One can say that I did know some of my clients for eight, seven, or six months, enough time to get them (the mom mainly) On the right track, I have been successful sometimes, others not. Today's clients are very young and in my opinion most don't really get what they are getting into when they become pregnant. The whole pregnancy ordeal is a big "mystery" neither client is aware or prepared for what is coming. No one can predict anything when it comes to pregnancies. Absolutely no one knows ahead of time if they are going to be affected and they will be affected.
I honestly believe that at least while pregnant both parents should enjoy one another and the pregnancy, when the baby arrives a lot comes into play like:
1) How some moms become obsessed with the newborn baby and neglect the dad
2) How some moms become obsessed with breastfeeding to the point they go into denial especially when they cannot breastfeed.
3) How some moms who chose not to know the sex of the baby during pregnancy become depressed if the baby is not the sex she had hoped for
4) How some moms become unreachable, communication is lost
5) How some moms cannot cope with the constant crying of the newborn baby day and night especially when she is overly tired and trying to get her sleep through the night so she can recuperate from childbirth. Especially if she is used to sleeping long and peacefully.
6) If you have a baby nurse she is in your home to help you in anyway she can, allow her to do this, try to listen to her and should she suggest she call your OB understand that it is only for your own good. Work with her.
7) No sexual drive
1) How some dads feel alienated by moms who are totally in love with their newborn baby
2) How some dads feel moms who are experiencing PPD transform themselves into someone unrecognizable to the dad. Her change is drastic.
3) How some dads cannot cope with the constant crying of the newborn especially when he is trying to get his sleep through the night so he can function at work the following day. Especially if he is used to sleeping long and peacefully
4) How some dads who chose not to know the sex of the baby during pregnancy become depressed if the baby is not the sex he had hoped for
5) How some dads are affected because some moms do not want to go out anymore but choose to stay home instead with the baby
6) In my opinion most dads will become depressed if their wives develop PPD simply because they feel useless, helpless and simply do not know what to do.
7) No sexual drive
I have always maintained that not only Moms go through PPD but a lot of dads do too. In dads case they hide their emotions trying not to upset their wives, some simply want to please their wives but it becomes impossible due to the state some women get into when their baby is born,
Usually these symptoms often go unnoticed and fail to be addressed, because of this you will notice that sometimes there is great tension especially in the last trimester of the pregnancy when moms whos belly is huge that all they want to do is get the whole thing over and done with but it does not happen, they continue pregnant for the duration and this causes irritability and great discomfort. The saga continues and even more so when the newborn arrives especially if the mom is obsessed with breastfeeding. Some men do not pay attention to the symptoms of their baby blues or depression and that can be detrimental to them, their marriage and family.
They shut down completely and what happens is that the condition worsens. I have encountered situations where dads do not even want to sometimes approach their wives because of the wife's drastic transformation. There have been times when dads feel that the love their wives have found in the newborn baby has replaced the love they had for the dad. In turn the dad becomes distant from their wives by staying out of the house burying himself in work or something else, some dads find comfort in going out with the his pals drinking, working extra late, some find comfort in the arms of another woman, anything that will keep them away from their wives and the baby. Once they get home they are off to bed. They become irritable, every little thing bothers them, a complete transformation that is noticeable especially after dealing with them for months. I can't help but see how strained the relationship has become from when they first seeked my services.
A mom who is going through her own baby blues/ppd issues is devastated because she feels all alone with her baby, this is why one must be truly prepared for a pregnancy and one must communicate especially when you feel your partner drifting away, you must be determined then to work as a team, communication is huge before, during and after pregnancy. The whole pregnancy ordeal should be a joyous celebration and when you come home with your newborn baby this should be an unforgettable time, a beautiful time so for your own good and for the good of your partner and relationship learn to communicate and learn to recognize the pattern, the behavior of a partner that is drifting away because of baby blues or ppd.
