PPD isn’t a new topic and extant articles on it have been widely shared. More people have come to realised that depression doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to be locked in a room with the thought of hanging themselves up. Just as most illness, depression too has its stages.
In brief, PPD happens to mothers (or in certain cases fathers) after bearing usually the first child. Parents experiencing PPD might have disturbing feelings towards their baby and it could last to several years if not treated well. By this, it means the parents suppressing their overwhelming emotions or denying their issues and refuse to seek help from the professionals.
As you read through this article, you might be wondering how you could lend a hand to ease the burden of your friends, should you learn that they are going through PPD. Here goes.
1. Be normal, like nothing happened. Instead of greeting them with “Are you okay babe?” out of the blue moon, try to ask normal stuff like “Hey, how’s it going?” Because if they choose to open up, then they’ll do so. Otherwise, just chill..
2. Lend your hands to do simple acts of kindness. Carry their bags, buy them food for lunch, grab their favourite slurpee at 7e or give them a ride especially if they are still not confident about sitting behind the wheels.
3. Give them a text asking how they are doing and remind them that you are only one call, one text away. So going for a coffee is always possible.
4. Try not to ask so much especially when their baby cries because the situation is already staggering. Not having too much enquiries about why the baby is being grumpy would do wonders.
5. Instead, show that you are ready to help out and you are waiting for instructions on what to do next.
6. If you would like to suggest on how to calm the baby down, remember to say so in the gentlest manner like, “Do you mind me suggesting something? I’ve seen my mom rocking my baby brother this way before”.
7. Even if you don’t find the rationale in, apologise for “interrupting” their parenting style. Why? Because you could actually make them feel worthless and that they are terrible in parenting for not knowing how to rock their own baby. So by “apologising” for showing the way would make them feel a lot better.
8. Count them in, for a movie, outing, or even your girls’ road trip and try to accommodate the baby’s presence in the group. This will avoid them from feeling left out.
9. Lend your ears, and listen to them. Listen attentively to their stories regardless of the number of times that they’ve been repeating it. And you know what? Advices are not welcome because they’re so perplexed that they can’t brain your consultation. Rather, be a listener and lend your shoulders for them to cry on.
So, do you know anyone who suffers from PPD? We would love to know your measures in dealing with them. Share your thoughts and experience in the comment below and let’s embrace PPD with open arms!