"I just felt helpless, wishing I could do more"
Partners’ postnatal psychological distress after traumatic births
Partners play a vital role in the lives of women affected by postnatal psychological and physical distress.
Usually they endeavour to care for the whole family unit and shield the effects of their spouse’s emotional state from the baby, other children, friends and family.However, fathers often need support themselves.
Many men may possibly be suffering from the same psychological distress, especially if they were present at the birth.
If your birth was traumatic, your partner has had to witness someone they love go through a distressing event that has made them fearful that their partner or baby could have died.
Partners may also be very confused because they do not understand the nature of women’s physical injuries after birth.
They may feel distressed because their attempts at being close to their partners can be misinterpreted as demands for sex.
It is very important to ask your GP for a referral to a specialist in urogynaecology to have an accurate assessment. Take your partner with you so that the doctor can explain the damage.
This will help both of you address the damage and work out a solution.Men may despair that there was nothing they could do to alleviate their partner’s trauma or they may feel guilty for making her pregnant.
At present, this condition which can affect men is not always diagnosed accurately and affected couples should seek expert advice from urogynaecologists and mental health professionals.
Seeking help will assist in resolution of relationship issues.