MR. DADDY & Postpartum Depression
A VETERAN DAD OFFERS UP SOUND ADVICE ON WHAT FATHERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Mr. Daddy (a.k.a. Robert Nickell, founder of DaddyScrubs.com) is an entrepreneur, pharmacist, and most importantly, a father. He had his first four children over 20 years ago before remarrying and learning that he was about to be a father all over again. An expert on fatherhood, Mr. Daddy, as he’s affectionately known, is here to tell new dads (and the moms who love them) a few need-to-know things about postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is real and it can happen to any new mom, regardless of age, race or ethnicity. The onset of PPD varies from woman to woman. Though most women experience PPD within the first three months of giving birth, it can occur up to one year later.
The symptoms of PPD range from mild to severe and encompass more than just depression. Common symptoms include irritability, loss of energy, changes in appetite, feelings of guilt, withdrawn emotions, anxiety, invasive thoughts, difficulty sleeping, negative feelings towards the baby and thoughts of suicide or death. Any mother suffering from these symptoms should seek medical help immediately, but here are also some things that you can do to help too.
First, daddies should watch for any signs of PPD and encourage their wives to speak openly with someone about how they are feeling and what they are thinking—whether that someone be daddy, a friend or a counselor. Support groups can be extremely helpful, especially if your wife doesn’t want to talk to you about it. Sometimes, new moms are more inclined to talk to other women in similar situations.
It is very important for Daddy to “be there” for Mommy. Be present and be real. She needs to know that you truly want to help get up in the night, change the diaper, etc. If you volunteer your services, make sure you mean it and follow through on what you offered; otherwise, you become part of the problem and not part of the solution. Be a full partner to your wife in your new life as parents by helping out equally with the new-baby duties—and the housework too.
Having a baby brings up all kinds of new emotions, duties and routines. These changes can be difficult for both Mom and Dad. Trust me, I know. I try as hard as I can to help out around the house, make sure our cupboards are stocked with necessities and create time for Mrs. Daddy and myself to sit and breathe. Oftentimes, the little things you do can have the biggest impact. If you’re sitting on the couch together, take a few minutes to rub her back – or maybe even her feet. These kind of loving gestures work on numerous levels to remind her that she is cared for and appreciated.
So to recap, if you’ve recently had a baby, watch for the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression. Help your partner seek medical attention and support at the onset of the symptoms. If you work on things together and help with your part of the daily routines and activities, your partner (and you) may be lucky enough to sneak past this scare relatively unscathed.
Being truly, unconditionally, altruistically supportive is half the battle. You know how much you love and support your wife, just don’t forget to show her daily.
DaddyScrubs™ is the offspring of Robert Nickell, who fathered his first four children more than 20 years ago. DaddyScrubs™ was conceived when Robert, who remarried in 2007, discovered he was about to be a father all over again in the fall of 2009!
Not wanting to endure the pains of wearing uncomfortable street clothes while comforting his laboring wife, Robert hatched the idea of creating doctor-like scrubs for himself. It seemed a natural thing for him to do — since Robert is a pharmacist by profession.
To eliminate the confusion between “who’s the doctor” and “who’s the daddy,” Robert fashioned the concept of “I’m The Daddy™” medical scrubs.
All comfort wear from DaddyScrubs™ — including “I’m The Daddy™” medical scrubs and t-shirts are available exclusively online at www.daddyscrubs.com.
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