Adam Busby, the father of six girls, 5 of which are quintuplets, announced on the hit TV show “OutDaughtered” that he is suffering from postpartum depression. I heard the news first hand while I was working out on my elliptical and watching the show (one of few respites I seem to have now that I have a toddler of my own!).
Adam Busby, in a phone interview with ABC News stated:
"It totally got worse and worse, but it crept in," Busby said. "The babies, providing for my family and the kids and stuff, I felt like it was just constantly on my mind to where it's really hard to focus on anything else. I started withdrawing from friends that I've talked to on a daily basis. I didn't feel like engaging with people ... just because of the weight and constantly thinking about all this stuff that I have to prepare for.”
Here is Adam with his six daughters:
I’ve been thinking about Adam's announcement for a few weeks now and decided this would be the perfect topic to bring up in my next blog post…
Many families in my geographical location are fortunate enough to have an abundance of support for birthing moms before, during and after birth. There are social groups, yoga classes, and walks in the park. But what support is out there for the partners?
I remember my wife, Molly, who took only five days off from work, coming home nearly every day and expressing how difficult it was for her to leave our family and “miss everything.” She didn’t suffer from postpartum depression but looking back on it I realize now how little support she really had. She was expected to jump back into work and keep our family together so I could heal and take care of our son.
Molly and I have already agreed that when we are finally blessed with another child we are hiring a postpartum doula. This is a big expense and something I have taken into consideration as I try to make a living as a doula myself. Most families I have worked with didn’t originally plan on hiring a postpartum doula. So why will we hire a doula and why do my clients end up hiring me? Because your sanity is worth it!
There is nothing quite like waking up in the morning after a restful sleep to clean dishes, laundry, a happy baby, and maybe even some breakfast waiting for you. Or even just a four-hour break in the middle of the day where you don’t have to be the one in charge. You can take a shower in peace, nap, go for a walk, and maybe learn how to use your new newborn carrier.
So now you might be wondering how this extends to the non-birthing partner… As a doula I feel that there is way to much pressure put on partners. Many are lucky if they get five days off from work. So I asked my wife, why would you want to hire a postpartum doula? Her response: “If you are less stressed then it makes for a better relationship… and sleep would be amazing!”
Raising our son has, for both of us, been the most rewarding part of our lives but also the most challenging. Let’s remember that both parents face challenges; so do what you can to relieve some pressure and make sure that everyone is getting the support they need!
And here is a picture of Molly and I with Finn when he was only five days old. I love this picture because it shows our joy but also total exhaustion!
Astrid Hufnagel is a Birth and Postpartum Doula living in Montclair, NJ and serving the following counties in Northern NJ: Essex, Union, Morris, Passaic, Bergen, Hudson, Somerset and Middlesex