Cultivating Friendships, Resilience and Being Supportive for Dads-to-be | With Dr. Shelby Smith

This week on the Good Dads podcast, we welcome back Dr. Smith, a family care physician at Equality Healthcare in Springfied, MO. Dr. Smith shares his wisdom on supporting your pregnant partner, breaking the stigma on male post-partum depression, and practicing grace and understanding between Mom and Dad. 

Part of the joy of treating families means Dr. Smith can treat lots of different people, including pregnant couples. In his practice, he always asks dads-to-be open-ended questions, inviting them to embrace the changes that come with a new baby. 

Dr Smith’s Tips for Dads-to-Be 

  • Embrace the changes that come with a new baby 
  • Give your partner grace and understanding 
  • Ask what you can do to be supportive 
  • Take time off work to bond with the new baby 

  • (6:44) We started to see more studies about depression in men in the first year post-partum … it’s about 10% of men (who)will have clinical depression in that first year.  
  •  (7:18) (Patients say) “I feel like I should be happy, but I’m having these feelings.” So I think saying, “You know, we have information out there, studies that show this is a real thing, so you don’t need to feel guilty about this. It’s a drastic change.”
  •  (9:50) Realizing that it is a stage of life. It’s a phase. It’s difficult, but it is a phase, and it will pass. And also it is something that is learned. I mean, the more that you spend time with the child and then get a better sense of what you’re doing.
  •  (12:13) A woman is growing a human inside of her body! … It is a very big deal. With that goes enormous physical changes, hormonal changes.
  •  (15:33) Support, support, support. Ask what you can do. Be gracious. Understand that your partner is growing a human being and the level and grace and understanding that should bestow.”
  •  (22:53) We are very fotunate in Springfield to have the Doula Foundation … Doulas are community-based people—women—who help couples through pregancy … through the whole process … A doula is there to provide informational support, emotional support, physical support, during the pregnancy and childbirth … I really would seek out doula services, especially for men.