Katie Monarch, a licensed clinical social worker, explains how husbands can assist their wives who are at risk for, or experiencing, postpartum depression/PPD.
Katie L. Monarch:
I think that preparedness is very helpful, and I think that it’s important for that significant other to know that there isn’t a prevention, that the mother needs support after the delivery, understanding that if it does get to a point where she needs medications to kind of help her to make that decision. I think it’s important that the significant other be involved perhaps in therapy with mom or at least go, make perhaps one of the visits to the psychiatrist so that that person feels supported as well.
Lots of times the significant other gets to a point where, ”I don’t know what to do anymore. I am a fixer. I am trying to help this. I am trying to avoid this,” and that person gets burned out just as much as mom does. So knowing that I can provide support, I can’t fix this for you, but I can certainly back you up 100%. It’s very important too that the mom knows that she is still important because once mom delivers, all of the attention usually goes on to the baby.
So if that significant other can kind of make her feel a little bit important or remind her, you know, of the love that they have or the planning that they had and that they do still find mom beautiful. Those types of things sometimes can be very, very helpful because what happens is we get caught up in our every day and taking care of the baby and making sure everything is perfect, and that mom who is slipping further and further away from that point of being able to do that needs that significant other to be there to remind them what a gift this baby really has been for us.
About Katie L. Monarch, L.C.S.W.:
Katie Monarch is the Project Director for the Post Partum Depression program at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, where she helped design an education-focused facility. At this hospital all new mothers are screened for postpartum depression through the Bridges for Newborns program using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).