For Partners + Families

As a partner, family member, support person, friend, or caregiver for someone you believe might be suffering from a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, we understand the difficulty of watching your loved one face the challenges associated with anxiety and depression. We applaud you for seeking help and information on our website. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are treatable, and we hope we can offer both help and hope for you and your loved one during this time. 

We also want to encourage you to seek help for yourself, and know that one partner's mental health concerns impact the whole family's health. 1 out of 10 dads face postpartum depression, and there is help for moms and dads alike.

Common Symptoms of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders
  • Feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, insecure

  • Crying spells, sadness, feeling hopeless

  • Anger, rage, irritability

  • Repetitive fears and worrying

  • To learn more about symptoms, visit Postpartum Support International  

How to Help Yourself
  • Ask for help, information and support for yourself

  • Say YES when offered help from others

  • Take time for yourself with exercise or other stress- reducing activities 

  • Spend time with your baby and develop a bond with your baby

  • Know that you did not cause this, it is no one's fault, and no one expects you to "fix it"

How to Help Mom
  • Reassure her: this is not her fault, she is not alone, this will get better

  • Encourage her to talk about her feelings, keep the lines of communication open, and help her to reach out for support

  • Help with housework

  • Encourage her to take time for herself, give time for breaks

  • Allow her to sleep, share in night-time duties 

  • Be realistic about what time you can be home, and be home on time

  • Encourage her to eat throughout the day, have easy and healthy snacks on hand

  • Schedule some dates with her and help find a babysitter

  • Offer simple affection and physical comfort

We encourage you to also visit Postpartum Support International (PSI), and the local North Carolina chapter of PSI for additional information on how you can support your loved one, and find additional support for yourself during this time.