Postpartum depression is linked with the baby being unplanned or unexpected, the father unhappy about the gender of the baby, the baby having health problems or being colicky, and the baby having breast-feeding or bottle-feeding problems
In my opinion PPD in both women and men are related to many reasons but these are the most commons ones:
1) Unplanned parenthood
2) the woman feeling during and after pregnancy that she is not loved as she thinks she should or wants to be loved
3) dad feeling trapped and tricked into a situation perhaps he was not ready for
4) mom feeling depressed about breastfeeding if she prefers not to but is being pushed by her husband or friends
5) sometimes it can be the sex of the child if it was not what either had hoped for
6)) If the baby has health issues that can be another factor
A lot of times what you are watching in a dad is not his routine self but symptoms of dads blues or paternal depression which manifest's themselves in different ways
3) excessive working
4) drinking more than usual
5) neglecting both the mom and the baby
6) wants out all the time
Pregnancy should be a huge deal for both partners, something so big that you need to plan carefully. If you are both prepared mentally, emotionally, physically and monetarily for the event, trust me, that is more than half the battle but if you are not properly prepared for pregnancy, there can be a lot of problems. Couples who do not practice safe sex need to be prepared in case pregnancy happens. There is no way you can have unsafe sex and think that the possibility does not exist of you becoming pregnant. It's a risk you are taking and in my opinion only those who are prepared for pregnancy should practice unsafe sex. The repercussions can be devastating to both parties. Once you become pregnant, be more concerned about learning about baby care, keeping your relationship strong and together no matter what and maintaining at all times the lines of communication open between both of you.
This is why I tell all first time parents that learning about newborn care is what matters, not breastfeeding and going to breastfeeding classes because as I have said many time throughout this blog it is not guaranteed that you will be breastfeeding material. Everything else I talk about here in my blog you will live, make no mistake about it. By not planning carefully and educating yourself about what is in store for you can be bitterness you both can experience.
For years dads have had to live with criticism when it comes to pregnancy. It is a fact that a man will never understand nor be able to have a child naturally but that was God's doing, he did not choose for it to be that way, sort of like it is what it is. I do agree that many men do not get the whole pregnancy thing but I feel that unfortunately that applies more to men who have a selfish demeanor but having lived in the homes of many clients, I truly believe that there are many dads out there who though unable to bring a newborn into world make better parents than many women who bring children into the world.
Some men are more sensitive and more understanding than others, these want to know everything about their wives pregnancy, birthing and about the newborn baby, this dad is very involved but the bottom line here is that this type of man loves his wife. Of course as baby nurses we are outsiders so we will never know if our male clients love their wives or partners but when you go into the home of those where love oozes through the house or apartment, I can say that those men do try and hard to get what their wives are going through, of course they ask me about the baby but they are more concerned about their wives and what they are going through and want to know what they can do to make the whole blues, PPD period less stressful for their wives. They ask for my advice on how they can make it work for the wife, so some men really get involved because having the baby is a big deal to them but getting their wife back to normal is even more important.
I believe that all parents go through some form of baby blues, both mom and dads. PPD is caused by a combination of things but I strongly believe moms suffer from PPD do so because
1) Breastfeeding to me is a big culprit
2) Perhaps mom is experiencing some deficit in the marriage and hopes that during and especially after pregnancy dad would come around to overcoming what she wants them to change, something that perhaps will never happen or can even worsen because many men look at that way of thinking as trying to trap them. Perhaps mom feels that he is away from the home too long leaving her alone with a baby nurse or family and friends to take care of the baby something that she feels is the responsibility of her and dad, perhaps there is little communication between them or some other issue and she feels that a baby might make it all better, or maybe he is not as loving and attentive as she would like him to be or as she hears her friends talk about their husbands, you will hear many moms complain that they want or wish their husbands were more involved, more compassionate, gentler, more understanding of what she is going through after the baby is born.
