Helping someone with depression

If someone you love is experiencing PND, the best thing you can do is to offer support. Give her a break from her childcare duties, provide a listening ear, and be patient and understanding.  You also need to take care of yourself.  Dealing with the needs of a new baby is hard for fathers as well as mothers.

How to help your wife/partner/family member

  • Encourage her to talk about her feelings. Listen to her without judging her or offering solutions. Instead of trying to fix things, simply be there for her to lean on.
  • Offer help around the house. Help with the housework and childcare responsibilities. Don’t wait for her to ask!
  • Make sure she takes time for herself. Rest and relaxation are important. Encourage her to take breaks, hire a babysitter, or schedule some date nights.
  • Be patient if she’s not ready for sex. Depression affects sex drive, so it may be awhile before she’s in the mood.  Offer her physical affection, but don’t push is she’s not up for sex.
  • Go for a walk with her. Getting exercise can make a big dent in depression, but it’s hard to get motivated when you’re feeling low.  Help her by making walks a daily ritual for the two of you.

It is important to understand that people cannot “snap out of” depression any more than they can “snap out of” diabetes.