Happy (a bit late) Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

Fathers are often left standing on the side, don’t you think? Remember, moms, being pregnant and how people ask about you, how are you feeling, can you feel the baby yet, etc. It’s kind of nice being center stage for a bit, right?

And then… you HAVE the baby and it’s like–poof!!–you’re instantly invisible.

“Oh, how’s the BAAAABYYYYYY!!!!??” Cuuuuuuuuute!How much did s/he weight?How long was the labor?Is s/he eating well?Sleeping?Baby blah blah blah, Baby, Baby…

Um, hellllo? Still here you know! (you think to yourself) Am I invisible? Chopped liver?

Well. Where are the dads through all this? They’ve gotten less attention all along. Like an afterthought. If we new-moms-no-longer-pregnant are suddenly invisible, what does that make the dads? Non-existent?

Throw in some PPD* and dads are often shoved even further into the background. Baby and mom’s health become the focus. BUT PPD AFFECTS THE WHOLE FAMILY. It wasn’t until years after my own PPD that I realized how devastating a wife’s PPD can be for the dad. Arizona’s Christi Hibbert (PsyD)’s DVD, “Postparum Mood Disorders: The Couple’s Experience” includes dads. Three families are interviewed. Three dads are choked up in the interviews–because it was the first time anyone asked them about THEIR experience of the PPD.

“An alien abducted my wife,” one dad says, only half joking, trying to hold it together on camera while his face all at once expresses his raw confusion, anger, resentment and relief. Talk about some post traumatic stress! They too have battled.

PPD truly is a couples’ issue. Therapists, doctors, support groups out there, please (continue to) include the dads. Moms, include your baby’s father in your treatment; attending therapy, seeing the psychiatrist, joining the support group. PPD is happening within you, but its effects reach outside of you. Imagine being the one who couldn’t see anything wrong but you knew that something was “off”. What a helpless feeling! Include him.

Celebrate his being a father!

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I have PPD it sux

PPD does suck.

Have you found a support group in your area? Are you in Hawaii? Check here for support, information and possibly support groups http://postpartum.net/local-support/ Hawaii, the whole US, and a whole bunch of other countries are listed there, with contacts. Or just look for the “Contact PSI” link at the bottom of their page.

Don’t go through it alone. That double sux. And it doesn’t have to be that sucky. It’s much better when you can talk with other moms and find out that “PPD boat” is bigger than you thought–and that people DO get to the other side.


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