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Looking after yourselves

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 The arrival of a new baby brings with it many changes. Many of them happy and exciting, but becoming a parent can also be challenging.It is important that you look after each other. Share  the highs and the lows. Take a few moments as often as you can to talk as a couple and share your feelings. You may also find that you and your partner have different parenting  styles, try and    talk through any  differences.Parenting can be demanding and you may be surprised at the different emotions you experience and possibly the intensity of them.You may find  that your own  experiences of being  parented influence your parenting style .This could be both positive, and negative. If you find you are adversely affected, talk to a professional in  confidence.

Postnatal Depression (PND)

 Postnatal depression is depression that can happen to new mothers, and starts during the first year of a baby’s life. It most commonly starts within the first few months but can start within six  weeks.  Approximately 1:10 mothers suffer from it.

 It can impact on all members of the family. You are the one most likely to notice a change in your partners behaviour as you probably know her well, and are spending a lot of time in her  company.

 Many signs and symptoms of post natal depression are feelings or behaviours that are normally experienced when parenting a new baby.
 If these are prolonged or exaggerated your partner may have a problem. If you are concerned, talk to your midwife, health visitor, or GP. They will be used to hearing about it and will be able to  help and  reassure you.

PND is an illness and not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Talking about it will enable your partner to get help. The sooner it is identified the easier it is to treat and overcome.

PND can affect each mother in varying degrees. The treatment for PND varies too, according to each individual’s needs. It could be ‘someone to talk to’, counselling, or medication, or a combination.

Your partner will need your support and the support of family members if they are around.
You too might find it difficult to cope if your partner is depressed so it is important you get help and advice for yourself if this is the case.

Some situations that can contribute to postnatal depression are

  • Depression during pregnancy
  • Previous history of depression
  • Lack of support
  • Difficult birth
  • Unfulfilled expectations (such as breastfeeding, bonding)


Fathers also might have difficulty adjusting to parenthood.

  • Coping with the new responsibilities
  • The change in family dynamics
  • Tiredness.

 

If you feel overwhelmed, talk to somebody, another new Dad, friends and family, or your GP.