Postpartum depression is sneaky. For me, it was more than a year after my daughter was born when I began to realize that I had experienced months of postpartum depression. Thankfully, the first time around it was mild. With my second child, however, it hit me hard, along with a significant spike in anxiety.
I am not good at asking for help when things get bad, and this is not uncommon in women with postpartum depression. Reaching out and explaining what we need takes too much energy. It’s easier to shut down and try to survive.
So what happens when a friend starts to show signs of depression or anxiety, sometime during the year after having her baby? I brainstormed with the women in my postpartum support group, and this is what we came up with:
Postpartum depression can be incredibly scary and isolating, and it can be so difficult to reach out for the help that is so desperately needed. By moving your shoulder in close for your girlfriend to lean on, offering some or all of these ideas of support to her, you will help her through an incredibly difficult time. And she will be so grateful. Trust me.