Helping a new mother through postnatal depression
Having a new baby is one of the best times of your life. It is filled with joy and happiness. However, for some mums, the feelings that come along with a new baby can be overshadowed by other emotions. Fear, of anxiety and of overwhelming sadness. This is known as postnatal depression and is much more common then you may think. In fact, it is thought that postnatal depression can affect as many as 10 in every 100 women that have had a baby.
It may be hard to know how to help someone who has postnatal depression, but there are things that you can do to make their life that little bit easier. Which is why we have put together some of the tips for partners or midwives to help women who have postnatal depression.
Be someone they can talk to
One of the biggest things when it comes to postnatal depression is that feeling that you are completely alone and that no-one could possibly understand how you are feeling.
This is why it is incredibly valuable to try and offer them someone who will listen to them. It might be just to have a moan or to simply be able to sound off some of those feelings that they would otherwise hold inside.
Tell them it’s ok to have bad days
A frustrating part of postnatal depression, for both the woman and those around her is the fact that some days can be great, some days can be bad. It is easy to assume that simply because they are having a good day that the postnatal depression has passed. But this is not the case. You will need to be there for them throughout the bad days as well as the good days, reminding them that whilst they feel down now, it won’t be long before they feel better.
Recognise how hard it is to be a new mother
Becoming a parent is hard work, no matter whether you are a mum or a dad. However, for the majority of dads they get to return to their normal lives such as work. A mum will suddenly go from being an equal partner, to someone who stays at home with their baby. Whilst that may sound like a lovely life, it can be lonely, tiring and isolating. Even when they get the opportunity to meet up with friends, chances are that they won’t be able to properly concentrate on the conversations. Add into this, they will also feel that they are a bit of a burden, that they are no longer earning money, which can add into those rather negative feelings.
Give her plenty of affection and attention
A simple hug can go a long way. Whilst sex may be the last thing on her mind, that doesn’t mean that she won’t welcome other signs of affection instead. Make sure that you give her plenty of love, and show her, that despite the way she feels, she is still an amazing woman to you.
The thing to remember with postnatal depression is that it will pass. You may need some medical or professional support to get through to the other side, but it won’t last forever. Before long you will feel much better about facing life as a mum and all the joy that this brings.
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