Licensed clinical social worker Katie Monarch discusses how family and friends can help a woman avoid or cope with postpartum depression/PPD once the baby arrives.
Katie L. Monarch:
Family support is very important, and social support is very important for mom. Making mom feel comfortable, if she does start having thoughts about harming the baby, harming herself, if she just can’t do it, if she is feeling too tired, if she is feeling overwhelmed, talk to somebody and ask for help.
What we have found is most people won’t help or offer to help with the baby unless they are comfortable and they really want to do it. So I really encourage our moms that, if you have somebody, a support network like that, take advantage of it. Let them hold the baby, let them help you, let them spend the night and maybe take, you know, a night feeding, or whatever will help you out, but be accepting of that support network around you because they are going to be able to help you.
If you got to a point where it did become more than family could handle, then you can reach out, get into treatment and get help for that as well, and it’s important that the family members are involved while you are in treatment also. Our particular program does have a dads group that meets once a month, and it allows for our dads to come for the moms that are in the program to kind of talk about how they are doing too.
About Katie L. Monarch, L.C.S.W.:
Katie Monarch is the Project Director for the Post Partum Depression program at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, where she helped design an education-focused facility. At this hospital all new mothers are screened for postpartum depression through the Bridges for Newborns program using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).