A friend with postnatal depression?
If you have a new mother in your group who is stuck, who is clearly not on a pink cloud, or is trying to make it clear that she is not doing well: then talk with her. It is often very difficult for some mothers who are confronted with postnatal depression to talk about it. Because they are extremely ashamed of what they all think and feel. In addition, they also feel very guilty about their child, their husband and their family. They think they should be happy but are not.
Some mothers try to make it clear: "I am so tired, I do not know if I do it well, I want a good night's sleep." These are signals that she might want to talk. Ask what they mean by this without putting words in their mouths. Show compassion and understanding and encourage them to talk to you.
If the conversation has not started yet, you could start with: "I notice that you have been irritable lately. Are you okay?" This opens up lines of communication without judging them. "Is there anything I can do for you? How can I help you? You can tell me everything." Encourage, but do not force anything. It is important that you do not put her words in her mouth, but at the same time she must be encouraged to talk.
It is very important for this mother that she feels heard in these dark times. The thoughts that she has often circulate around her head non-stop and if she has found an outlet with you, this is very valuable. You offer her the opportunity to ventilate in a time when everything revolves around her baby.
So start the conversation with this PND-mom! Support her where you can and show understanding and compassion. You may be worried after this conversation or you may think: this mother urgently needs professional help. If so, try to get her in touch with medical professionals.
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