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Shoshana Bennett: Not So Happy Mother's Day

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Thousands of mothers will have a hard time enjoying Mother’s Day this year due to postpartum depression. One in 7 new moms get hit with this disorder, and for this 15%, Mother’s Day can be pretty tough. Most importantly, make sure she’s getting good care from a therapist who specializes in postpartum depression. Although a depressed mom may not be able to enjoy much at all these days, her mood may pick up on Mother’s Day when you take the following steps. Here are some tips to help the depressed mom in your life enjoy the day as much as possible:

….buy her chocolates that come in a box. Most commercial chocolate candy will make her more depressed or anxious. After the initial lift in endorphins, she’ll crash and become worse. It may set her up for craving more and more sweets in an attempt to lift her mood. That creates an unpleasant cycle of junk food eating, crashing, gaining weight, feeling worse about herself, and slowing down her recovery due to a variety of psychological and biochemical causes.

….provide nutritious food so her brain chemistry will be fed. She will recover much faster with proper nutrients in her body. Some dark chocolate without the caramel type of junk on it is fine.

….make plans for an event or excursion which will take a lot of energy on her part. Depression zaps energy, and she needs to have her life extra simple right now. Scheduling a trip to Disneyland will be too much and will overwhelm her even more.

…make a reservation at a special restaurant, hire a permanent housekeeper, set up regular care for her child(ren) so she can get regular time during the week to do things for herself. If the children are yours too, be on duty with them a few scheduled times during the week, every week. Your whole family will benefit.

….buy her anything for the house or child(ren). This is not the time for the new microwave or jog stroller, even though she’ll ultimately benefit.

….buy her a gift that she can use completely alone. Anything that will help her nurture herself is good.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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