Treating Symptoms of Postpartum Depression with Social Support & Connection

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common mental health condition that affects many new mothers. It can be caused by hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and the stress of adjusting to life with a new baby. While postpartum depression can be a serious condition that requires medical attention, there are also several non-medical strategies that can help mitigate its symptoms. Postpartum depression can develop after birth and is more common than many new mothers realize. 1 in 5 moms suffer from depression after pregnancy, often in silence. There are many ways to treat PPD, including the use of individual therapy, group support, and postpartum medication. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of friendship in mitigating PPD and how social support can help new mothers navigate this challenging time.

Research has shown that social support can have a positive impact on maternal mental health. Specifically, having close friendships can help new mothers feel more supported and less isolated, which can reduce the risk of developing PPD. This is because social support can help new mothers cope with the stress and challenges that come with motherhood.

In addition to reducing the risk of developing PPD, friendship can also help new mothers manage the symptoms of PPD if it does occur. Friends can offer emotional support, provide practical assistance such as childcare, and offer a listening ear when a new mother needs to vent or talk through her feelings. Friends can also encourage new mothers to seek help from medical professionals if they are struggling with PPD symptoms.

Friendship can help new mothers stay connected to the outside world and maintain a sense of normalcy during a time when they may feel overwhelmed and consumed by their new role as a mother. Friends can provide a break from the demands of motherhood and offer a chance to engage in hobbies or activities that the new mother enjoys. Surrounding yourself with others who are navigating similar challenges can also help to normalize this unique season of life.

So, how can new mothers cultivate strong friendships that can help mitigate PPD symptoms? Here are some tips:

  1. Join a support group: There are many support groups for new mothers, both online and in-person. These groups can provide an opportunity to meet other new mothers who are going through similar experiences. To find out more about those offered with Becoming Mothers Counseling, click here!
  2. Attend social events: Attend social events or activities that interest you, such as a book club or yoga class. This can provide an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
  3. Connect with other mothers: Connect with other mothers in your community or through social media. These connections can provide a source of support and understanding.
  4. Be open and honest: Don’t be afraid to talk to friends or loved ones about how you’re feeling. Being open and honest about your experiences can help others understand what you’re going through and provide the support you need.

Social support is an important tool in mitigating PPD symptoms. By cultivating strong friendships, new mothers can feel more supported and less isolated, which can reduce the risk of developing PPD and help manage its symptoms if it does occur. Joining a support group, attending social events, connecting with other mothers, and being open and honest are all strategies that can help new mothers build strong friendships that will support them during this challenging time.

“Marnie is an outstanding bringer together of people. I have been fortunate to experience several gatherings that she convened and was awestruck by her ability to bring intentionality, compassion, and warmth to meaningful discussions. Her gatherings will change how you think about your experience as a mom and I recommend them most highly!”

— AC, Group Member


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