ASK HER HOW SHE’S DOING
Depression and anxiety is the most common complication of pregnancy and the postpartum period. It can manifest in pregnancy or a few days to a couple of weeks after birth. Symptoms include crying, insomnia, panic attacks, lack of interest in the baby, and some women experience intrusive or suicidal thoughts. Partners can also be affected by paternal postnatal depression. If you’re worried about a friend or family member who is pregnant or has recently given birth:
1. Ask them how they’re doing. Ask how much sleep they’re getting, how often they’re eating and taking care of themselves.
2. Listen to their response.
3. If you think they may be struggling, gently help them find resources in their area, such as a therapist or support group, by visiting supportingmamas.org for Santa Clara County or www.postpartum.net which lists support across the rest of the United States.
4. If a new parent is having:
-Delusions or strange beliefs (sometimes religious or related to God)
-Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
-Feeling very irritated
-Hyperactivity (constant activity, impulsiveness, inability to concentrate, aggressiveness)
-Decreased need for or inability to sleep
-Paranoia and suspiciousness
These could indicate something more serious, such as a condition known as psychosis. Psychosis in pregnancy and postpartum is a rare but extremely serious illness, affecting 1-2 in every 1000 births. However it is temporary and treatable. In these circumstances, it is very important that a mom receives treatment IMMEDIATELY. This condition does not go away or get better on its own. Visit this page to find help.