Postnatal depression is a type of depression that moms can have after having a baby. Bringing a baby into the world is the most amazing and rewarding thing but it comes with a challenge. Postpartum depression can be very overwhelming and isolating.
Postpartum depression can begin anytime during the baby’s first year but is most common for new mothers to feel the effects during the first 3 weeks after birth.
Below are 10 tips to help mom deal with postpartum depression.
Make it about her: When you visit, don’t just ask about the baby. Make sure it is safe for her to share any feelings that she is having, even if she don’t say much.
Offer to go to doctor’s appointments: Postnatal check ups are usually focused on the baby early, so Mom’s needs and concerns could get overlooked. You should ask if you can come with to her appointment if her partner can’t attend.
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Celebrate her successes: Whether it is that she finally got her baby to latch, maybe she actually ate breakfast today or if she washed her hair and done her makeup. Celebrate her success and encourage her to that more often.
Stop trying to solve her problems: Don’t try and solve her problems. You can hurt her feelings and can even trigger feelings of guilt. Offer up your own story to show that you understand what she is going through.
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Remind Her This is Temporary: Postpartum depression makes you seem like you’ll never be yourself again. Remind her that this is not true. Tell her her feelings are only her symptoms, not her. They won’t last forever.
Don’t compare: Never compare and say things like “When I had a baby, this is what I did”. Give recommendations when asked and don’t just say things without being asked.
Notice small things: Point out evidence that she is recovering. Notice when she smiles and let her know. She will appreciate this and see that she is somewhat recovering.
Listen to her feelings: Don’t ignore her feelings and always have the time to listen to her and show her that you are there for her. Try hard to understand what she is going through without judging.
Support Her Decisions: If a mother is seeking treatment, one of the best ways you can help with her postpartum depression is by supporting her decisions and choice of treatment. If she wants to talk to a therapy or medication.
Make Specific Plans: Offer specific ways to help at specific times. This may mean bringing dinner over one night, or watching the baby for a few hours so mom can sleep. Be open handed and always offer help.
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