4 Ways to Support Your Child’s Birth Mom Through Postpartum Depression

Abrupt hormonal changes along with the grief of placement can create a deeply painful time. Here's how to help.

Jennifer Galan January 12, 2018
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Your sweet bundle has been placed in your arms, you have returned home to start your new life—but baby’s first mom isn’t doing well. Here are five ways to help support your child’s birth mother through postpartum depression

Really Listen.

When she talks about her feelings, listen for if she is describing symptoms related to PPD. Anxiety, insomnia, overwhelming sadness, disconnection, and an inability to focus all can be signs of PPD. Combine that with the grief of placing a child for adoption and she could really be struggling. If you hear her talk about feeling these ways, listen without judgement and offer her your support and love.

Encourage her to seek medical care.

PPD works differently than standard depression, and most treatments encourage medication to help regulate hormones and brain chemicals. Encourage her to be honest with her doctor, or if you are nearby ask if she would like an escort who can help articulate her symptoms.

Remind her that what she is feeling is not normal.

Deep in the pit of depression, she may feel like she is never going to feel “right” again. Remind her that depression is a disease that lies to her brain and her body—and when her treatments start to work, she will begin to see that light at the end of the tunnel.

No judgement.

Some of the things she is feeling may contribute to shame or fearfulness. Ask her about her feelings, and don’t tell her she is wrong to feel them. PPD can manifest in all sorts of self-hatred, and the last thing she needs is someone judging her for something she can’t control. Remind her that PPD is common and not her fault—she isn’t to blame for her depression.

If she mentions suicide get her help ASAP.

Some women that suffer from PPD have thoughts of self-harm or suicide. If she expresses wanting to die, or to hurt herself, please help her to get quick medical care. Call her doctor if she can’t do it herself, or alert her family or support team. She needs your love and your help.

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Jennifer Galan

Jennifer Galan mothers four kids (one adopted, three biological) all while living the nomadic life of a military wife. She is a strong advocate for open adoptions, education reform, feminism, kindness, and naps. Mostly naps. Her favorite Doctor is number ten, and she is a proud Ravenclaw.

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