Dads Do Get PND Too

Ivy provides an insight into how Dad’s are affected by PND and how they can come down with the mental disorder. An important read for everyone to understand the true depth of this illness.

It is often forgotten that fathers can have PND, there is little discourse about it within the community. Further, migrant fathers have been completely sealed from the conversation, this can be denoted to the fact that many cultures put a level of stress on the masculinity of men. Not to show weakness from mental illness. It makes it especially difficult for migrant fathers who are undergoing PND.

#NotJustBabyBluesFathers

-C.L.

Ivy's PPD Blog

I haven’t blogged about this important topic–of dads getting postpartum depression (PPD) too–since 2012, so it’s high time I do so now as I’m catching up during my stay-cation!

My previous posts are:
Fathers and Postpartum Depression
A Father’s Day Post: The Effect of PPD on the Dad
Shame on You, The Guardian, for Perpetuating Negative Notions on Mental Health Issues and Denigrating Men at the Same Time

In today’s post, I have a bunch of articles, and even a recent Today Show segment about PPD in dads, that I’d like to share.  PPD in dads is not a topic that you see much of because, after all, it’s the new mother whose body goes through a lot of physical changes before, during and after pregnancy.  After all, she’s the one who carries the child for months and after giving birth experiences roller coaster emotions, thanks to all the hormonal changes. …

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Book Guide for PND

We have given you the rundown of the new technology options to support you. Though if you are like me, reading a book about something makes you feel infinitely more productive and put together.  In true Oprah fashion, I have compiled a reading list of books about PND and others experiences with it.

 

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  1. This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman and Valerie Davis Raskin | 4.13 stars on goodreads

This book provides both education and self-help approach to talking about PND. The authors look into debunking the myths and stigmas surrounding PND, as well as acting as a support guide for sufferers mothers. A perfect read for people in need of some solid advice as well as an understanding into the psychology behind PND.

Get it here

  1.  Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression by Brooke Shields | 3.67 stars on goodreads

Brooke Shields, an international supermodel provides a deeply moving and open reflection on her experience with PND. It is a raw expression of the realities of how PND can effect your life and connection with your child and your family. Shields provides the perspective of a suffering mother that is needed in the discourse of PND.

Get it here

  1. The Postpartum Husband: Practical Solutions for Living with Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman | 3.74 stars on goodreads

Often forgotten in the discourse of PND is fathers, this book is handy guide for fathers and mothers alike in managing PND. It provides realistic solutions that can be used for recovery, unlike many other books in this genre.

Get it here
– C.L.

 

Apps for PND

Anxiety can come at you at full throttle and at completely random times throughout the day. In times like these, it can be really handy to have a little something to bring back your cool. Keeping a few apps on your phone that will help you re-organise your thoughts and emotions can help. This simple addition to your daily life can help you in the long run. We have compiled a few recommendable apps, please take a look.smartphone.png

If your day is getting a little too stressful and you need a quick getaway, meditation is a great technique to manage stress and anxiety. Apps like Headspace and Calm makes meditation simple for its users by offering guided programs that only take up a few minutes of your day anywhere and anytime you like.

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Headspace is a great start off for meditation and will get you from a first-time meditator to a zen guru. They have an introductory 10-day program featuring cute animations and videos to teach you 10 minutes of meditation per day. After the 10 day introduction, you will have the choice to upgrade to their subscription which will unlock longer meditation programs and topics about stress, sleep, and creativity.

https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app

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Calm has a similar 10-minute daily meditation practice under their The Daily Calm guide. Though with lesser cartoons than Headspace, Calm has their iconic Breathe Bubble which is a great visual aid to help you catch your breath and relax within 30 seconds. The Calm app also offers Sleep Stories, bedtime stories for grown-ups to relax the body and settle the mind to help you drift off. And if being read stories isn’t your thing, Calm provides a music collection of long music tracks for focus, relaxation or sleep.

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The last meditation app we want to recommend is the Smiling Mind. The Smiling Mind supplies an array of meditation programs, exercises, and sessions aimed to increase your mindfulness, which means gaining greater control of your mind. They have daily body scan exercises to focus attention on how well you are doing physically, exercises to give your brain a break, concentration and focus exercises, they even have exercises to make you mindful of your eating. There is a lot to check out on the Smiling Mind.

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Keeping a diary is a useful activity to track how you are feeling. It makes sure that you stay in touch with your thoughts and emotions. Diary-keeping is very low maintenance with Daylio. The app allows you to keep a diary without writing a word down. You only have the emoticon moods and activity icons to select and track yourself anytime you feel like it. Each entry takes just a mere 5 seconds. It is convenient, it doesn’t ask for very much and it will help in the long term.

Here are just a few additions to your phone we suggest to level the mind. If you have any other good suggestions! We would love to hear it! Feel free to comment it down below.

Podcasts for PND

For busy mothers and fathers who are constantly moving, podcasts are an amazing resource for information that’s convenient, portable, and time efficient. These are easy to tune in to while driving to work, running errands, doing household chores, or just to wind down to after a long day. We curated a list of podcasts about postnatal depression, available on the iTunes Podcast app and Google Podcasts app.

