How to Support a Loved One Struggling with Postpartum Depression

February 24, 2024
The Soulside Team

If you're looking for advice on how to support a new mom struggling with postpartum depression, you’re at the right place! In this blog post, we'll discuss what postpartum depression is, how it affects both her and you as a loved one, and how you can provide support. It has helpful tips from our experts and other moms who have gone through similar challenges.

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What Is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is a type of depression that affects a mom after giving birth. Postpartum depression is a serious condition that goes beyond feeling down or overwhelmed. It can impact a mom's ability to care for herself and her baby.

In the United States, Postpartum depression is a common condition, affecting a significant number of women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 9 women in the US experience postpartum depression. This means that each year, thousands of new moms struggle with this condition. Although it can occur at any point during the baby's first year, it's most common within the initial three weeks after delivery.

Have you noticed a loved one experiencing the following symptoms? They may indicate postpartum depression:

  • Increased crying
  • Anger or frustration
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Not being able to connect with the baby
  • Thinking about self-harm
  • Feelings of guilt and sadness
  • Loss of appetite

New motherhood can be an overwhelming experience, with physical, emotional, and relationship changes happening all at once. While therapy sounds good, the cost can be a barrier for many moms. That's where Soulside comes in. We offer affordable, personalized, and long-term support designed specifically for new mothers.

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Supporting a new mom struggling with postpartum depression can be challenging, but here are some helpful tips:

  1. Listen without judgment - It means being empathetic and validating her feelings without criticizing or even offering unsolicited advice. This creates a safe space for her to express herself without fear of being judged.
  2. Offer practical help with everyday tasks - Offer her a helping hand with cooking, cleaning, or babycare that will help take off the load, and allow her to focus on her physical and emotional recovery.
  3. Be patient - You need to also understand that postpartum depression is a process, and recovery may take time. Don’t use phrases like “just snap out of it” or “I have had it worse”.
  4. Help with physical health - Encourage her to focus on her physical health, getting enough sleep and of course eating healthy.
  5. Be kind and understanding - Show compassion and empathy without being judgemental. Be her safe space and keep supporting her.
  6. Educate Yourself About Postpartum Depression - Learning more about postpartum depression can help you better understand what your loved one is going through and how you can support them. Research the symptoms, causes, and treatment options, and may suggest she join a support group.

5 things not to say to a mom with Postpartum depression:

  • "It's all in your head."
  • "Just snap out of it."
  • "You should be happy, you have a new baby."
  • "It's not that bad, you're overreacting."
  • "My pregnancy/postpartum experience was easier”

Common Myths and Misconceptions about Postpartum Depression:

  • Postpartum depression is just a sign of weakness or a personal failing.
  • Only women who are vulnerable or who are single mothers can experience Postpartum depression.
  • Postpartum depression is a rare condition that only affects a small percentage of women.
  • Breastfeeding can prevent Postpartum depression.
  • PPD will go away on its own if left untreated.

As a loved one, you can listen, encourage, and help her find the help she needs. It's important to be patient, understanding, and non-judgmental during her journey. Remember that everyone's experience with postpartum depression is different, and there's no one right answer.

At Soulside, we're on a mission to support new moms coping with postpartum depression and anxiety. We believe that every mom deserves to feel supported, heard, and seen during this transformative time in their lives. Together, we can make a difference.

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