Mom’s Depressed: The 5 Biggest Do’s and Don’ts On Mother’s Day

Mom’s Depressed: The 5 Biggest Do’s and Don’ts On Mother’s Day

Mom’s Depressed: The 5 Biggest Do’s and Don’ts On Mother’s Day

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Chances are you know at least one mom who's depressed - so, how do you handle Mother's Day?

Can you name the number one complication of pregnancy?  If you’re thinking gestational diabetes, you’re on the wrong track. Don’t feel bad - most people haven’t a clue.

 The answer? Untreated depression.  Believe it or not, depression is the most frequent complication of pregnancy. But even with the statistic of 15 to 20% (about 1 in 7) new mothers with postpartum depression, research tells us that most new moms are never screened by any health care provider for depression following delivery! 

 

Thousands of mothers will have a hard time enjoying Mother’s Day this year due to postpartum depression. Although a depressed mom may not be able to enjoy much at all these days, her mood might just pick up on Mother’s Day when you take the following steps.  Here are some tips to help a depressed mom in your life enjoy the day as much as possible:

 DO NOT…

….buy her chocolates that come in a box.  Most commercial chocolate candy will make her more depressed or anxious.  After the initial lift in endorphins, she can crash and become worse.  It may set her up for craving more and more sweets in an attempt to lift her mood. That creates an unpleasant cycle of junk food eating, crashing, gaining weight, possibly feeling worse about herself, and slowing down her recovery due to a variety of emotional and physical reasons.

 DO…

….provide yummy yet nutritious food so her brain chemistry will be fed.  The chances increase that she’ll recover faster with proper nutrients in her body.  Some dark chocolate without the caramel and marshmellows (and so on) is fine.

 DO NOT…

….make plans for an event or excursion which will take a lot of energy on her part.  Depression zaps energy, and she needs to have her life extra simple right now.  Scheduling a trip to Disneyland will probably be too much and will overwhelm her even more.

 DO…

…make a reservation at a special restaurant, hire a housekeeper, set up care for her child(ren) so she can get some regular time during the week to do things for herself.  If the children are yours too, be on duty with them a few scheduled times during the week, every week.  Your whole family will benefit.

 DO NOT…

….buy her anything for the house or child(ren).  This is not the time for the new microwave or jog stroller, even though she’ll ultimately benefit.

 DO…

….buy her a gift that she can use completely alone.  Anything that will help her nurture herself is good.  For instance, a special skin cream she loves, a massage or day spa appointment (you provide transportation), and an upbeat book complete with leisure time to read it. 

 DO NOT…

….buy her a plant that will take ongoing care (unless she’s been asking for a plant).  She already has her hands full, and any other living thing requiring her attention will stress her out more.

 DO…

….bring her beautifully scented roses.  Roses provide lots of oxygen and can be quite healing.

 DO NOT…

….have high expectations for her to have “fun.”  That will feel like pressure to her.  You love her and want her to feel happy, and so does she.  But if she can’t, don’t take it personally.  That will make her feel guilty for disappointing you and letting you down.

 DO…

….have realistic expectations.  This means, enjoy the day as much as you can and accept the fact that she’s doing her best to enjoy it too.  Keep the attitude of, “she’s doing the best she can and she’s looking forward to feeling better and better.  I’m glad I’m showing her how much I love her.”

 Mother’s Day aside, make sure she’s getting excellent care from a therapist who specializes in postpartum depression.  And remind her that with proper help, by next Mother’s Day she’ll be feeling like herself again.