The new mother is in the throes of trying to recover from the physical trauma her body has experienced. Most women don’t realize these changes can affect their minds and emotions in ways they never imagined possible.
The first few weeks after giving birth are times of complete exhaustion for new mothers. They are not only tired physically but mentally as well. Their brains are still adapting to their new roles as mothers while they try to nurture their newborns, who need constant attention every hour of every day.
As these mothers adjust to having a baby in their arms all day long, many lose interest in things they used to enjoy before becoming pregnant or having children. If you notice that your wife has lost interest in things she used to enjoy, take it seriously because it’s a sign that she may be suffering from postpartum depression (PPD).
4. Trouble Sleeping
This can manifest in a few different ways. Some women have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night—they may feel anxious or restless when lying down to rest. When depression has set in, she may be despondent and too exhausted to do many of her motherly duties independently.
When you notice your partner experiencing these symptoms, please talk with your doctor about how to help her through this difficult time. You can also try some simple things like dimming lights in the evening, playing soft music while she’s resting at night (which can help her sleep more soundly), and ensuring she gets exercise during the day so she doesn’t feel too tired in the evenings.
5. She Becomes Angry or Irritable Easily
The symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety are varied, but many people experience mood swings as well as other changes in their emotional state. One of the most common symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety is feeling irritable, and it’s not uncommon for people to feel this way even if they don’t have an underlying condition like postpartum depression or anxiety. If drastic mood swings are something new for her, it could be a sign of something more serious—especially if her symptoms start affecting your relationship with each other or with other family members.
6. She Has Trouble Concentrating or Remembering Things
It can be hard to tell if your partner’s memory lapses are due to a lack of sleep or just part of the transition into motherhood. But if they’re having trouble remembering what they would say during conversations or making plans with friends, it could be a sign that something more serious is happening.
So what can you do about it? First, ask your partner if she’s feeling okay. If she says she is, but you still think something is up, you can suggest seeing a doctor together to get some answers.
If the doctor diagnoses her with postpartum depression, there are many ways you can help her through this difficult time. It would be best if you encouraged her to take care of herself by eating correctly, getting plenty of rest, making sure she receives any medical care she needs, and helping her find support groups to talk with other women who are going through similar struggles.
7. She Often Feels Guilty or Sad and Is Overwhelmed by Everyday Tasks.
Though guilt is an emotion that can occur in people of all mental health statuses, it’s one of the most common feelings experienced by new mothers with postpartum depression. This feeling is often brought on by sleep deprivation and hormone changes in their bodies—which means that women are likely to experience them at some point during this period.
But one thing that distinguishes postpartum depression from other forms of sadness is its tendency to linger even when there are no apparent reasons for it. Because of this, guilt can become a powerful symptom for those who experience it—especially if they start feeling guilty about things that seem like no big deal (like taking too long in the shower or not spending enough time with their partner).
8. She Is Emotionally Distant From Her Child
Postpartum depression affects up to 15% of women following childbirth. It’s characterized by symptoms like severe sadness and anxiety, which can also be present in other mental illnesses like bipolar disorder. But as we all know, people who are depressed often have trouble bonding with their babies, and that’s why one of the surest signs that you’re dealing with postpartum depression is if your partner seems emotionally detached from her child.
Many mothers who have postpartum depression don’t realize what’s wrong because they think that it’s normal for new moms to feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for their newborns. So you must know what to look out for so you can get help for both of you as soon as possible!
Postpartum depression can strike any new mom. That’s why having a healthy fear is warranted and necessary. There are ways that you can protect yourself and assess your partner’s mental state during and after pregnancy so that you can take extra precautionary steps in protecting your family.