Did you know that men are impacted by childbirth? That’s right. People are often dismissive of men and their mental health after the birth of a new child. Often, the priority is the woman, while 2 parents welcome a child into the world. The communicated message is that the woman has the child, she may or may not be nursing and her body is going through changes. What is the man experiencing? We are not here to minimize the woman's experience, we are here to highlight the impact of childbirth on men.
We also minimize the impact of Mental Health on each partner. Men are impacted when their spouses are diagnosed with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety as well.
Below are some of the ways childbirth impacts men and ways to support men.
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Oversleeping or lack of sleep
- Loss of pleasure or interests
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of energy
- Lack of motivation
- Fear of becoming a new parent
- Fear of failure
- Feeling overwhelmed with balancing work, the addition of a new child, the changes in their significant other, and life
- Overthinking becoming a new parent, their new life, the loss of their old life, etc.,
- Intrusive thoughts
How we can support Men?
- Ask how they are feeling and don't accept "fine or okay." Ask for a feeling word (happy, nervous, overwhelmed, anxious, confident, tired, etc.,)
- Ask how you can support them
- Encourage them to take breaks and communicate their needs to their significant other, family, or friends
- Schedule an outing with them
- Offer to babysit so they can get out of the house
- Check-in with them regularly
- Share with them that men can suffer from depression and anxiety and other mental illnesses post-pregnancy and normalize it
- Suggest they talk to a Therapist