Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness
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Stress Less Tips
Perinatal Depression and Anxiety
Support to have some down time could be really useful. Offers of babysitting, even an hour or two for some time to do their own thing, could be great.
Ask to meet you (e.g. in a park) and offer to push the stroller or invite them to a gentle exercise class. Being active is easier with friends to share it with.
Find out what makes them laugh and then do it, like sharing funny things on the internet, telling hilarious anecdotes or dancing together.
Take time to point out all the good things that they are doing, not just for their baby but also for themselves, as they might not notice it or realise it.
Find out what they like to eat and offer to prepare it. They might not have had the time or energy to cook and enjoy meals in a while.
Keep an eye out to see if they seem overwhelmed or down and offer to go with them to see their doctor or research services in their area, if they need.
Parenting can be isolating so keep in touch, especially if it feels like they have disappeared. Phone calls and casual meet ups wherever is convenient for them can be great.
It’s important to take time to follow your passions and interests, whether it’s reading a book, listening to music or even spending five minutes on an old hobby.
Going for a walk or to a parents and infants activity group is a good way to get outside and get active. Many community centres run a range of activities for low or no charge.
Parenting can be stressful but some moments can also be very funny. Our brains are wired to respond to laughter and smiles, generating feel good chemicals, which can also help increase the bond with your baby and with others.
There’s a lot of pressure on parents to not get things wrong so it’s important to recognise even the smallest positives too, even if it’s a bit more sleep for you or the baby.
Favourite comfort foods or meals cooked by friends can be a great way to relax and recharge.
Feeling a range of emotions is normal, but if something doesn’t feel right, speaking to a health professional is a good idea. It’s important to trust yourself and there’s no shame in asking for help.
Joining a parents group, talking on the phone or inviting friends over – even if the house is a mess – is a great way to fight isolation and stay connected.
Parents might not want to ask for help so making specific offers can be useful, like doing laundry, cooking a meal or minding the baby while they sleep.
Friends, family, even online communities can be a good source of support with things like advice, babysitting and even home-cooked meals when you’re feeling overwhelmed.