Understand Postpartum Depression
Know the signs to watch for. PPD can arise any time in the first year after giving birth. Many women experience the baby blues in the weeks after giving birth, but if these symptoms occur past two weeks then it might be time to seek professional help. Watch for symptoms such as: fatigue, feelings of guilt, hopelessness or being overwhelmed, irritability, anger, frequent crying, sadness, changes in diet or sleep.
Be There for Her
Be her shoulder to cry on, her comforting arms, her listening ear and her support. Be patient, kind and loving always, even if you don't understand her emotions or response. Listen to her without judgement or offering solutions. Be gentle with her in her emotional state. Try not to criticize her or pressure her into things she is not yet ready for.
Give Her a Break
In the weeks after having a baby, the mother's time is consumed with feeding, changing and caring for the new little one. It can be hard for her to find the time to take care of herself, but it's vitally important for her sanity. Offer to give her a break. Take the baby off her hands and let her bathe, eat a warm meal, take a nap or go for a walk. It will go a long ways towards making her feel human and whole again.
Help Her Get Professional Help
Professional help could be talking to a therapist or getting medication. The sooner professional help is received, the less negative impact the condition has on the family. Women experiencing PPD often are too depressed or ashamed to reach out for help, so it is extremely helpful for you to find resources that can assist her with her depression.
Go for a Walk with Her
Exercise is known to help with the symptoms of depression. It can be hard for a depressed person to get motivated to get out of the house, but try offering to take a walk together. Baby is sure to love some fresh air as well!