For too many families, the postpartum period brings unexpected pain and devastation when depression entered the picture. The anticipated joy and pleasure of parenthood is replaced with feelings of fear, sadness, anger, confusion and resentment.
Research has shown that supportive relationships during postpartum depression treatment is associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms. When partners have the right information, they will not only gain a better understanding of the illness and its impact, they will also feel better themselves. Furthermore, we know that this understanding and capacity for support is directly related to his wife's sense of well being and control. In my first book, “This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression” (Bantam, 1994), we included a chapter for husbands, which turned out to be an invaluable resource for the partners of women suffering from PPD. After receiving feedback from the families I treat, I was shown that husbands needed support and information that is distinct from what their wives were seeking. “The Postpartum Husband” offers that information with its handy reference-style format and addresses specific questions that may arise throughout the course of the illness. As the husband feels more in control of the situation and his wife feels understood and cared for, symptoms improve and recovery is augmented.