When women give birth, they're often expected to step straight into the role of nurturer, comforter and supporter. It's important for family and friends to remember that the mums themselves need looking after - especially if they're feeling overwhelmed.
Some new mums become so preoccupied with their baby that they don't realise how much they're struggling. It's often their partner or another family member who notices that something is wrong. Other mums may recognise how they're feeling, but not know how to talk to anyone about it.
Whatever the situation, we know that having a supportive partner, family member or friend can make a real difference for someone struggling with their mental health in the perinatal period.
It may be difficult, upsetting and frustrating to live with, or be close to, someone who is experiencing a perinatal mental health problem - but it's important not to blame them for how they are feeling.
Some people who experience perinatal mental health problems may be reluctant to ask for help, out of fear that they might be judged as a bad parent or that it will result in their baby being taken away from them.
So it can be really important for you to reassure them that many people have these experiences, and that they can get better.
You may find it helpful to look at some of the other pages on this section of the website to read more about some of the symptoms your friend or family member might be experiencing.
If you think or suspect that the person you are close to is experiencing any of the following serious symptoms, which might see being called "Red Flag Symptoms", then you need to make sure that they get help as soon as possible and they should have an urgent referral to a specialist team.
Red Flag Symptoms:
You might worry that you're intruding on a private time for their family, or that your loved one might not feel they are able to ask for your support - but it's always worth offering. You could:
Asking for help can be a daunting prospect, and even more so if you're worried that you might be judged as a bad parent.
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Further resources & services:
Content adapted from MIND and Beyond Blue.