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Advice for partners and families - Postnatal depression

Living with someone with postnatal depression can be very worrying. There are things you can do to help.

Try to be patient and understanding. Give support, encouragement and hope. Your help is important to them.

Non-urgent advice: Contact your local public health nurse or GP if:

  • you need support or information to help someone with postnatal depression

Supporting your loved one

Things you can do help a loved one with postnatal depression:

  • Know the signs and symptoms of postnatal depression.
  • Encourage her to talk to her GP, public health nurse (PHN), counsellor or psychotherapist and offer to go with her to appointments.
  • Let her express her true feelings.
  • Listen with empathy, don't criticise her.
  • Make sure she eats enough and gets rest.
  • Encourage her to do some exercise or go for a walk together.
  • Take the baby out for a walk to give her a break.
  • Plan activities as a couple away from the baby.
  • Ask family and friends for support by making meals, doing laundry or babysitting.
  • Limit the number of visitors if she is feeling overwhelmed.
  • Tell her she is a great mother and that she is doing great.
  • Find any support groups or mother and baby groups in your area and encourage her to join. Ask your public health nurse about this.

Taking care of yourself

Life with a new baby is stressful. It can be especially difficult if the baby’s mother is unwell with postnatal depression.

Take care of yourself also. Find someone to talk to and take time for yourself. You need a break too.

Research has shown that up to 1 in 10 partners experience depression after the birth of a child. 9 in 10 do not.

Non-urgent advice: Contact your GP if:

  • you are feeling down, depressed or anxious for more than 2 weeks

Low mood


Page last reviewed: 26 April 2023
Next review due: 26 April 2026