For Fathers, Families, and Friends

Suggestions for PMAD Supporters

How Fathers, Family, Friends Can Help

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) can threaten the mother’s and father’s health, marriage, friendships and careers, as well as the baby’s welfare. Dealing with issues of day-to-day living becomes a special challenge. With patience and understanding, you can give invaluable support and assist a depressed mother’s recovery.

  • Encourage her to seek the help of a physician and/or psychiatrist. An evaluation is important, and medication may be very helpful. There are some medications that are considered safe during breastfeeding. Consult your physician.
  • Let the mother express her feelings of anxiety and fear freely.
  • Encourage her to exercise and take time for herself.
  • Encourage the mother to join a PMAD support group.
  • Help her develop a schedule with one or two simple tasks. Praise her when she makes an effort.
  • Don’t take her criticism personally.
  • You are justified in being frustrated with her attitude and actions, but be sure to direct your anger at the situation and her illness, not at her. She is doing the best she can in her current condition.
  • Be aware that you can get depressed yourself, and may need help as well. Talk to a friend, physician, or counselor.