For a lot of moms, the early days of motherhood are a severe struggle because they’re going through a major adjustment while also suffering from a postpartum mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD). As an outsider, you have to find the sweet spot where you’re offering support while also respecting her boundaries. One way to do this is to come up with an arsenal of texts to send to your friend with postpartum depression or anxiety (PPD or PPA) when you think she could use a little encouragement.
“People shower new moms with support immediately after the baby is born, but they tend to go on with their busy lives as the weeks pass by,” licensed professional counselor Kirsten Brunner tells Romper in an email. “This can cause depressed or anxious mothers to feel isolated, neglected, and alone,” she adds.
These feelings will only intensify what she’s already experiencing as a result of her PPD or PPA, so the best way to help her is to remind her that she’s not alone. “Just the simple act of reaching out to a parent who is struggling with a PMAD is helpful,” says Brunner, including something as small as a text message.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a text message that shows your support, or you’re just generally not sure what to say, that’s okay. To help you out, Brunner, licensed psychotherapist Kellie Wicklund, and Christina Moran, program coordinator at the Maternal Wellness Center have contributed to this list of helpful texts to send to a friend who is experiencing PPD or PPA.
Remember, what you say is secondary to you simply taking the time to say it. Let her know that she’s doing great and that you’re there to help in whatever way you can.