Does my husband have PPD? — The Bump
Postpartum Depression

Does my husband have PPD?

Our son is three weeks old tomorrow and my husband is not handling things well.  We are obviously sleep deprived, but it's more than that I think.  He's so tense all the time and he told me that he just looks at everything with the baby like a chore that he has to do.  Change, feed, settle baby to sleep....repeat.  

He volunteered to do night feedings because I was pumping.  My supply was extremely low so we've had to switch to formula which means I can do some of them now.  Last night was terrible.  At 1, my DH got up for a feeding and was having a hard time getting DS settled back down.  He got so upset that he was throwing pillows and he even hit the wall.  I had no idea what to do.  I tried to tell him to take a break and that I could take over but he told me no.

 During the day we rotate jobs.  He will volunteer to sit with DS while I nap or shower or eat, but I know he's not enjoying any of it.  When it's time for feeding he just let's out this big sigh like "here we go again".

But then other times he's really loving and doting with DS. 

I want to talk with him today, but I'm not sure what to say.  I really want him to try to be less tense and anxious.  I know the baby can sense it and it's not helping anyone.  Can fathers get PPD??  Should he talk to a counselor??  Does anyone else have a similar experience? 

Re: Does my husband have PPD?

  • Whoa!! Yes, men can go through PP depression similar to what women can go through. I highly recommend letting him go to the gym, have a beer with a friend, or take a nice long nap. In exchange to his break, YOU need a break too!! Having a newborn is extremely stressful and life sucks when you are tired all the time.

     

    In addition to both of you having your own break - if you are able to have a family member watch the baby for a few hours - that may help as well. You and your husband can go to dinner or go for a walk. Just do something together so that you can talk to each other. 

     

    No one knows the stresses of having an infant until you care for one 24 hours a day. There are definitely counselors out there that may be helpful as well. I hope things get better for you!!

  • You know what chaps my hide??? When men are SOOOO excited to have a baby and then they don't actually understand (no matter how much you tell them) how much work REALLY goes into it.  They don't even have 9 months of crazy body issues to endure, let alone change a diaper?!  Listen, the only thing that I found works is personal time.  For both of us.  Even if it means my sister comes over and I go get tea with a friend.  Or he goes out for an eve with his friends.  Balance is key.  Even during breastfeeding.  Hang in there sister!
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  • My hubby has paternal postpartum depression. He gets very upset easily and takes it out on DS, myself, and even the dog. He has told me he does not want to be a father because he did not think it would be this hard. He makes me feel bad if I ask him to watch DS so I can shower or wash bottles like it is a huge favor I am asking of him.

    I approached it by saying "honey, did you know 10 percent of new dad get postpartum depression? It seems pretty normal for guys to have a hard time being dads". He thought it was interesting that he was not the only one and it opened a good conversation. Good luck.

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