For the Dads: 7 things to do when Moms cry
Sometimes the arrival of healthy sweet bundles of joy into the household doesn't always mean endless amounts of joy. Childbirth is physically demanding and babies require lots of attention and household routines are flipped upside down. New motherhood is an emotional experience and looking after and new baby is a huge responsibility and a shit ton of work. Some days it's great and other days are really hard.
Dad's, you need to know that...
- It's normal
- You probably can't 'fix it'
- Be nice. Be nice to your partner. And yourself.
Even experienced mothers have mixed feelings about their new baby. Two thirds of all mothers feel emotionally fragile or numb in the first 10 days after birth. The cause of baby blues stems from being so exhausted, the stress of childbirth all of the hormonal changes.
Mothers may feel:
- Like parenthood is not what you expected
- Anxious about body image
- Like there's a lack of support
So what can you do?
- Ask! Ask her what you can do.
- Can you do housework? what would she like you to do dishes? Laundry? there's nothing worse for a new mom than working all day trying to take care of a baby and then she looks around and see all kinds of undone housework. Do your part to keep things neat so she has one less thing to worry about.
- Encourage her to take some time for herself, let her know you're ready to hold the baby so she can take a shower.
- Make some food! Moms are breastfeeding and we're hungry/thirsty 98% of the time.
- Encourage her to take a nap or go to bed early, let her know that you're ready to hold the baby and she can take a nap and when you need her, you'll wake her up.
- Maybe even just ask if she would like you to call her mom or sister or best friend to come over.
- And don't expect that all of the strategies above will make everything "better" your goal is just try and make it a little better to be comforting and to definitely not make it worse.
For most mothers, the baby blues pass quickly with care and support. In some cases, however, a more lasting depression develops that is severe enough to interfere with daily activities and runs for more than two weeks. This is called postnatal depression and effects up to one and five mothers.
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