How To Help Someone With Postpartum Depression
Knowing how to help someone with postpartum depression can be very difficult. It’s not a much discussed topic and family and friends are often left wondering and unsure how is best to help someone with their postpartum depression recovery.
They have their own fight plus a baby to look after which is very changeling for all involved.
It’s a question I’ve heard often ‘my partner/wife has postnatal depression, how can I help them?’
Postpartum depression sufferers often continue to look after their little one perfectly fine. However, in the process they neglect themselves and their needs.
As a mum with postpartum depression these are my recommendations as to how to help someone with postpartum depression.
My Top 10 Ways You Can Help Someone With Postpartum Depression
1. She Needs To Eat. It’s tough to have an appetite when your not 100% and your sleep deprived. Make your partner something to eat even if it’s just a simple sandwich and packet of crisps – if you don’t do it she probably won’t. Sometimes we need help with even just the basics like eating.
2. Offer to watch the little one and suggest she has a nice long bubble bath. It’s tough when someone needs you 24/7 and even something as simple as some peace and quiet to have a bath can really help, some days we’re lucky to grab a quick shower. It’s important to have ‘alone time’ and just do what you want to do.
3. Make sure she gets some sleep – this is a tough one with a baby. Do you have parents who could have your little one for a night to try and get some rest? Make sure she understands that it’s OK to sleep when the baby sleeps and that you don’t expect her to being doing cooking and cleaning – but resting herself to.
4. Make sure she knows she is a wonderful mother and you’re proud of her for getting the help she needs. Admitting you need help is a big step for someone with postpartum depression – it’s important for her to know she’s done the right thing.
5. Reassure her that you’re not going anywhere, you’re in this together and you’ll be there no matter what. She could be thinking that you and the baby would be better off without her – this illness makes you think things you wouldn’t normally.
6. Explain to her a happy mum is a happy baby. There’s no shame in taking 5 minutes out for yourself or having someone babysit for a couple of hours. Everyone needs a break. No-one is the perfect mum – good enough is perfect enough.
7. Explain to her that this is an illness just like any other and that she will get better. Postpartum Depression Recovery takes time but we all get there in our own time.
8. Take time everyday to ask how she really is – fine often isn’t fine – explain that you’re there to listen and help her not to judge. Explain she can tell you anything no matter how ‘out there’ it may seem.
9. Make sure she keeps up with any medication provided by the GP & that she attends all necessary appointments. The antidepressants do help but it’s important to keep taking them in order to get better.
10. Be patient with her, some days it’s tough to make sense of your own thoughts and feelings let alone understand anything else.
Mummy It’s OK – You’re Doing Great!