Mom Care | How to Help Some...

Most people have heard of postpartum depression, but not everyone realizes that the symptoms can vary greatly from one mom to another. If you believe that someone you know is showing signs of postpartum depression, it’s a good idea to do some research so you can know for sure. Most importantly, if you believe that friend is indeed experiencing postpartum depression, there are easy ways that you can help them without having to be a therapist or counselor.


What Are the Signs Associated with Postpartum Depression?

Having the “baby blues” after giving birth is not that uncommon, but postpartum depression is more than just the blues. Postpartum depression can include both physical and emotional pain and can be quite severe in some new moms.

Postpartum depression causes symptoms that include:

  • Extreme sadness
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Irritability
  • Problems sleeping
  • Guilt
  • Feelings of hopelessness

In rare or extreme cases, some women experiencing postpartum depression may feel as if they want to harm themselves or harm the baby. This is why learning exactly how to help someone with postpartum depression is so important. If you pay attention, you can pick up on signs that something is wrong and you can alert someone if you feel that the symptoms are severe.

Most women, when experiencing postpartum depression, will not admit that they feel this way. In fact, many women may not realize that this is what they are going through or they may try to hide it from family and friends. The thing is that if the symptoms are ignored by the mom herself or others in her circle, they may get worse in both physical and emotional ways.


What Should You Do for a Mom with Postpartum Depression?

In most cases, moms who have postpartum depression can benefit from therapy, but whether the symptoms are minor or extreme, there are things you can do to help them feel less alone and less stressed. Remember that any small act can make a huge difference in this mom’s daily life, so don’t feel as though you have to tackle all of these tasks yourself.

Here are some things that you can do to help out a friend with postpartum depression:

  • Offer to help babysit for their other kids if they have more than one
  • Ask them if they’d like to attend exercise classes with you
  • Ask them regularly how they’re doing and really listen to their answer
  • If the postpartum depression seems severe, help them find resources that can help
  • Bring them a meal occasionally or even regularly
  • Deliberately schedule times for the two of you to get together

The important thing to remember when it comes to recognizing any postpartum needs for mom is to “check in” with them on a regular basis, which could include just a quick phone call or text. Anything that you can do to help them emotionally or physically, regardless of how insignificant it seems, can be a huge help in the end.


How to Tell If the Situation Is Serious

While most postpartum depression is nothing to worry about, roughly one in one thousand new moms have symptoms that are much more serious. Known as postpartum psychosis, symptoms are much more serious and can include:

  • Auditory hallucinations (hearing things that aren’t there)
  • Visual hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t there), which are less common
  • Delusions (believing in things that are completely irrational)
  • Pacing and restlessness
  • Anger and agitation
  • Odd behaviors or feelings

If you have a friend who you believe is exhibiting any of these behaviors or you’re simply concerned about their behavior or demeanor, you should talk with a mutual friend about getting them the help that they need. Indeed, suffering with these types of behaviors is a serious type of postpartum depression that usually requires medication and therapy, and sometimes even hospitalization.

In short, if you sense or have a feeling that your friend needs help, don’t be afraid to help them find it. The longer the symptoms go on, the more serious they can become, and the sooner the new mom gets the help they need, the better it will be for them, their partner, and even the baby.


What New Moms Can Do to Lessen the Risk of Postpartum Depression

If you’re expecting a baby or have just given birth and you’re concerned about postpartum depression, there are things you can do to reduce the risks of this happening. These things include:

  • Don’t become isolated; stay in touch with family and friends
  • When you first get home, limit the number of visitors you get
  • Exercise if you can
  • Eat healthy and get as much rest as you can
  • Screen your phone calls
  • Be realistic and accept that you’ll have good days and bad days
  • Ask for help!

Keep in mind that postpartum depression can include both physical pain, for which you can take a variety of pain relievers, and emotional pain, which may require medication and therapy at least temporarily. If you’re concerned about your own well-being, never hesitate to contact your doctor because they can be a great source of help.



Postpartum depression is more than just “baby blues.” In fact, this type of depression can be fairly severe and include symptoms such as insomnia, loss of interest in various activities, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness, to name a few.

If a friend seems as though they have postpartum depression, try to help by babysitting, bringing meals, and maybe even taking an exercise class together. Keeping an eye on their emotional and physical health can help you learn if the symptoms become severe.

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