Pregnancy brings in a lot of mixed emotions and not all of them are good. This sad, worried, anxious feeling settling down on you once you are back in the safety of your home is fairly common among new mothers.
The emotional turmoil some mothers experience is often referred to as ‘baby blues’. You may start experiencing baby blues anytime between 2-3 days after birth and may last up to 2-3 weeks or even more.
If this lasts longer than that then you may be entering the postpartum depression phase. Postpartum depression is caused by hormonal changes a woman experiences post-delivery combined with changes such as loss of sleep and increased stress that comes with taking care of a newborn baby.
Signs of postpartum depression differ from woman to woman. However, some common symptoms may include:
feeling sad, worried, scared, or panicked
blaming yourself unnecessarily
crying a lot
feeling anxious or angry
uneven sleeping pattern
eating too much or too little
feeling detached from your baby and loved ones
Yes, folks, postpartum depression is not just real but also very common among new mothers. Don’t panic. Besides encouraging them to seek professional help, listed below are some pointers that you may follow to help your loved one struggling with postnatal depression:
Acknowledge their feelings
If your loved one is battling with postpartum depression, they’re probably feeling guilty, sad and lonely for not being good mothers. In such a scenario, you mustn’t negate or ignore their feelings. Acknowledge them. Extend your support by listening to them. Show them your support and make them feel safe.
Avoid Comparing Experiences
If you’re a mother yourself, helping someone suffering with postnatal depression, don’t compare your experiences to theirs. Actively avoid using phrases like “ I did this when I had my kid”, “I handled this situation this way”, “This will pass soon”. Every motherhood journey is different. By comparing your experiences you may amplify their feelings of guilt, shame & inadequacy.
Words of Encouragement
When communicating with someone suffering from PPD it is important to choose your words wisely. They are sensitive to what you say. Your words can rub them the wrong way, worsening the situation. Remind them that these feelings are just signs of what their body went through and not their actual selves. Encourage them that the feeling of guilt and inadequacy is not here to stay.
Seek Out Opportunities To Help
Another way to support mothers battling postpartum depression is to seek out opportunities to help. Look out for ways to support the mother and the family. As a spouse or someone close, you can opt to watch the baby while the mother can rest. Proper rest is very important for recovering mothers. You can also help out with chores like bringing dinner once in a while or just keeping them company so they aren’t alone.
Support Her Decision
Last but not the least, If your loved one decides to seek professional treatment or medication for her condition, support her decision. Reassure her that if this is what she wants then this is what she should do.
You don’t have to be a spouse or family member to extend your help. You can help someone struggling with postpartum depression in your way. Every little support and help counts. Figure out what you can do to help your loved one during this difficult time. From looking after the baby while mom takes a nap, helping with chores to simply sending a text and reminding her that she is loved and cherished, it will all make a difference.
If you are seeking to help out your spouse struggling with PPD, pay us a visit.