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Dad's PND(61 Posts)
DH and I have a 2 month old baby and DH has been experiencing post-natal depression, for which he is on medication. Has anyone had husband's in a similar position? What can I do to help him? I love him and our baby So much but am finding myself exhausted trying to manage everything myself on top of EBF, the housework, cooking, cleaning etc. DH sleeps in the guest room so as to get a decent 8 hours sleep as he is the one going to work. I have a few hours of very broken sleep as baby was premature and is feeding every couple of hours. I'm like a zombie come 7pm. I don't like to leave the baby with DH in the evenings as he gets stressed and upset trying to look after her so I end up going to bed when she does, around 10pm. She cat naps in the day and i get the housework done when i can.
What can I do to help him feel like a better dad? Or get myself a break without hurting him?
I wasn't aware that it was a condition to affect men, since they don't actually give birth. Open to be corrected. It sounds like straight-forward depression and the medication may take a while to kick in. I think you have enough on your plate without having to try to support an unwell husband aswell. Sounds very tough. Encourage him to take all medical advice and counselling if it is offered.
He has depression. He needs to seek medical help and ask for counselling.
I know that this isn't what you want to hear but do mothers with PND get to opt out of parenting?
I would encourage you to mind yourself and your baby as your priority or you are at risk of developing PND yourself. How is the BFing going? It can be hard. Formula could be easier and he could help out too. I understand if you want to ignore that suggestion though!
It's perfectly reasonable to require support when one is experiencing depression, but with a premature newborn only 8 weeks old I don't think you can be the one to give it. It sounds like you're maxed out as it is and heading for burnout, and if you both start to struggle your troubles will be multiplied!
Is there anyone else you can call on to help out with the baby and domestic chores? How about your dh, is he being proactive about reaching out to friends, relatives and professionals to provide the practical and emotional support he needs?
This sounds like a very difficult time for your family - call in all the favours you can and don't feel guilty leaning on people for a while. The time will come when you can repay kindnesses but for now just focus on getting through it however you can.
It's not actually PND though is it?
He gets 8 hours sleep? He needs to do more when he's awake.
Leave what can be left. Don't worry about keeping a perfect house or creating gourmet meals from scratch.
He may need time to exercise etc or do CBT to help lift his mood if he has depression but he can't just opt out completely of being a parent. If you continue to do absolutely everything your own health and wellbeing will suffer and then who will take over?
Work out what can be left, what he an manage and ask for outside help if you need it too.
Men can and do get post partum depression
Very ignorant comments on this thread. YES her husband has PND and YES it is real thing
Ok I'll put it another way.
When a woman is getting PND, can she escape from the night waking, looking after the baby, whilstbstill trying to maintain high standards in the house?
Nope she doesn't, unless she is so unwell that she is ending up hosptilized.
So she is getting in with it despite the PND.
So I'm asking, why is it that a father who has OND cannot be asked the same thing?
Why is it that he has to be mothered and looked after and please no one can ask anything form me, when the mother already has a newborn to look after and is recovering from birth etc...?
I think yOU NEED a chat there.
He is depressed, he is getting medical attention. He now also needs to think about you and his babaybrather than just himself.
He is a father and PND or not, he will have to step to it, just like a mother would do.
Is it hard? Yes it is. Ive had PND so I'm well aware about it.
Have I ever thought this was a get out of jail card? Nope.
Also PND is depression plain and simple. Depression taut happens after the birth of a child but is still depression.
Is being depressed and under treatment a reason good enough not to do anything in the house or to not do anything at all to do with the baby?
In my book it isn't. And certainly not when it actually then out the health of the mother at risk, see the risk of developing PND as a mum when you get no support at all....
It needs to be sorted and he needs to start doing something for his sake and yes urs and the one of his baby.
So he happens to have depression coinciding with the birth of his child. It's hardly PND. Not going to split hairs about it really as it's not what the OP needs advice on, but he didn't go through pregnancy hormones, birth, hormonal crash, physical exhaustion, recovery from birth, breast-feeding or sleep deprivation, so no. Men can experience depression after a birth but it should not be called PND FFS. Is nothing sacred anymore?
Does he have a history of depression OP? How long is he on meds?
I agree with Lewis even if you are hospitalised you are ,if possible,in a unit where the baby comes too and you are very much expected to care for it. No one swoops in and looks after it while you lie in bed until you feel better.
Men can experience depression after a birth but it should not be called PND FFS. Is nothing sacred anymore? I'm glad you said it!
He has a baby to care for. Depression doesn't exempt you from that. I have 3 dc and a history of depression: I am sympathetic but at the same time, he can't opt put of everything that needs doing. Life doesn't work like that.
I'm starting to think I should join in with gusto on the Feminism threads at this stage DameDiazepam.
Actually opting out is the worst thing you can do with a new baby as you risk not bonding. Even if it means just going through the motions you have to do it.
Do you have family/friends to help out?
Batch cooking and then freezing at the weekend might help so you aren't cooking from scratch every day.
Could you set some sort of routine, i.e. he reads a story to her every night. The three of you lying on the bed or sitting on the sofa but he's doing the activity to draw her attention. Get him involved in bath time if he's not already, small steps as not to make him withdraw/get stressed.
Have you spoken to your health visitor about this? A referral to Home Start or similar might give you a break during the day plus adult conversation. Are you going to any baby & toddler groups? I know they get mixed reviews on here but I found them a lifesaver and have taken other people's babies for a walk etc when they were desperate/needed time on their own for whatever reason.
What happens at weekends?
(I had PnD following my son's arrival along PTSD from a previous event and a lot fell to my DH in the first few months which really took a toll on him. The reading/bathing comes from what worked for me to help me bond with a baby I originally didn't believe was mine).
I agree with Lewis. I'm not saying he's not suffering from depression but surely he hasn't endured the crazy hormones after giving birth, he's still getting that precious sleep we crave when looking after a newborn. You can't look after a newborn & shoulder this too, he needs to go to the GP & be proactive with getting help.
TiesThatBindMe I've been dipping my toe in, slowly!
It is a real thing. My DH had it. Get him a referral for cbt, that helped my DH immensely. Good luck.
He's depressed and he needs to get help for it. It does not mean he gets to opt out of the drudgery of parenting.
I had PND (I actually gave birth - post partum) and did night feeds, nappy changing, the lot.
Who's looking after you OP?
I've suffered PND and suffered depression at other times also, so I know it can hit you like a truck, but he's getting a full 8 hours sleep and he needs to help out a bit. You need support too you know. It shouldn't need to be the other way round. Does he do anything to help? Does he cook? Does he hold the baby or anything? You say he gets upset when he's with the baby - do you know why that is? Is there any risk he has any psychosis? It's hard to know what to advise as we're not medical professionals (well I'm not at least). My only advice is to try to mind yourself and baby first and foremost really. Hopefully he will recover soon.
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