Postpartum Struggles: A Dad's Take

by - 1:42 AM

It's been 4-long months since my Husband and I welcomed our little bundle of joy. Ever since then, we've made a lot of adjustments towards getting Baby M on a routine. Alhamdulillah, it's going quite smoothly though he has his days. With that adjustment, we had to change the lifestyle that we were very much comfortable in before his arrival. Staying up late now seems impossible (Mainly because we get tired even before 11pm). 

We spend our last hour before falling asleep, prioritizing Baby M. Making sure that he has been fed and changed before putting him back to sleep (comfortable baby = longer sleep).

Sometimes, we get really reluctant to go out after a certain timing knowing that we might potentially disrupt his sleep which will, in turn, disrupt ours. Do we miss being able to go out as and when we wish without any worries? A definite yes. But would I want to experience life without Baby M around? No, however, date night is an exception. hahaha.

Settling down with a newborn did not come easy for us. As much as we try to stay positive and have a "We got this" attitude. I think our setbacks were distinguished by our new roles as parents. It came together with the pressure to keep everything together which is extremely exhausting.

I've shared in my previous post about my postpartum struggles and how I identified them. Check out the post here! POSTPARTUM STRUGGLES: WHOLE AGAIN

Often times, society has brought light to women who are going through postpartum depression. Hospitals provide services for women who are are going through as such during and after pregnancy. Even going to the extent of providing surveys that you are required to fill up on your emotional/mental state during your post-pregnancy check-up. 

With the emotional, mental and physical changes that we had to go through it's nice that there are efforts that are being put in place to provide us the help that we need. 

But what about the men? What are the struggles that they face? Has society turned a blind eye to the possibilities of PPND (Paternal Postnatal Depression) in every man? 

I asked my husband about his thoughts on PPND and what are his beliefs on why men often not speak about it.

He talked about the emotional toll that it takes on most men. Generally being a new parent means having to put certain things on halt.

The diversion of attention, time and money is almost immediate. 

The extra responsibility of having an additional mouth to feed and fearing of not meeting expectations of the family and others can be stressful at times. Feeling like you've lost touch with your other half because the baby takes most of the attention. What was initially pillow talk has turned into sleeping on each other. The tiredness and fatigue will weigh you down completely.  

Asked about why men don't often speak about their struggles

"Often the reason being "Maybe because we're men"

In my opinion, social stigma has men projected in such a way that we should be the stronger portion of the relationship. A manly disguise to brush the emotions that seems insignificant when it actually isn't. 

Generally, men often feel neglected. Either we don't understand how to express it or prefer to keep mum about these feelings. A man feels vulnerable when we expose all these emotions which we perceive as weak and irrelevant. 

Personally, I think it is about adapting to change. And to do so, One must be open to it and welcome the change. 
So why not start expressing those emotions. It makes a for a better outcome and relationship with the wife".

With that being said, the best way to acknowledge each other's struggle is to communicate with one and another. Postpartum struggles are REAL in both man and woman, we should not be dismissive about it. If it comes to a point where you feel it can be damaging not just to yourself but to the people around you. Seek the necessary treatment and care. There are many support groups that are able to help you get through it. InshaAllah.

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