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6 Ways to Support a New Mother with Postnatal Depression

6 Ways to Support a New Mother with Postnatal Depression

Bringing a new life into the world should be a time of joy and celebration, but for many new mothers, it can be a period of emotional strain and stress.

Postnatal depression is not uncommon, affecting around one in every ten women within a year of giving birth in the UK.

If you are a partner, friend, or family member of a new mother who is struggling, your support is invaluable.

Here are six ways you can be there for her during this challenging time.

What is Postnatal Depression?

Postnatal depression is a type of mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth. It goes beyond the “baby blues,” which is a mild and short-lived sadness that many new moms experience. Postnatal depression is more intense and persistent, involving feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and fatigue that can interfere with a woman’s ability to care for her child or herself.

The causes of postnatal depression are multifaceted, often stemming from a combination of physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes.

Hormonal shifts after birth play a significant role, as levels of estrogen and progesterone sharply drop, which can affect mood.

The physical exhaustion of childbirth and the demands of a newborn also contribute, alongside feelings of isolation, identity loss, or lack of support. I

It’s important to understand that postnatal depression is a complex condition that requires empathy, support, and often professional intervention. Remember, it’s neither a weakness nor a failure on the mother’s part; it’s a medical condition that can be treated with the right help.

1. Educate Yourself

Understanding postnatal depression is the first step in offering meaningful support. Take the time to learn the signs and symptoms, such as persistent feelings of sadness, lack of energy, and changes in appetite or sleep. Armed with this knowledge, you can offer better-informed assistance without underestimating the gravity of the situation.

2. Offer Practical Help

The day-to-day responsibilities can be overwhelming for any new mother, especially for one dealing with postnatal depression.

Offer practical support by helping out with household chores, preparing meals, or providing ready-made meals she can heat and eat.

Even small gestures like doing the grocery shopping can alleviate a significant amount of stress. Additionally, offering to babysit gives the mother a much-needed break, allowing her time for self-care without the added worry of her baby’s care.

3. Be a Listening Ear

Creating a safe space for open dialogue is crucial. Encourage the new mother to share her feelings and fears, and be there to listen without judgement.

Often, simply being able to voice these emotions can be a tremendous relief. Ensure she knows she is not alone in this experience and her feelings are valid. A listening ear can be just as therapeutic as any professional treatment; it’s the beginning of making her feel heard and supported.

4. Encourage Professional Help

While your presence and support matter, professional intervention can often be necessary for managing postnatal depression. Gently suggest the idea of speaking to a healthcare professional.

Be ready to provide information on support groups, helplines, or therapists in her area. Offer to accompany her to appointments or care for the baby while she attends sessions. This show of solidarity can be empowering and make the first step towards recovery seem less daunting.

5. Provide Emotional Support

The road to recovery can be long and challenging, and sometimes, a simple act of kindness can make all the difference.

Reassure the new mother that you are there for her. Remind her that she is doing her best and that it’s okay to have hard days. Offer a shoulder to cry on, or a warm hug when words just aren’t enough.

Consistent and unwavering emotional support will help anchor her through the turbulent emotions and self-doubt that can come with postnatal depression.

6. Simply Be Present with Her

Sometimes, the best support is your unwavering presence. Spend time with the new mother, even if it’s just sitting in silence, as company can alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Engage in activities she enjoys, such as going for a walk or watching a film. These shared experiences remind her that there is light beyond the darkness and that, with time and support, she will find her way back.

7. Remind Her That She Is the Best Mother For Her Baby

Most importantly, remind the new mother that she is the best mother for her baby. Postnatal depression can trick her into believing she’s not good enough, but her child needs her unique love and care.

By reinforcing her confidence and worth, you can help her see herself through the lens of motherhood, not depression. This affirmation can be a powerful tool in her recovery.


In conclusion, supportive relationships are vital in helping a new mother cope with postnatal depression.

Your understanding, patience, and willingness to help can make a huge difference in her life and the life of her baby. By taking these steps, you can show her that she is not alone and that healing is possible.

Together, we can foster an environment of compassion and care for all mothers facing this challenging condition.

Please contact the Orchestrate Health team today to learn more.

Click here to learn more about our specialist private depression treatment.

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+44 (0)800 193 3277 or
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Orchestrate Health is a private pay healthcare company and therefore works outside of the NHS and CAMHS provision.

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