Postpartum Depression Support

Postpartum depression is a severe mental health condition that affects more than just new mothers. It may also impact husbands/partners, siblings, parents, in-laws, friends, co-workers and even the mother’s other children.

Postpartum Depression Support

Family members and friends must learn how to cope with the postpartum depression of their loved ones. It is common for loved ones to feel helpless watching someone they love suffer from postpartum depression. Oftentimes, it leads to their own depression, anxiety, or sadness.

These feelings are normal and understandable. Plenty of resources are available to help loved ones cope with this condition.

Regardless of your relationship with the mother, follow these helpful tips while you provide and seek support:

  • Remain supportive and optimistic about recovery
  • Encourage well-rounded treatment options
  • Communicate openly about progress and struggles
  • Show support by asking questions and including the mother in activities or events
  • Seek your own support or counseling
  • Get enough rest, exercise, and continue to stick to healthy habits
  • Educate yourself about the condition so you know what to expect

Guidance for Husbands/Spouses/Partners

It can be a devastating feeling to watch your spouse suffer from postpartum depression. It may seem like an endless illness, so feeling hopeless or even frustrated is normal.

There is no immediate solution to PPD. However, the condition will pass, provided the whole family is taking the right steps toward recovery.

Husbands can help improve the situation and heal themselves by:

  • Committing to open communication with his spouse
  • Seeking therapy on his own
  • Finding his own support network

A husband or partner’s support network may include their parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, or even husbands affected by PPD. Husbands and partners can better support their spouses by seeking their own support.

Guidance for Siblings

Siblings of mothers affected by PPD may also find it difficult to cope with their sister’s condition. Remain open to communication with your loved one, educate yourself on the effects of postpartum depression, and support treatment options. This can all provide a basis for positive and healthy healing.

Siblings should also try to keep the lines of communication open with their parents and their sister’s spouse. This helps ensure all loved ones better understand the mother’s progress.

Guidance for Other Children

When a mother is suffering from postpartum depression, it can greatly affect her other children.

Children may become anxious or worried about their mother and why she doesn’t seem to be herself. Many children, especially younger ones, may think they are to blame or feel desperate to help. Family members should include the other children in the process with open communication.

While other children may not fully understand, they should receive reassurance that their mother is receiving treatment and that her condition will not last forever. Often this responsibility falls on the father, grandparents, or aunts and uncles.

Guidance for Parents

It can be extremely difficult for parents to watch their children suffer from postpartum depression. Finding a balance between supporting their child and her family and pursuing their own support is key to staying healthy and positive.

There are some things that parents can do to help provide support while maintaining their own health and wellness. Parents can offer support with childcare, take their daughter to appointments or offer to help out around the home.

Parents and the husband or partner of the mother battling PPD should communicate openly about progress and treatment options. This ensures that each family member can continue encouraging and supporting their loved one.

Guidance for In-Laws

In-laws are another set of family members who become affected by a mother’s suffering from postpartum depression. Like the affected parents, in-laws should also seek a balance between supporting their children and ensuring they have their own support.

In-laws can offer to provide childcare if proximity allows. Otherwise, they can provide support through encouragement and by staying engaged in the progress and treatment options. Actively seeking education about the condition can also help in-laws better understand what to expect and how the condition affects the family.

Guidance for Friends

Friends can also become affected by postpartum depression. It can be difficult to understand why the mother is withdrawing from social activities, acting distant, or isolating herself. Friends should also seek education on the condition to understand better what to expect as the mother progresses.

Friends can provide support by remaining encouraging and inclusive of the mother as she recovers. Even if she doesn’t seem interested or continues to act withdrawn, support and concern are still helpful in allowing the mother to heal.

Guidance for Co-Workers

Oftentimes, co-workers are overlooked or left out of the loop when a mother suffers from postpartum depression. Co-workers are a large part of the woman’s life, so they can continue communicating with the mother and her family as she faces this difficult time.

If a group of co-workers are concerned for the affected mother, it may be best to designate one person as the communicator. This person can check in on behalf of the workplace to offer support, encouragement and arrange visits.

The continued support and encouragement of family members, friends, and co-workers can help reduce the symptoms of postpartum depression and create a more positive road to recovery. Team
Reviewed by:Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Medical Editor

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kimberly Langdon is a Doctor of Medicine and graduated from The Ohio State University in 1991. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Ohio State University Hospitals, Department of OB/GYN. Board-Certified in 1997, she is now retired from clinical practice after a long and successful career. Currently, she is the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of a Medical Device Company that is introducing patented products to treat vaginal microbial infections without the need for drugs. She is an expert in Vaginal Infections, Menstrual disorders, Menopause, and Contraception.

Written by:

Jenna Carberg was diagnosed with postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter in 2016. It was a healthy birth but in the following days, Jenna's mood changed quickly. Doctors suggested that it might be the "baby blues", but her husband Chris suggested she seek a second opinion. Jenna was diagnosed with postpartum depression and began a journey that lasted 9 long months with significant ups and downs. Jenna's mental health care and her experiences became a passion for her to share with the world. She and her husband Chris founded as a support website designed to help women suffering in silence and their loved ones.

  1. Tips for Postpartum Dads and Partners. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  2. Family Support. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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