Provider What to Say, What Not to Say
What to Say
- Many women who have had babies have feelings like those you have been describing.
- It isn't your fault that you have these feelings.
- I'm going to give you some information that will help you understand why you feel this way and what you can do to change it.
- There are treatments available that work for postpartum depression.
- You will get better with the right treatment.
What Not to Say
- This is a normal reaction that all mothers experience. Donít worry, youíll get better.
All mothers do not experience PPD. The depressed mother will get better, but only with appropriate treatment.
- Why don't you join a group with other new mothers?
Unless there is a support group specifically for women with postpartum depression, this may not be a good idea. Participating in a 'normal' new mothers group may intensify the depressed mother's feelings of alienation.
- Maybe you and your husband/partner can go away for a relaxing vacation.
A change of scene may be nice, but it won't cure PPD. It may even lead to increased feelings of guilt over leaving the baby or financial concerns about the money being spent.
- Treat yourself to something nice -- go shopping for new clothes or get a massage.
Although buying yourself nice things is not a bad idea, it is not a treatment for PPD. These suggestions should only be part of an overall treatment plan.
- Bennett SS, Indman P. Beyond the Blues: A Guide to Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression. Moodswings Press, 2003.
- The Postpartum Stress Center: Information for Healthcare Practitioners.
- Reynolds S, Svidergol D, Costello P. Postpartum Depression: Essentials for Intervening. Healthy Start Inc. and Women's Behavioral HealthCARE, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, May 2005.