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How friends can help with Postpartum Depression [Kenya]

How friends can help with Postpartum Depression [Kenya]

  I can't insist enough on how important family and friends are for the new mom and to her recovery. Even from my experience, as soon as I told my partner what I was going through that's when we started healing and going to the right steps. Here some of the examples of how a friend or family member can help a new mom who's struggling.

The first one is open communication. Have non-judgmental and I can't insist enough non-judgmental conversations with the mother. Let them know you're listening to her, supporting her without any expectations , or any pressure.

Offer assistance. You can help with things like cooking doing shopping, all those things.

A new mom is not really able to move around, so see what you can help make her journey easier. You can also educate yourself. So if you're watching this video, that's a good thing.

At least you know what to do in case a new mom is going through that. If you know what to look out for or the science you're able to tell a mom you are not okay and you can also help her.

Be present. Make sure you're present in the baby's life. Easy as changing a diaper, feeding the baby sometimes and letting the mom rest. That would be very, very beneficial.

Validate her feelings. Let her know she's well listened to without dismissals or minimizing her emotions. I can't insist enough because I find most people, every time you say you're not okay, they, they try and show you your feelings are not valid.

If you're listening to a mom who has postpartum depression, validate her feelings and tell her you understand what she's going through, so she'll be comfortable to share even more information with you.

You can encourage her to get professional help. You can help her do research. Where do you get these doctors? Where, can we go? Where are these support groups?

Accompany her to, to the appointments if she's comfortable with it. As soon as you get where she can go to get help, make sure you can drive her there. Take her, support her as much as she needs to be supported. You can also watch out for danger signs and let her know, or maybe help get the help she needs.

There's a time where you, you cannot see yourself and know what you're going through, but a partner or someone who's close to you can be able to see you're not okay.

It's very important for you to watch out and support them where they need to be supported. You need to provide breaks for your partner or your friend.

This is where you can come and handle the baby. Tell them to go for a walk, do something they love or even take a shower. As crazy as it sounds, it can be so tough that you're not even able to go take a shower. Those small, breaks, if you come and provide for a mom, it'll be very, very beneficial.

There's also creating a supportive environment where they know, no matter what I'm going through, I'm well, well supported. That's very, very important.

Engage in active listening. Do not minimize, diminish her feelings , listen to her and she knows that she's well supported.

You also need to be patient. Depression is something that takes time. Don't give her pressure to get better quickly or whatever. Let her take her time, be patient with her until she's feeling ready and okay.

You can help with the baby care. Changing diapers or whatever.

Sometimes like for the second baby, there's something we did. I used to express the milk during the day and then I can sleep . You'll find there's a football match someone wants to watch till late so they can use that time to bottle feed the baby.

I expressed during the day, and he'll be able to take care of the baby from, seven all the way to midnight. And then for me, from midnight because he needs to go to work the next day. Something like that, just helping , can really, really change how the mom feels.

Connect with others. Make sure , the new mom is connected to other friends who have babies so that she knows she's not the only one who's going , through this.

Support groups . Make sure she's well supported and knows , where to go in case she's not feeling okay.

And you have to check in regularly, especially if you're a friend. Call that mom, call the new mom. Make sure she's doing okay.

She might not be in a position to call you or pick up every time, but make sure you keep checking up on her.

  I think those are some of the few things which a family member or friend can do to ensure the new mom is okay.


Content created in collaboration with MumsbyKare

Narrated by Naomi Wangare of MumsbyKare

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