The below information was taken from The Royal College of Psychiatrists. You can visit their website here
How partners, family and friends can help
- Don’t be shocked or disappointed if your partner, friend or relative says she has postnatal depression. It is common and can be effectively helped.
- Make sure that you understand what postnatal depression is. Ask the health visitor or GP if you need more information.
- It’s helpful just to spend time with someone who is depressed. It is important to listen and to offer encouragement and support. Reassure her that she will get better.
- Take your partner, relative or friend seriously if she talks about not wanting to live or about harming herself. Make sure she seeks help urgently (see section above on Urgent Help).
- Encourage your partner, relative and friend to get the help and treatment she needs. If you have any worries about treatment, discuss these with the doctor.
- Do all you can to help with the practical things. This includes feeding and changing the baby, shopping, cooking or housework.
- If you are the mother’s partner, make sure that you have some support yourself.
- If this is a first baby, you may feel pushed to one side, both by the baby and by your partner’s needs. Try not to feel resentful. Your partner needs your help and support.
- Fathers can also get depressed after the birth of a baby. This may be more likely if the mother also has postnatal depression. If you are a father and think you may have depression, talk to your GP. It is important for you and your family that you get the help you need.