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How to Help Someone with Postpartum Depression

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.

Instructions

  • 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.

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