I believe that having a baby is the most overwhelming period for a first time mom, I have seen the strongest of women, women who are in the corporate world and are tough convert into pure mush when it comes to dealing with their newborn baby. But in my opinion I will always believe breastfeeding will always the biggest culprit, so this coupled with other issues for those moms who are unsuccessful at breastfeeding their newborn baby and for those moms who feels overwhelmed because either the baby nurse does not know how to train her newborn or newborns to sleep through the night and mom stays up listening to them cry is another huge factor, by this time the mom is feeling like a zombie and for the most part, especially if they are married to the type of dad that sleeps through the entire ordeal, this makes it all worse, tomorrow a new day dawns and everything repeats itself, this is enough to drive the strongest of women insane, then there are issues with the marriage because it takes a toll on both partners.
Some dads need to be more sympathetic towards what their wives go through during pregnancy but for there to be any success during this time and after the newborn arrives, both parents have to be ok with having a baby, if dad says ok because his wife wants a baby, he risks the chance of feeling trapped later on, if mom has a baby just to please her husband, she too will feel some kind of way if she is not ready. Your body goes through a beating, your mental state is like a seasaw, also going up and down and God forbid, the horrible experience they may go through if the mom or dad wants to breastfeed and this is not in the cards for the mom, it is extremely overwhelming because most moms feel like failures and this is not the way to feel. It is beyond comprehension sometimes, but it is very painful and humiliating to many moms because the first thing that comes to their mind is that they are bad moms, incapable of feeding their baby, they are incompetent, useless and on and on, feelings that they should not be feeling because it is not their fault. I have watched dads who truly adore their wives do everything to bring the wife out of this funk, and I have watched dads who may love their wives but believe that the wife is making it all up or to some degree to get his attention and that usually can happen when the mom feels as though she is not being loved by the dad enough or he is not as engaged with the baby as she would hope he would be, the mom that expected more and feels she is getting less, the mom that adores her husband and wants to be the center of his world as oppose to his work being the center of his world. I have seen dads take off days, some a week, some two weeks, of course some are happy to have this time off while others it is clear to see would prefer to be at the office, perhaps not because he does not care but because he does not want to see his wife go through the changes which make him feel completely helpless.
No matter which dad your are, in my opinion the pregnancy ordeal, the birthing of the newborn, the drastic changes in his wife personality if she wants to breastfeed and is unable to breastfeed can drive most dads completely out of their minds because the transformation the mom goes through is unrecognizable, all of this in my opinion takes a big toll on dads and for all that I have seen and I have seen a lot, I have always maintained that Dads too go through their own bouts of blues or even Paternal Depression as I call it. I have seen dads bury themselves in their work to avoid confrontations or to escape what is happening, I have seen dads become disraught because he feels useless, unable to help because it is an area where he has absolutely no expertise in, I have seen Dads drink themselves into a comatose state, I have seen dads become distant, I have seen dads resent and ignore the baby, I have seen dads resent the mom and even the in laws and close family and friends. I have seen dads fuse get very short because he feels incompetent and has to put up with moms or others saying, men will never get it and such. That is why a baby must be planned and both sides have to be on the same page. Never entertain having a baby without planning having it...Sometimes what is a pleasant surprise for one might be a nightmare to the partner so please plan together and cover all that you expect from one another during and after pregnancy.
I have gotten a lot of heat from lactation consultants because I advocate attending newborn care classes first, I encourage learning what most "ALL" first time parents will experience instead of attending breastfeeding classes prior to the mom having the baby. A newborn care class will teach you both exactly how to care for the newborn baby and what to expect at lease the first two months of the baby's life. The newborn class will work with dads, explaining things they have no idea about and that is more important in my opinion. The first two months of the newborn's life is the time that causes most chaos to both mom and dad... So in my opinion The Newborn Class should be the introduction to parenthood remember that not everyone can breastfeed and those that can it is an option, what you will encounter with the newborn baby is a fact that 99% of parents will go through.
Words Of Wisdom: “Newborn Care should be the first class given to first time parents, remember that not everyone can breastfeed and those that can, to them it's an option, but the hardships first time parents will encounter when their newborn baby arrive are facts that 99% of first time parents will experience” By learning about what to expect will able you to be able to tackle any situation you are faced with when your newborn baby arrives, that is something that is going to make you happy not overwhelm you!