For some moms, pregnancy and new parenthood is shadowed by sadness, anxiety, difficulty making decisions, and lack of motivation to care for their infant. This form of clinical depression during pregnancy or around the time of childbirth (perinatal) is much more than “the blues.”


Well-meaning family and friends sometimes dismiss these symptoms as being just part of pregnancy, when in fact, the support of loved ones is important to a woman with perinatal depression.


Quite often when we attempt to help, the things we say come out all wrong. Try to avoid minimizing her very real feelings with comments such as, “Everyone feels down sometimes. You’ll get over it. Just take a nap.”


Helpful actions include encouraging her to talk about her feelings, offering to help with caring for her infant and/or other children, and allowing her to focus on her needs. Surrounding her with care can include bringing in prepared meals, housecleaning and laundry, running errands, and taking her out of the house for a break. Encourage her to talk to her health care provider about her symptoms and how they are impacting her daily living and relationships.


The website www.beyondtheblues.info has more help.