Welcoming a New Baby: How is Dad Doing?
So, you’ve just had a baby – but you feel like something is a little off. While it may seem most other mothers and fathers you meet are gushing over every coo, giggle, and cuddle, you’re feeling inadequate, irritable, and withdrawn. If these traits describe how you’re feeling, you may have paternal postnatal depression – that’s right! New fathers, like new mothers, are also at risk for developing depression after the birth of a baby.
The birth of a new baby is a major life event. You’re no longer sleeping through the night, you’re eating more processed convenience food, and you can’t seem to make it off of the sofa and into the gym. It’s not easy!
As new parents, we are often expected to be filled with feelings of excitement, and joy upon the arrival of our new addition – but for some, the instinctual bonding they expect to develop, never seems to truly set in. It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts, wondering, “how come I’m not feeling the connection that everyone is talking about?”
You know you love your baby and want what is best for their future, but no matter how hard you try to make yourself feel that bond, it just isn’t working. Resentment, frustration, and quite frankly, a lack of motivation to do anything about it seem to dominate the affectionate personality you know you once had. You’re not alone.
Most people have heard about new moms developing postpartum depression. Maybe you know someone who has struggled with the challenge – but did you know that postnatal depression isn’t just isolated to new moms?
Maternal postpartum depression and anxiety disorders are rapidly gaining awareness. This is good news because the growth in awareness is encouraging new moms to speak out about their experience and seek treatment so that they can better cope.
Sadly, new fathers that find themselves struggling with depression are not receiving the support they need– often leaving dads with paternal postnatal depression to suffer in silence. It’s time we start remembering to ask new fathers how they are adjusting to life with a new baby too, because the condition is not gender discriminate.
It can be scary, feeling as though you’re reacting to what you thought would be the most blissful event of your life, as if it were a disappointment – but we can help.
To learn about the symptoms of PPND (Paternal Postnatal Depression) click here. To learn more about how to get help, please contact us at Oasis to schedule your FREE consultation.