Observe the mother for signs that she may be developing postpartum depression (PPD) or anxiety (at least 1 in 5 new moms in the United States do). Know the difference between normal new mom stress and a postpartum mood disorder. Be gentle and compassionate with the mother. Ask her what kind of support would help her feel better. If she wants peer or professional assistance, this page has a list of local and national postpartum support organisations. To better understand what a mother with PPD is experiencing, her friends/family may find it helpful to read Brooke Shields’ memoir, Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression.
Watch the father for signs of anxiety or depression as well. Postpartum anxiety and depression occur in fathers, too. Like mothers, fathers need sleep, good nutrition, exercise, and alone time to stay well. This page has a great list of resources both for fathers experiencing postpartum depression themselves, and for partners of women experiencing PPD. Additionally, Postpartum Men Online Forum is an online community that these men may find helpful.
Postpartum life …. like a roller coaster that is sometimes difficult to get off of … a cuppa tea in a space that feels safe for you is very important … where do you feel safe & can escape for a few minutes or a little while to feel a little more balanced and “normal”? I am sure there are lots of wonderful bits & awful things you could all add to this … feel free just don’t let anyone label you and establish boundaries with family & friends, what are you comfortable discussing & when to say they have overstepped the mark … Cx