When someone you know has just given birth and has the baby blues it is vital they get support from their partner, family and friends so here are some tips on how you can help.
• Insist that she rest as much as possible, and volunteer to watch the baby while she naps. Ensure she is eating a healthy diet, offer to cook some meals for her. Above all, let her know you are there for her no matter what.
• It’s critical that women suffering from the baby blues feel that you understand that she is going through a hormonally driven depression that she cannot control — and that she is not “just being grumpy.” The best thing you can do is reassure the new mother that many women feel this way after giving birth, it is normal and you are there to support her through this difficult time.
• Being supportive and letting her talk about how she is feeling is very important. Knowing she can talk to you about her feelings without being judged or criticized will help her feel much better. Just listen to her. Encourage her to cry if she needs to. Tell her what a wonderful job she’s doing.
• Taking care of the baby so the mother can sleep, take a shower or eat a good meal can make the world of difference. Offer to feed the baby for her or if she is breastfeeding have her nurse the baby and then you can take them for a walk or go on a short outing. A benefit especially for dads is that most babies love to be out and about and will enjoy this special time with you.
• If she’s overwhelmed with visitors, kindly explain to them that she needs a lot of rest. Look after with whatever household duties usually fall to her (or get someone to help her) and for dads do what you can to stay on top of yours. Worrying about the house’s cleanliness or laundry upkeep will do her no good whatsoever. If trusted and loved relatives or friends offer to sit with the baby for a few hours, or to help with the house, talk to your partner and agree to take them up on it. New mums might not want to be away from their baby at the start so she can just get some sleep in the bedroom or have a relaxing bath while the baby is being cared for in another part of the house.
• Most women feel depressed about the way they look after childbirth. After changing so greatly to accommodate a baby’s development, a woman’s body takes months to regain any semblance of normalcy. Be patient with her feelings about it. Tell her what an amazing thing she’s accomplished. Any compliments that acknowledge her unique beauty are sure to be greatly appreciated!
• Don’t be bashful about gushing over the baby. Mothers love to hear that you’re enraptured with this new little life and how gorgeous her baby is.
• For Fathers – Even when she isn’t feeling down, she needs to hear how much you love her and right now it’s more important for her health and well-being than ever. With all that she’s struggling with physically and emotionally, weeks may pass before she’s ready for sex (even if she’s had an OK after her checkup.) That doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you or need you — she just needs a little time to get back to the physical aspects of your relationship. Becoming a father is a giant step in your life. Open up to a friend about how it feels to be a Dad especially if you are feeling overwhelmed. Taking care of yourself will help you take care of your new family.
If you know or suspect someone you love is experiencing the baby blues and may need some help, please click here to see how to contact us for immediate and confidential help.