It’s been a few days since Mother’s Day, but I believe us mommas deserve some love and support every day. Mother’s day was extra special for new mothers (or maybe it wasn’t) this year. So many mothers are suffering from Postpartum depression. Many of us are unsure of what Postpartum Depression looks like, families are still struggling with how to deal with it. So many mothers are suffering and also suffering in silence. And in the case of black mothers, less are likely to seek professional treatment or support from loved ones. So how do we help them? First, we must educate ourselves on the signs and symptoms of PPD. Mommies if you are feeling overwhelmed consistently, or you feel like you can't be a good mom repeatedly, or you're unusually tired. Maybe you feel resentment towards yourself or the baby, or maybe you are extremely sad, or numb. Whatever you are experiencing, you have to seek help.
As a friend, it's important to share how and when you can support the mom. Gather your other girlfriends and start a support system. PPD or not, new mothers can use all the help they can get. One new system that I'm loving right now is called Meal Train. This website allows you to simplify the organization of meal giving around significant life events. This way you and your girlfriends could organize a rotating schedule for dropping off meals (or cleaning, or laundry or watching her other children; and the new mom gets to do some “adulting” on a weekly basis.
For the fathers! Fathers, your number one job - much like the job of mommy friends - is to get educated on PPD and find ways to uniquely support your partner. It may feel frustrating when nothing seems to work but your presence and understanding means a whole lot and doesn’t go unnoticed. Encourage your partner to seek professional assistance and let her know and see that you are willing to stick by her side through this.
Friends and family the best thing you can do for the mothers in your life that are dealing with PPD is to listen. Don’t try to minimize their problems or even make them better. Just lend them a loving ear. Sometimes all we need is to talk it out and we will figure it out, but it starts with someone genuinely asking how are you feeling today?