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  • Alive and Kicking (Newstalk) – Postnatal Depression
    iTunes
    As an introduction to the topic, this podcast talks about the definition of PND, what causes factor into this mental illness occurring in mums and dads, and what help is available for people to reach out to. Although this is based in Ireland, we suggest you check out our resources page for Australian helplines.
  • Babytalk (ABC Radio) – Postnatal depression or anxiety?
    iTunesOnline
    This podcast is a part of an ongoing series about everything related to to babies, featuring advice from professionals, education, and real stories from parents. In this episode, they explore how anxiety can be mislabelled as depression, and how doctors and parents are working to change that.
  • Tall Tales & True (ABC Radio) – Waking up to postnatal depression
    iTunesOnline
    Another brilliant podcast by the ABC Radio. We learn about the story of one mother, Sarah Jane, who speaks about her long battle dealing with PND amidst losing weeks of sleep and caring for her restless baby. Her raw honesty truly captivates her emotions and experiences during this difficult time.
  • Dr. Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy Podcast (iHeartRadio) – Postpartum Depression
    iTunes | Google Play | Soundcloud
    As a prenatal chiropractor, Dr. Berlin’s podcasts features interviews with experts, celebrities, and new mums and dads about popular topics for parenting. In this episode, he speaks with psychologist Dr. Alyssa Berlin and Lindsay Lipton Gerszt, producer of ‘When the Bough Breaks’ which is an acclaimed documentary about PND.
  • Dishing Up Nutrition – Postpartum Depression
    iTunes | Online
    When struggling with mental illness, people often have trouble functioning and dealing with daily tasks. Maintaining a well balanced diet may seem like a low priority when compared to raising a newborn baby, but it a crucial part of taking care of yourself. This podcasts talks about the right nutrition can help mums feel more like themselves again.

We are here to support new dads too!

Help! Mama bear is feeling down again and how do I take care of a Baby bear again? What can I do to help both them both?

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Postnatal Depression – by definition – is depression that the mother suffers following birth, but that does not mean that their close, loved ones receive no consequences. Though not very represented, fathers are also at risk of feeling depressed when their partner is suffering from PND. After all, a baby is a two-person responsibility. Read more about this here.

That’s why Not Just Baby Blues are not going to leave the dads out! We shall give dads the support too! Here to support New Dads too! Down below are some tips for the papa bears who think their new job as dads are feeling a whole lot more difficult than they thought.

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I am not a psychologist, just a student but I assure you that these are professional tips from reliable organisations. Check them out below for more information. You will also find the BeyondBlue hotline details in their link below.

– B.F.

Winter Pregnancy Could Lead to PND?

This week a new report has come out from the University of California, San Francisco that women who go through pregnancy during winter are more susceptible to developing Post-Natal depression.

The research analysed two controlled climate groups of women during their pregnancy and recognised that amount of daylight the women are exposed to in the final trimester can severely effect their overall post-natal mental health.

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

This was drawn from the mothers who went through their final trimester during longer daylight hours, who had a 26% rate of developing PND. The mothers who had shorter daylight hours during their final trimester had a 35% rate of developing it.

A whopping 9% difference.

Does this mean to schedule your pregnancy? No!

It means be careful and observant of your mental health after birth and be cautious if you have any prior environmental factors that could trigger PND.  

Find out more here.

– C.L.

My Chinese Migrant Father

To pair with my blog posts about my mum last week, I talked with my dad about his perspective from that time: when his first immigrated to Australia, and the hardships he experienced.

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My father and I at Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong

His journey was filled with just as many difficulties and tough times like my mother. My dad first came to Australia in 1990 with a student visa, looking to further his studies and create a better life for himself.

“The first few years were a blur,” he said. “When you’re in a different country with no family or friends to support you, you learn to become independent very quickly. I studied and worked many part time jobs that paid $8 an hour so I could afford food and rent.”

“There was barely any time to rest. It was a constant hustling just to live comfortably here. In that stress time, I started to get addicted to smoking. It got so bad that I would go through three packs a day…”

But meeting my mum and holding his first child (my older brother) were some of the happiest moments of his life. He was always there to support my mum through her pregnancy: coming home earlier from work to help with the chores, taking on another part time job for more money, and quitting smoking for her and my brother’s sake.

Although he didn’t understand much about mental illnesses back then, he was still the pillar of the household that my mum could rely on, whether it be financial, emotional, or just an extra help of hand with the household chores.

When I asked what advice he would give to other dads with wives going through PND, my dad had much to say. “Be patient. It’s not easy giving birth to a child and raising them, especially when it’s the first time for both parents. Talk to your family and friends, ask for advice from your doctor, and understand what your wife is going through.”

For the sake of his privacy, I have kept my dad’s name and face hidden. Quotes from my dad are translations from Chinese to English done by me.

– AL

#NotJustBabyBluesFathers