Many women experience depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy. It is not a sign of weakness or being a bad mother. It is a medical condition that can cause her to stop breastfeeding and can have long-term health effects. Here is some useful information from the National Institutes of Health on how to identify the signs of depression and what you can do to help.
Know the signs
Because you know your daughter well, you may be the first to spot signs of perinatal depression, such as:
- Frequent sadness, irritability, or anger.
- Foggy thinking or difficulty completing tasks.
- "Robotic" actions, like she's going through the motions.
- Anxiety around the baby.
- Saying that she's a failure as a mother.
- Lack of interest in activities she usually enjoys.
Listen to her
- Ask how she is feeling emotionally, not just physically.
- Be kind and understanding about her concerns.
- Listen without offering advice.
- Let her know that depression is a common medical condition and can be treated. It is not a sign that she is weak or a bad mother.
- Encourage her to seek help quickly.