|My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. -Psalm 73:26
Written by Tara Mock
Monday, 09 October 2006 02:49
Seeing a spouse, family member, church member, or close friend suffer from a postpartum mood disorder can be a very trying experience for even the most stable of people. You may feel helpless and out of control, but there are ways that you can help support her through what is guaranteed to probably be the scariest time of her life. Lack of social and family support following the birth of a child or a loss is an important precipitator for a postpartum mood disorder, and likewise, an important recovery element.
Here are some suggestions for helping her to cope and recover. For further information, please also see the Resources and Links page.
- Pray for her and her family!
- Bring them a meal.
- Clean her house.
- Do her laundry.
- Offer to sit with the baby while she naps.
- Send cards of encouragement frequently.
- If hospitalized, visit as often as possible.
- Offer babysitting services for the new parent(s) for a night out.
- Listen often, talk little, hug her, and cry with her.
- Take her out for a walk and encourage good eating habits and exercise.
- Field phone calls and visitors for her if needed.
- Do the research for a physician and counselor if needed.
- Put her in touch with survivors and support groups whether online, or in the church or community.
- Do NOT criticize her
- Do NOT minimize her faith, but instead encourage her always.
- Do NOT tell her to "just get over it." This is a serious, physical illness.
- Do NOT tell her to just pray more - instead, pray WITH her.
- Do NOT tell her that she should just be happy she has a baby or that this is what she asked for.
- Do NOT tell her that if she had more faith and/or prayed more that this would not have happened.
- Do NOT leave her alone when she is fragile and unstable.
- Do NOT force or highly encourage her to breastfeed if she is unable to. This will only magnify feelings of guilt that are already present.
- Do NOT make her feel any shame for her condition.
- Do NOT be angry with her.
Copyright 2008, Out of the Valley Ministries, Inc.
Last Updated on Friday, 24 October 2008 07:26
Get Help Now...
If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts, please contact your local emergency services or physician immediately. In addition, mother and baby should not be left alone! Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE