As with many things related to pregnancy and childbirth, dads often feel helpless when it comes to postpartum depression (PPD).
Dads, worry no more. The women of the FemCatholic Forum want to empower and equip you with practical tools to transform your concern into actionable support.
So, how can you help a partner struggling with PPD?
1. Acknowledge it.
Please don’t assume the mother of your child(ren) has it all together simply because everything seems fine and PPD hasn’t come up in conversation. Be aware. Ask her about it. If she brings up concerns about PPD, believe her. This is a common experience and topic of conversation among Catholic moms.
Understand that prenatal and postpartum depression are biological responses caused by dramatic hormonal changesin a woman’s body. Resist the temptation to try to solve the issue, “fix” her, or convince her that everything is okay if she tells you it isn’t.
It is vital to recognize that PPD is not a spiritual state that simply necessitates more prayer or better spiritual direction. The Holy See’s representative to the United Nations, Archbishop Jurkovich, addressed this concern at a meeting of the Human Rights Council in 2017: “Spiritual care should not be confused with, or mistaken by, so-called ‘faith healing’ to the exclusion of medical, psychological, and social assistance.” The Catholic Church supports a comprehensive approach – spiritual, medical, psychological, and social – when it comes to addressing mental health.
Read about four more concrete action items to help support a loved one with PPD at my contributor post on FemCatholic...