For Dads: If Your Wife is Struggling with PPD. What to Do. What Not to Do.

For Dads: If Your Wife is Struggling with PPD. What to Do. What Not to Do.

For Dads: If Your Wife is Struggling with PPD. What to Do. What Not to Do.

It's not easy to live with someone that struggles with depression. This is even more of a struggle with a new baby at home and the todo list seems never ending with many new demands.

What you do matters when it comes to assisting your partner in managing postpartum depression. What you think is helping could be making the depression worse. Remember that you can't fix someone depression and you can't make it go away, but research shows that a woman's depression will improve with consistent support from a significant other. 

Recovery takes time and sometimes longer than you want it to. Depression is serious and if you truly love and value your wife, consider these suggestions to guide you through this time. 


  • Consistent support from you as her significant other will help improve her depression. 
  • You must take this seriously. Even if you can't relate or don't understand it fully. 
  • The longer you act like this will just go away on its own, the longer her recovery will take. 
  • The more you expect of her, the more difficult recovery will be.
  • Your wife will get better. You will have your happy wife and happy life back eventually. 


Communication | What to say

Good communication like you once had with your wife may take a back seat. Right now, her mood and vulnerability will make it more difficult to communication in a healthy way.  


You're not the bad guy ... but this is what you're up against:

You say "I love you" ...she may not believe it.

You let her know she's a great mom ...she might think you're saying those words just to make her feel better.

If you tell her you are working late ...she could think you don't care.

And if you tell her you'll come home early to help ...she might feel guilty. 


You can tell her:

"I know you feel terrible"

"You will get better"

"You're doing all the right things to get better" 

"It's okay to make mistakes" 

"I know how hard you're working on yourself right now"

"Let me know what you need me to do to help you"

"I love you"


What you shouldn't say

"You should get over this already"

"I'm tired of you feeling this way"

"You should be happy."

"You'll snap out of this"

"You should color your hair" "...lose the weight" " new clothes" 

"You don't need help. You're strong enough to get through this on your own"


Take something off her plate

Help around the house

Set limits with friends and family 

Educate yourself on PPD

Catch up the laundry. Make dinner. 

Be with her. Let her know you're there. 

Go with her to a doctors appointment.


You can also:

Call/text her from work to check in. Do this often. 

Encourage her to rest as much as possible. 

Intervene when possible to give her more time to sleep. 

Assure her that you're there for her with anything she needs

Listen. Be patient. 


Friendly Reminders

  • Decision making could be tough for her. Try to hold off on any important decision making until she's emotionally available. (if it's something that can wait)
  • Small decisions will feel HUGE - be a voice and help her decide if you see this as a struggle.  
  • Things in previous life that made her feel better may not be the thing to help her now. 
  • You will not fix her depression, but your consistent support will be very helpful. 
  • Be patient. 

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