Maternal Mental Health


  • Talk to your partner or friend about how they are feeling. Let her talk about her worries, thoughts and feelings. Don’t always try to reason with her as she may not be thinking logically, and don’t tell her to ‘pull yourself together’, she can’t help it
  • Encourage her to seek help. If not done already, encourage the mother to see her health visitor or GP. Offer to go with her for support
  • Reassure her that this is an illness that will get better
  • Try and learn a little about postnatal depression yourself, so you are better able to understand what is happening
  • Encourage rest. Continual broken sleep or lack of sleep can cause more irritability and can make depression worse.  Offer to help at night if you can, or encourage rest in the day when the baby sleeps
  • Give a caring hug or cuddle. Older children can be aware mummy is poorly so encourage them to help with cuddles to
  • Expect good and bad days. The good days will eventually appear more often and the bad days less
  • Offer practical help such as shopping, cleaning or looking after the baby. It is particularly important for the mother to eat well as depression can cause a poor appetite.  Offer to cook for her, providing healthy food
  • Don’t push her to do things or go to places she is not ready for
  • Spend time with her
  • Encourage her to relax. Allow her to focus on her own needs. Physical and social activities have been shown to help depression.  Suggest a long bath, hair appointment, massage, or a visit to a friend
  • Take time for yourself. Caring for someone with postnatal depression can be stressful at times. Try to continue with your own work, hobbies etc and talk to someone else if you need to
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Emma's story