The Role of Partners


Partners and loved ones may notice changes before you do. Sometimes you may be so busy trying to manage your daily life or care for your baby that you may not be aware of how your mood has changed. While you are the expert on yourself, listening to the concerns of loved ones can help alert you to changes you might have overlooked or avoided talking about.

The impact on partners

Loved ones are impacted by your emotions. Recent research suggests that when one new parent is experiencing untreated depression, the other parent is more likely to become depressed or anxious later. This means that you should not suffer alone – it’s important for the entire family that you get the help and support you need.

Ways to support each other as new parents

It can be hard to find energy to support each other as new, expectant and future parents. But even small gestures of support make a big difference as you are adjusting to parenthood together.

  • Pick a good time to ask about each other’s feelings (when baby is sleeping or not distracting your conversation)
  • Acknowledge both of your efforts and challenges of trying to conceive, pregnancy and parenthood.
  • When having a challenging conversation, focus on something positive you admire or notice about your partner — beginning conversations with a positive focus can make it more productive and safer for both participants.
  • Let your partner know you are available to listen and interested in how they are doing and let them know how you are doing too.
  • Share when you notice positive things about your partner.
  • Listen carefully, and if you think they might be experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, support them in finding help.

divider graphic
arrow-up icon