While having a baby is an exciting and special time, for many women it can also be a very stressful time. Up to 1 in 7 mothers are estimated to suffer from postnatal depression and an even higher percentage find the period very stressful. Here are some tips to help your partner if they seem to be having a hard time.
Organise her some help
Babies take up a lot of time and energy and she may be struggling with doing everything that she needs on little sleep. It can be very useful to organise some help for practical tasks such as cleaning, cooking, shopping and gardening so that she doesn't need to be trying to maintain the house. It can also be useful to take the baby for a few hours each day so that she can shower and have a nap if needed.
Lower your standards
Even if you have previously had a spotless home and prided yourself on other aspects of your life, it's okay to lower your standards for both you and your partner for a while you adjust to the new baby.
Talk to the GP
If your partner seems very distressed and having issues such as constantly crying or struggling to get out of bed, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor. Doctors are experienced in diagnosing postnatal depression and anxiety and can help offer some solutions, including medication and counselling.
It's a great idea to supplement any medication with some counseling to discuss which issues are stressful and work out some techniques to help manage the natural stresses of this time. Often, having a baby can trigger other emotional issues including issues to do with the parents, childhood and family, and it can be extremely useful to deal with these issues through counselling and work out ways to process any issues. This can stop any past issues from adversely affecting the way you both parent your child. It can be useful for the mother to have some solo sessions, but many people also find marital counselling useful if one partner is very stressed and overwhelmed. This can help you understand how to support your partner emotionally as well as in practical ways.
Being a supportive partner during a stressful time can help you to strengthen your relationship as a couple and forms a great basis for your family going forward.