It's common to get the "baby blues," but when someone you love is suffering from postpartum depression, it's especially important to recognize their need for support.
- TIP: If your friend or family member is experiencing severe or life-threatening depression, call a doctor for a same-day appointment or take her to the emergency room.
- Step 1: Set up appointments and offer to attend them with her if she would like support.
- Step 2: Make plans to take your loved one out for a walk, lunch, or even a shopping trip to get a change of pace.
- Step 3: Be patient with her. She is in a lot of pain and it will take time to get back to her old self.
- FACT: The first baby born in the White House was Esther Cleveland in 1893, daughter of President Grover Cleveland and First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland.
- Step 4: Help the new mom with self-care, such as cooking healthy meals, house chores, and daily needs.
- Step 5: Offer the new mom help to find a medical provider that is covered by her insurance or can be found at low cost.
- Step 6: Talk to the new mommy and ask her about how she is feeling. Tell her what you are seeing and explain that you are worried.
- TIP: Look for anxiety, excessive sleeping, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, an inability to function, and thoughts of suicide or of harming the new baby.
- Step 7: Give her words of encouragement and let her know that lots of new moms have to be treated for depression after a baby.
- TIP: Postpartum depression is a medical condition and should be treated by a doctor.
- Step 8: Ask your loved one to seek medical treatment. Obstetricians, psychiatrists, primary care physicians, and licensed counselors can all offer help.
- Step 9: Recognize the signs of postpartum depression following a baby's birth.