It is normal for a man to want to help his girlfriend overcome postpartum depression. However postpartum depression is a physical and mental ailment that a woman must work through with the help of a professional. While this is happening the guy's position is one of being supportive and helpful, so to help your girlfriend get over her postpartum depression there are several things that you can do to make her life easier. Having a new baby is overwhelming enough without the crushing depression added on top of it. You have to understand that your girlfriend isn't doing this on purpose and that she is trying her best.
What You Can Do
- Be there when she wants to talk, and leave her be when she doesn't. Sometimes it can be tempting to try to force her to discuss her feelings, because you want so badly to be able to make her feel better. Depression is as confusing to her as it is to you, and you will have to understand when she just doesn't want to talk about it.
- Help with the baby and the household chores. This will take some of the stress off of your girlfriend and may allow her to enjoy the time she gets to spend with the baby more. If she is worrying about diapers and feedings, doing dishes and the pile of laundry she will feel overwhelmed and frustrated. By allowing her to simply sit and enjoy time with the baby you are helping her to bond with the baby and adjust to motherhood more slowly.
- Make sure that your girlfriend sees a doctor and/or therapist. Postpartum depression has been the cause of suicide, child abuse and neglect and even mothers killing their babies. It isn't something to play around with–take her feelings and her comments seriously and make sure that she gets the help she needs.
- While being a new father is overwhelming for you too, try to control any resentment you may feel toward her due to the depression. Postpartum depression is a temporary thing and eventually she will return to the loving girlfriend you are used to, as well as being a great mother. Patience with her condition will help your relationship survive her postpartum depression.
For more information about postpartum depression contact your girlfriend's doctor or other professional who will help you know what to do to help your girlfriend deal with and get over her postpartum depression.