Partners of PMD
Getting Help for the New Mother in Your Life
- Be there for the new mother.
- Reassure her that she will get better.
- Try to find a support group in your area.
- Find a therapist who is qualified to deal with PMD.
- Be prepared for a long recovery with setbacks along the way.
- Attend as many doctor appointments as possible. This will show the new mother how much you care about her and give you a chance to communicate with the therapist, and hear the instructions the doctor gives.
- Continue treatment even when her condition improves. The chances of relapse increase when treatment is shortened.
- Don’t take things personally. Irritability is a common side side effect of depression. Communicate to her calmy when you feel that you’re not being treated properly.
- Share responsibilities around the house. The new mother is stressed enough as it is with all the work of childbirth and feeding. Do as much as you can to help.
- Help her establish a simple schedule. Getting into a routine provides some structure, which mental health professionals suggest can go a long way.
- Let her get an adequate amount of sleep at night. Allow her at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep every night so that she can complete a full sleep cycle. Use this time at night to bond with your baby. If you begin to feel the toll of losing sleep at night, find help for yourself as well.
- Allow her to be open with you about her feelings, but be open with your feelings as well. It doesn’t help your relationship if she gets better as you get worse by bottling up all your emotions inside.
- Although you both may be stressed and overwhelmed, she just gave birth and is recovering both physically and mentally, so she’s most likely having the harder time.
- Remember that you can't solve her problems, but you can always be there for her as she goes through them.
- Tell her you love her.
- Understand that you can get depressed too. While your wife receives the proper attention and care she needs, don’t forget to be aware of your own mental well-being. If you start to feel down, don’t be afraid to talk to a friend, physician or counselor.
Perinatal mood disorders are treatable. But first you have to ask for help.
call the helpline 24/7 at