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Postpartum depression is a mental health condition that affects nearly 1 in 7 women living in the U.S. It’s a type of depression that affects women after giving birth to a child. Postpartum depression can make life after giving birth feel challenging. Many new mothers with this condition feel disconnected from their babies and report changes in mood, sleep and eating habits. 

Do you have a friend who may be experiencing postpartum depression? Perhaps you’re hoping to find ways to help her or treatments that might work. If so, you can read through some ways to help listed below.

How can you help a friend manage her postpartum depression?

There are a few different ways that you can help your friend with postpartum depression. Some of the key ways you can help her include:

  • Offer to help with the baby and around the house — One of the first ways that you can help your friend manage her postpartum depression is by helping around the house. She may appreciate it if you offer to hold the baby for a few hours, wash the dishes or start a load of laundry. It can be difficult to stay on top of tasks, especially with postpartum depression. Completing some of these tasks and allowing your friend even a few hours of rest can greatly help.
  • Be a good listener for your friend — Another way to help your friend with postpartum depression is by actively listening. Encourage her to express her feelings and ask how she’s been dealing with being a new mother. When listening to her responses, be sure not to dismiss her feelings or make her feel less than. Give her space to open up about her thoughts and feelings and help her to feel heard.
  • Remember that postpartum depression isn’t a “choice” — Another important consideration to remember is that your friend didn’t decide to feel this way. It may be helpful to your friend if you understand that she didn’t “choose” to become depressed. Postpartum depression is the result of hormone fluctuations after birth. These fluctuations lead to subconscious changes in the brain and affect mood regulation. 
  • Recommend that she seek treatment from a professional — If you’re looking to help your friend who has postpartum depression, she may benefit from being referred to treatment resources. You may want to consider encouraging her to begin treatment. Professionals may provide relief to new mothers needing help with their depression symptoms.

What can postpartum women do to improve their depression?

Women experiencing postpartum depression have a few treatment options that may improve their condition. Some of these options include:

  • Psychotherapy — One of the ways that women with postpartum depression can improve their mental health is by starting psychotherapy sessions with a licensed clinical therapist. Psychotherapy can significantly improve mental health conditions like postpartum depression. This treatment mode, or talk therapy, involves sitting down for one-on-one talk sessions with a therapist. During sessions, a therapist will talk to their patient through guided discussions. Each patient will follow a treatment plan designed to address mental health conditions at their core.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy — Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy (TMS) is a treatment modality that specifically helps individuals with treatment-resistant depression, anxious depression and OCD. It’s an option for women with postpartum depression who haven’t improved with psychotherapy or antidepressants. TMS is a non-medication, noninvasive treatment option that delivers pulses of magnetic energy to specific areas in the brain. These magnetic pulses are designed to stimulate nerve cells in the areas of the brain that are involved in mood regulation and ultimately relieve the symptoms of depression.
  • Increase physical activity — For postpartum women looking for ways they can improve their depression at home, they may benefit from boosting physical activity levels. Physical activity can help your friend’s mental health by reducing stress and promoting the release of “feel-good” hormones. Consider asking your friend to join you for a walk around the block with the baby in the stroller. 

Active Path Mental Health can provide high-quality postpartum depression treatment

We know how significant of an impact postpartum depression can have on the lives of new moms and, by association, their friends. It can steer their life out of control and leave them feeling overwhelmed. Postpartum depression can affect a new mother’s ability to function daily, her bond with her newborn, and her quality of life. Treatment from our Active Path Mental Health team can help. With us, she’ll get the treatment she needs to manage postpartum depression symptoms, for a better quality of life for her and her newborn. 

Active Path Mental Health has treatment locations in both Oregon and Washington. The team members at each one of our locations are dedicated to helping patients recover from their mental health conditions. 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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