Please be the awkward friend.
We need you.
I know, it’s not easy to go up to a new mom and ask her the hard questions, but if you don’t… it’s likely no one else will either.
It might feel weird, and awkward, but these conversations are vital to the health of new moms and new families.
Ask your moms friends if they are experiencing Postpartum Depression.
I know right? What a weird question. You go over to a friend’s house, cooing over the new baby, and hopefully bringing her a casserole. And then you ask the question “how are you doing, are you experiencing any Postpartum depression symptoms?”
Ask it like it’s the most normal thing in the world.
Because you know what? It is.
Something like 75% of women experience the baby blues and for many of those women it grows into full on Postpartum Depression.
75% – that’s a crazy high number for something no one likes to talk about.
But just because other people don’t bring it up, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.
Give your new mom friend space to talk about the harder parts of new motherhood, even if she doesn’t have full-on PPD.
New motherhood is that stage of life where it seems like you have to be completely thrilled with it. You’ve been given this perfect little human to take care of, and it doesn’t seem to make sense for there to be anything sad about that, especially not when everyone around you is rejoicing.
New moms who are struggling with baby blues or PPD already feel weird and awkward and worried about it.
Trust me, you can’t make it more awkward.
So just ask.
And then listen. Truly listen.
If she shares her struggles with you, make sure you check back in on those difficulties in a few weeks to see if things have gotten better, or gotten work.
Make sure she knows you are a friend she can go to, without worrying about judgement.
We all like to assume that our friends know they can count on us in their darkest days. But when things are heavy and depression sets in, it can become almost impossible for a new mom to reach out.
So dearest friends of mine, I ask you to REACH IN.
Even if she seems like she’s having the best parenting journey ever.
Even if she’s laughing and posting all the prettiest pictures on Instagram of their perfect new life.
Even if she seems to have everything figured out already.
Even if she’s already had kids, so she should know everything she needs to know about PPD.
I can’t stress it enough. Be that awkward friend that brings up Postpartum depression and gives a new mom room to talk about the ups AND the downs that come with having a new baby.
Direct her towards resources she needs if she’s depressed.
Encourage her to talk to her doctor, or offer to even go with her to her next ob/gyn appointment if she’s worried about saying those words herself.
And most of all, don’t stop reaching.
Maybe you’ll ask today, and truly she’s having the time of her life being a mom. I hope that’s the answer you get, and I hope that your mom friends stay PPD-free their whole lives. But it’s also possible that PPD can be late in coming.
In fact, PPD can happen anytime in the first 12 months of a baby’s life. So keep asking. Keep reaching in, because one day, you might be the only hand that she finds as she’s staring through the darkness of depression.
Being the awkward friend can save lives.
Being the awkward friend can make motherhood more fun, and more bearable for a mom who is struggling.
And honestly, being the awkward friend can open up conversations with lots of women who wouldn’t ever bring it up themselves.
I’ve seen groups of women rally around moms with the baby blues, simply because one woman was willing to ask the awkward question.
As everyone started sharing their own stories of depression and overcoming it, all the awkwardness vanished and the new mom got support and a breath of fresh air that she needed, because she knew she wasn’t alone.
Here is a great website with Postpartum Depression resources you can study or share with your friend!
If you are experiencing Postpartum Depression, I encourage you to read this story from my friend Kristy, as she seeks to break the silence around PostPartum Depression in the MOST ENCOURAGING way!
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