If you are struggling with PPD or if you think you are - TALK to someone. It will be the LAST thing that you will want to do but do it anyway. You will be glad you did! You can read my story about my struggle with PPD here.
If you know someone who you suspect may be struggling with PPD - I have made up a list of things that would have helped me whether at the time I wanted them or not. Just remember in whatever you do, do it to show God's love to this precious mommy and not because it's the "right thing to do."
1. Food/ Meals/ Snacks/ Cookies - bringing food to someone who is struggling with this is a HUGE burden lifted off of their shoulders because it helps reduce the things that they feel as though they are not accomplishing.
2. Clean their house - Call it a baby gift or something but give her a card on Sunday and say that you are giving her a few hours of house cleaning that week. Then ask what day would work best for her. Then go in with your own cleaning supplies so you don't have to bother her with getting hers out and clean bathrooms, vacuum floors, put odds and ends that are out of place in a box for her to sort out later, scrub kitchen floors, do the dishes.
3. Don't stop by just to visit - Trust me, talking is the last thing on her mind so make sure that there is a purpose for your stop. And make it short and sweet. You don't want to pressure her into cleaning the house because you are stopping by.
4. Send a loving card of encouragement - Bible verses, love, and encouragement will go far and sending cards will be the best way that it will be received. If you know she is going to be a wonderful mommy - TELL HER! Trust me, she needs that encouragement!
5. Provide nap-time - Ask her what time of day the baby is usually awake and tell her you will be stopping by to love on that baby and let mommy get some sleep. THIS IS A TOUCHY one. Any time that you offer help directly with the baby can make her feel even more inadequate. So be careful and feel her out - don't force this one unless you can do it in a very loving way. You could even stress how special it will be for you to be able to love on the baby (but only if it is!). And when you get there - no chatting is necessary, just say "We'll be just fine, we're going to talk and play together and we will come and get you if the baby needs you!" Then stay in her house and care for the baby, but if the baby needs mommy AT ALL - get mommy.
6. Ask for a grocery list - Do her grocery shopping for her. Ask her for a detailed list and bring them to her house and put them away - if you can't figure out where it goes, put it on the counter. At least put the perishables away because honestly, she may not want to put them away or it could become too overwhelming for her and they could be left out for quite a while.
6. Kidnap Baby - This is a LAST resort step but can be very helpful in helping mommy get back in her groove. As you could see in my story, it was the one thing that made me realize that it was okay to let someone else help me with the baby and that I didn't have to do it on my own and my child would still be alive after someone else cared for her! Just make sure it's a very short time period.
7. Pray pray pray - This is always an incredible way to help someone. God knows and loves that special mommy and He gave her that beautiful baby for a purpose. Pray for her that God will give her an extra measure of grace to get through those rough times.
8. Love her and do not cast judgment on her. She is struggling and her body is chemically fighting against her in ways she has probably never experienced before. Don't expect thank-you's for your efforts right away. Someday the actions you did will mean a lot.
I know the women who helped me and forced their way into my life truly gave me hope when I had none!
In HIS Grip,
I am linked up with: