How Do I Help a Friend Through Postpartum Depression?

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Becoming a parent means changing diapers and getting little to no sleep. But for many mothers, it can also mean battling Postpartum Depression. What can you do if you have Postpartum Depression? And what can you do if you know someone with Postpartum Depression? Dr. Mike Emlet, counselor and faculty member at CCEF, talks about the intricacies of Postpartum Depression and offers advice for new mothers and their friends.

Mike practiced as a family physician for 12 years before joining the CCEF. He holds an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania as well as a Master of Divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. He has authored Asperger Syndrome, Help for the Caregiver, OCD, Angry Children, and CrossTalk: Where Life & Scripture Meet.  

Mike said 10% of women suffer severely from Postpartum Depression while another 50% suffer mild, short term depression after giving birth. He described some of the possible physical and spiritual effects a mother might experience. 

Did you learn anything new from Mike's discussion about Postpartum Depression? If so, what did you learn?
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Do you think Postpartum Depression is more of a spiritual issue, physical issue, or both? Why?
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Have you ever experienced or known someone with Postpartum Depression? If so, what was it like? How did you cope or help your friend cope with depression?
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Mike advised mothers with Postpartum Depression to find a safe person to talk to about their depression. He said friends of new mothers should ask them questions, listen to them, and love them by meeting their practical needs. 

If you’re battling Postpartum Depression, who is a safe person for you to talk to this week about your struggles? If you know someone with Postpartum Depression, what can you do this week to be available for your friend? What practical things can you do, like making a meal, to meet their needs?
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If you’re struggling with Postpartum Depression, ask for help. If you’re friend has Postpartum Depression, be available to them. Show them love by asking questions and meeting their needs. 

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