Women who haven’t had a baby might not believe that postpartum depression actually exists. It is very real and can often turn into a devastating condition. I’ve personally been through it and have helped friends that have tried to suffer through it all on their own. Here are 8 ways to help a friend deal with post partum depression.
An increase in physical activity is a great way to ease tension and lessen the effects of postpartum depression. Get your friend to go on walks with you. Put the baby in a stroller and go to the mall if the weather is bad. This gives you both a chance to talk and exercise at the same time. It’s always much nicer to exercise with a buddy.
If you are comfortable with taking care of infants, then why not offer to give your friend a night off. Maybe she and her honey want to go on a date. Heading out to dinner might be a lot less stressful if a new baby isn’t in tow. You also might know someone who could babysit and whom your friend would feel comfortable with watching her new child. Offer whatever services you can to allow your friend some time alone.
Proper nutrition is also important in keeping postpartum depression at bay. If your friend is consuming a lot of junk food, chances are she isn’t getting enough nutrients. Take over some healthy meals or offer to cook for her from time to time. If this is her first baby, it might take her a while to learn how to adjust her schedule to fit cooking real food in with caring for her new baby.
Keeping in touch with your friend will let her know you care about her well-being. An occasional phone call will also give her a chance to talk about anything she might be worried about. It might be difficult to judge when a good time to call is, since you wouldn’t want to disturb nap time, for her or the baby. Ask your friend when a good time would be and make an effort to call at least every couple of days or so.
Sometimes you need to ask to find out what your friend needs most of all. Maybe she’s craving a specific snack, but feel silly to ask you to run and get it for her. She might need a funny movie to cheer her up or someone to make her laugh. Ask her what she needs most of all and provide it if you are able to.
Everyone enjoys pampering from time to time. You don’t have to go out and purchase a gift certificate at the local spa, but you can easily pamper your friend in other ways. A nice foot massage as she’s feeding the baby would probably be appreciated. Offering to cook a fancy meal for her or pick up some groceries might also be considered a form of pampering, if your friend is usually the one who takes care of all the grocery gathering and cooking activities in the house.
Sometimes postpartum depression gets the best of a woman and only outside medical help will due. If you notice your friend slipping deeper and deeper into a depressive state, you might need to gather up the forces and get her to a medical facility. Don’t wait for your friend to agree. Talk it over with loved ones if necessary or consult her personal doctor.
Post your phone number up near the phone at your friend’s home. Let her know you are always available for her, no matter what time of day it is. If she feels like she can count on your for assistance of any kind, this will most likely make her feel better.
Feel free to pass on these 8 ways to help a friend deal with post partum depression. If you have any additional tips to add, please post them in the comment section. Hundreds of thousands of women suffer from postpartum depression each year. There’s no reason these ladies should have to go through this all alone. What do you feel is the best way to help a friend going through postpartum depression?
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