Giving birth is a right of passage. You are now part of the most fierce and revered group of individuals on earth.
A woman’s body goes through so many changes during pregnancy. Hormone levels are up and down; emotions can be a roller coaster and with these things occurring, a life is growing inside of you. I can’t imagine what these imbalances can do to a person from all facets.
And every woman who is a mother has this connection without even knowing each other. Its as if they are all sharing from the same umbilical cord after birth. But there are other things that go on after birth that some aren’t prepared for.
As fathers, husbands, caregivers, we are quick to categorize these emotions, or lack there of, in order to compartmentalize the thing we know nothing about, and on top of that, a bit afraid to explore. We know love, and expect after your significant other has given you the greatest gift on earth, they should feel elated, jubilant, ready to take on the world. Sometimes, it’s the exact opposite.
Most new mothers experience postpartum “baby blues” after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Baby blues typically begin within the first two to three days after delivery, and may last for up to two weeks. But some new moms experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression.
We as men may never understand the emotions and mindset that go on within someone suffering from postpartum depression. I believe our job is to not only try and understand, but sympathize and create a space for your significant other to feel at ease. Its our job to protect our giver of life and make sure she feels, even in her most uncertain and vulnerable state, her partner hasn’t chalk this moment up to being “just another issue.” The worst thing we can do as men is make our partner feel alone.
Here are just a few things we can do to help our partners through these tough times:
-Make sure your partner knows they are not alone
-Help them help themselves. Seeking outside help can benefit them
-Do not personalize this tough time their in. It’s not about you
-Love them through and through
-Listen to love and not to fix
-Support, sympathize and empathize.
-Be their light and their comfort
As men, we pride ourselves on being strong and providing for our family. This has been a societal norm for years. Postpartum partners have a different job though. We must be the comforting bed they sleep on. We must be the cover that makes them feel warm and safe. We must be the food that nurtures them and the words that affirm them. We must take ourselves out of the equation and be the plus, multiplier, divider and subtractor of any and everything they may need. We must go where they go (mentally, emotionally and spiritually) and be their best friend.
We, however, are not our partners saviors by any form of the word. That’s not what our partners need. We can be their helping hand, and as such, allow them to know, even without words or gestures, just by your eyes connecting to theirs, that we will go through everything with them.
There are so many instances where we face mountains that seem too high to climb. Find the best way to climb it together. And if you find someone to climb with and love… Just love that person.. And let forever see you through the rest of the way.