COMMON SYMPTOMS of PERINATAL DEPRESSION & ANXIETY
• Feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and insecure
• Crying spells, sadness, hopelessness
• Anger, irritability, frustration
• Repetitive fears and worries
• Click Here to learn more about symptoms
TAKING CARE OF YOUR STRESS AND EMOTIONS
• Ask for help, information, and support for yourself.
• Develop a support team for your family. Ask for help. Say YES when they offer.
• Take time for yourself.
• Talk to other families who have come through this.
• Spend time with your baby to develop your own confidence.
HOW TO HELP your partner
• Reassure her: this is not her fault; she is not alone; she will get better.
• Encourage her to talk about her feelings and listen without judgment.
• Help with housework before she asks you.
• Encourage her to take time for herself. Breaks are a necessity; fatigue is a major contributing factor to worsening symptoms.
• Don’t expect her to be super-housewife just because she’s home all day.
• Be realistic about what time you’ll be home, and come home on time.
• Help her reach out to others for support and treatment.
• Schedule some dates with her and work together to find a babysitter.
• Offer simple affection and physical comfort, but be patient if she is not up for sex. It’s normal for her to have a low sex drive with depression, and rest and recovery will help to bring it back.
DEALING WITH HER ANGER AND IRRITABILITY
• Do what you can to make sure she eats regularly throughout the day, because low blood sugar results in a low mood and frustration. Have healthy and easy snacks on hand.
• Do your best to listen for the real request at the heart of her frustration. Reduce conflict by telling her, “I know we can work this out. I am listening.”
• Keep the lines of communication open. Verbalize your feelings instead of distancing from her. It is helpful to take a break if your tempers are hot, but do get back to communicating.
• If she is expressing anger in such a way that you can’t stay supportive, you might say something like, “I want to listen to you. I know this is important, but I’m having a hard time because you’re so mad at me. Can we take a break and talk about it later?”
• Ask her how you can help right now. If she doesn’t know, make some suggestions.