Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Special Report -

Car­ing for some­one strug­gling with peri­na­tal anx­i­ety or de­pres­sion can be dis­tress­ing and con­fronting. Jenni Richard­son, PANDA’s na­tional helpline and pro­grams man­ager, shares her tips for look­ing af­ter your loved one:

The best thing you can pro­vide for your part­ner is pa­tient, un­der­stand­ing and non-judge­men­tal sup­port. Do not fuel any thoughts that be­ing un­well is a sign of ‘fail­ing’ as a par­ent.

Re­mem­ber that the symp­toms your part­ner is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing are due to ill­ness, and with the right treat­ment any out of char­ac­ter be­hav­iours are likely to re­solve.

Try to avoid mak­ing big life de­ci­sions about things such as your re­la­tion­ship, ca­reer or house.

Ex­plore ways of ex­press­ing in­ti­macy that work for both of you at this time.

Pri­ori­tise your own health. To pro­vide ef­fec­tive sup­port you need to be phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally healthy. Be­ing a carer can be hard work.

Ac­cept of­fers of help from fam­ily or friends.

Fi­nally, ask your part­ner what would be help­ful. They may not know, but are likely to ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing asked.

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