Memorial Hermann - A New Beginning

Spouses and Partners

Becoming a family with a new baby will affect your sleep, time, sexual intimacy, finances, and much more. Be patient with yourself and your partner as you both learn to adapt to the changes that come with life as a new parent. You are an important member of this family and need to take good care of yourself, too. Remember, you’re in this together. It’s important that you and your partner speak freely about the best ways to manage all the new responsibilities. PATERNAL PERINATAL DEPRESSION (PPND) Partners can experience emotional challenges too. Significant life changes can sometimes cause depression and anxiety for your spouse or partner. Depression in men after the birth of a baby is called paternal perinatal depression or PPND. Female partners and adoptive parents can also experience depression and anxiety once baby comes home. All of these feelings are valid. PPND can begin in the first trimester of pregnancy and up until 6 months after the baby is born. It’s more common when the birthing parent is experiencing postpartum depression. On average, 8% of men worldwide—and 14% of men in the U.S.—will have some form of this condition. It’s more widespread during months 3-6 post-birth than in the first 3 months. Symptoms of PPND can include: • Loss of interest in work, like problems with motivation and concentration • Increased complaints of physical issues, like headaches or weight loss • Becoming easily stressed and discouraged • Increased anger, irritability, and violent behavior • Increased use of alcohol and drugs

Tips for dealing with PPND: • Plan ahead: Taking a class for new or expectant fathers may help • Talk it out: Communicating your feelings with your spouse, partner, or friends may help • Build healthy habits: Eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough rest can help • Ask for help: Talking with a health professional who has experience in this area can help Don’t be afraid to be open and honest about how you are feeling. Your health care provider can connect you with therapy, support groups, and other resources that can help you get better. Know that you are not alone and there is help. Be sure to read the information on page 14 to better understand the emotional changes your partner may be experiencing. They may not recognize the symptoms. If you feel more care is needed, contact their health care provider or take them to the nearest emergency room.

SOME TIPS TO TRY

Skin-to-skin contact It is good for both of you

Celebrate the new baby But guard the door so visitors don’t stay too long

Eye contact Babies love it and can see about 12 inches away at first

Your schedule will change Be flexible and expect the unexpected

Be patient and confident It takes time to learn diapering, burping, bathing, etc.

Give yourself grace You may not enjoy every minute and it may be stressful

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Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care

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