Postpartum depression (PPD) can beat when you least expect it, and sometimes it's hard to know how to help. Especially if you are a friend who wants to lend their help. If you are in a supportive position, there are six ways to help a friend with depression in postpartum:
1. Help her get professional help.
Do some research to find some potential PPD resources for your friend (see the end of this post for some ideas). You can also offer professional call centers that specialize in PPD and postpartum anxiety and collect information. That way, your friend has options. You can also offer to drive her to meetings and / or watch the child while she is at the mentioned meetings.
2. Help with meal preparation.
Eating dinner can be overwhelming for a new mom, whether or not she experiences PPD. Then lend a hand by taking over a ready meal or stew that she can heat and serve. Preparing any frozen meals before time or ordering meals can also be helpful.
3. Help out with the daily grinder.
Since PPD takes a new mother's level of overwhelming to about 11, trying to offer to help with daily tasks. Whether it goes to the grocery store, clean the bathrooms or pick up the older children from school, find things that you can do that will mitigate her cargo.
4. Take care baby so mom can rest.
There is nothing better than being a aunt to a newborn. Make sure your friend is comfortable with you for a long time (and make sure you've got your flu!) And encourage her to take a long nap. And then you'll enjoy all these snuggles and help your friend at the same time.
5. Keep in touch.
Keeping in touch with a new mother helps create a connection with the outside world. Even if you can not visit, you can still write, send funny memes, email or call her. And make sure to listen to her. Encourage your friend to talk about how she feels and is an audio source. Sometimes it's just nice to feel that you're being heard.
6. Be restrained, but not overbearing.
Even if you feel your attempts against contact do not come back and forth, do not completely disappear. But do not worry about your friend. Finding a balance between check-in and being too persuasive can be a challenge, but it's worth it. Just make sure you let her know you will be there for support, but give her also the space she needs when she needs it. Listen to your friend's intuition, and do not be afraid to talk directly with your friend.
If you or someone you love experiences postpartum depression, please seek advice from a healthcare professional. For more resources to help you along the way, check out the following:
Postpartum Support International
5 tips to overcome baby blues
Anxiety and Depression Association of America