New moms are faced with new challenges as they begin their motherhood journey. Apart from having a new baby to care for, they face a lack of sleep and breast pain from baby nursing. Additionally, the hormone levels in women rise during pregnancy. When these hormone levels drop after pregnancy, they may trigger a certain clinical disorder called postpartum depression. Here are some ways to support a new mom facing postpartum depression:
When new moms are experiencing postpartum depression, they are most likely feeling sad, alone, guilty, and as if they are not good mothers. They may also be experiencing postpartum anger or anxiety. Therefore, do not disregard those feelings. Rather, you can offer postpartum support by showing her that you are there always to listen. She will feel safer when you showcase your presence to her without judging what she is experiencing.
When a new mom is experiencing postpartum depression and seeks medical attention, support her decisions, especially the ones made with her doctors. A doctor may suggest some form of medication when treating postpartum depression. She should be the one to choose between online psychiatry and seeing a doctor personally. Additionally, a mother may decide to quit breastfeeding. If you are a husband, talk with her, know what she needs, and support her decision.
If you have already had children and are trying to help a new mom through postpartum depression, do not compare your experiences with hers. Many new moms already feel like they are not good enough moms and are lesser moms. When you compare your experiences with hers, you might be increasing the shame and guilt that is already there.
When moms are experiencing postpartum depression, they probably feel like they will never feel like themselves again. Therefore, you should remind her that that notion is not real. You should reassure her that the feelings she is experiencing are mere symptoms and not her. Ensure that you remind her that those feelings do not last forever and can be cured. Because postpartum depression is a medical condition and might take time to be treated, ensure that you are there to encourage her whenever she feels discouraged. Also, keep reminding her that she is a good mom because she might feel like the worst mom during that period.
Another handy way of showing your help to a mother experiencing postpartum depression would be finding concrete things to do for both the mother and her family. Open-ended statements are reasonable when trying to help, but for moms experiencing postpartum depression, you may never hear them speak up since they already feel like they are overly dependent on others. Therefore, try to offer help in specific ways at specific times. You can do it by watching the baby while the mother sleeps or bringing lunch or dinner one day. Ensure to make firm plans and follow through.
When you support a new mom going through postpartum depression, one helpful way to make a marginal difference is by pointing out hard evidence of her recovery. When you notice her smiling, for instance, let her know. It will play a part in showing her that things are getting better. Even if these small things may seem insignificant, do them constantly because they create a lot of difference.
It is in human nature to cheer others by trying to dispute their emotions. However, when dealing with a new mom who is experiencing postpartum depression, such a practice will not make her feel like a great mom. It can even trigger feelings of guilt. Therefore, consider offering your own story if you have ever experienced any type of depression before. It will make her feel better and not alone.
Postpartum depression support can come in many different forms. Whether you are a friend, husband, or family member, you can help someone experiencing postpartum depression in some way. Keep in mind that even small things are significant. Therefore, figure out what you can do to ensure you extend some help to your loved one through the difficult times. Everything makes some difference, whether it is reminding her that you love her or babysitting her baby when a mom takes a nap.