Contrary to what most people think, having a baby doesn’t necessarily make a relationship stronger or help resolve marital discord. If anything, it can put more strain on your relationship, as you struggle to balance the responsibilities of motherhood with household chores, office work, and your relationship. While this does not diminish the joy of motherhood, it does give it a touch of reality. Unfortunately, part of this reality also includes postpartum depression, which is seen in roughly 1 in 5 women after childbirth. Postpartum depression brings an added layer of complexity to relationships, making it even harder to keep things harmonious.

This does not mean that you are powerless. Tackling the challenges ahead in fact requires recognition and acceptance of the problem. It also requires a willingness to seek help and to be open with your partner. Keeping this in mind here are some essential relationship tips to get through postpartum depression.

7 Tips For A Strong Relationship When Dealing With Postpartum Depression

  1. Get Professional Help – Seeking assistance from a qualified mental health practitioner is absolutely essential to get through postpartum pregnancy as this is a medical problem. You can choose from a wide range of mental health professionals including clinical psychologists and psychiatrists. Most of them also offer virtual services and you can turn to a variety of platforms offering online therapy sessions. In addition to individual therapy, couples therapy can provide a safe space for both partners to express their feelings and concerns, fostering understanding and support within the relationship. 
  2. Overcome Guilt – Postpartum depression often brings feelings of guilt and self-blame, making it important to learn more about the condition and how it develops. Understanding the real causes can help you better understand yourself and what you’re going through. This in turn brings self-acceptance. Acknowledging that postpartum depression is a medical condition, not a personal failing, can help alleviate some of the burden. It’s important to also share this information with your partner as their lack of awareness could make it harder to deal with, putting greater strain on the relationship.
  3. Communicate Openly – Postpartum depression can be overwhelming and isolating. Although you may not want to talk about it and may even feel like you shouldn’t have to explain yourself, there’s a good chance that your partner doesn’t understand what you’re going through at all – it’s up to you to share your thoughts and emotions, even when they’re difficult to articulate. This will allow your partner to offer meaningful support and it’s the key to navigating postpartum depression as a couple.
  4. Find Compromises – There’s bound to be disagreements and friction in any relationship, even the best ones, and finding a middle ground is essential. Recognize that you can’t always get your way, nor can your partner. Compromising is not about winning or losing, it’s about coexisting and maintaining a harmonious relationship, rather than one that is antagonistic. This can lower the tension and the risk of conflicts, which otherwise makes postpartum depression harder to deal with.
  5. Support Each Other – Getting through any kind of crisis as a couple, whether financial, medical, or emotional, requires being there for each other in any way possible. Research shows that fathers experience significant stress when dealing with postpartum depression in mothers proving that this is a shared problem that you must get through together. This means actively listening to each other’s concerns, offering reassurance, and providing practical assistance whenever possible. 
  6. Prioritize Self-Care – It’s hard to bring your best to any relationship if you don’t feel your best, which is why self-care is so important. This takes on new importance when you’re a mother because you’re also looking out for your newborn. Talk to your partner and find ways in which you can encourage each other to prioritize self-care activities that promote relaxation and rejuvenation, whether it’s taking a walk, practicing mindfulness, or indulging in activities you enjoy. By prioritizing self-care individually, couples can better support each other’s mental health and develop a more fulfilling relationship.
  7. Rekindle The Romance – Amidst the challenges of postpartum depression, it’s important for couples to prioritize quality time together and nurture their romantic connection. Romance doesn’t have to be restricted to the bedroom and doesn’t have to involve grand gestures; simple acts of intimacy and affection can go a long way in strengthening the bond between partners. From planning regular date nights to engaging in shared hobbies or interests, finding moments of joy and connection can help reignite the romance in your relationship.