If you are a birth worker, it is so important that you know the symptoms and how to screen.  You also need to find good local resources to share with your moms!

 

If you are a friend or family member of a new mom, your role is crucial!  You can help by watching out for warning signs.  You can help give her the support she needs as she adjusts to her new baby.

Ask Questions

There are screenings you can take which can help.  Some easy questions to ask are…

 

  • Are you able to sleep at night when your baby sleeps?  (Insomnia is a common symptom of PPD)

 

  • How is your appetite?  (Lack of hunger is another sign)

 

  • What perception do you have regarding your emotional and physical support?

 

  • Do you generally feel like yourself?

 

  • Are you having any scary or unusual thoughts?

 

Keep in mind there can be so many different symptoms.  It isn’t one size fits all.  I didn’t feel “depressed” rather I was angry and overwhelmed.  I didn’t know those 2 things were symptoms of PPD.  I thought the only symptom was depression.

What can you do to help?

If you suspect the mom you are concerned about has PPD, contact her healthcare provider.  Ask for a referral for someone who specializes in PPD.  Your OB, Midwife or Pediatricians should have some good recommendations.

A great website for you to start your research is Post Partum.net  They have great information for support people.  They also have resources to find trained therapists in your area!  Remember mom may need YOU to really step up and actively search for help.  She may not have the energy or ability to do it herself.

A great book is PostPartum Depression for Dummies.

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