When we talk about the postpartum period, we focus on those who have given birth and the baby. Partners sometimes get the short end of the stick when we discuss support after the birth of a baby. This time we will focus on the postpartum experience from a partners perspective.
Many partners have concerns about how they will support their family once a baby has arrived. Particularly if the family plan is exclusive breastfeeding, many partners worry that there is not much they can do. Bathing, burping, and changing the baby are some ways to help. Organizing nursing stations, completely with pillows, snacks, and water are another way.
It is also important that partners ensure they too get enough sleep. Many times partners have one to two weeks off from work before returning. It is easy in those weeks to adjust your sleep schedule to that of the baby. This can cause increased sleep deprivation when people return to work. Remember that your sleep is as important as anyone else’s.
Consider taking shifts at night, this will allow everyone to get at least one stretch of good sleep.
It is also possible for partners to experience postpartum mood disorders. Exhaustion, change in lifestyle, change in responsibilities, and feelings of isolation due to having a small baby at home can all contribute to depression and anxiety.
Remember to seek help if you are experiencing depression, you deserve help and you are not alone!
As a partner, you are also going an emotional journey. Becoming a parent or expanding your family can be a big change. It is normal to feel overwhelmed. Remember to take time to bond with your baby, and enjoy your new role.