Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsion, and Trauma:
Suggestions for Family and Friends
Postpartum depression threatens the mother’s and partner’s health, relationship, friendships and careers, as well as the baby’s welfare. Dealing with issues of day-to-day living becomes a special challenge. With patience and understanding, you can give invaluable support and assist a depressed mother’s recovery. Here are some suggestions:
- Encourage her to seek the help of a physician and/or psychiatrist. An evaluation is important, and medication may be very helpful. There are some medications that are considered safe during breastfeeding. Consult your physician.
- Encourage her to seek therapy.
- Let the mother express her feelings of anxiety and fear freely.
- Encourage her to exercise and take time for herself.
- Encourage the mother to join a PPD support group.
- Help her develop a schedule with one or two simple tasks. Notice when she makes an effort.
- Don’t take her criticism personally.
- You are justified in being frustrated with her attitude and actions, but be sure to direct your anger at the situation and her illness, not at her. She is doing the best she can in her current condition.
- Be aware that you can get depressed yourself, and may need help as well. Talk to a friend, physician, or therapist.
- Check out the Postpartum Dad’s website: http://www.postpartumdads.org/
**Adapted from Postpartum Education for Parents
The Catalyst Center is here to help. We offer individual, couple, and family therapy, as well as a Birth Circle where mothers can share birth stories. Please contact us for more information. Change Begins Today.
Dr. Katie Godfrey is a therapist at The Catalyst Center. Her specialties include:
- LGBTQ Support
- Pregnancy, Childbirth and Postpartum Issues
- Couples and Relationships
- Trauma Recovery
- Parenting Coaching
- Personal Growth
- Anxiety, Worry, and Panic
Ready to learn more or book your free initial consultation with Katie? Give The Catalyst Center a call at 720-675-7123.