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  • Understand and Recognize the Symptoms.  If you observe any of the symptoms listed HERE, you can help the mother understand that perinatal depression is a common and treatable illness and the sooner she gets treatment, the better for herself and the baby.
  • Help Her Get Help.  Ask your pediatrician, family doctor, OBGYN, or other person you trust for recommendations to a psychiatrist, psychologist and/or therapist.  Finding someone you and your loved one trust and feel comfortable with is crucial for recovery. 
  • Be Patient.  Perinatal depression is not something that can be fixed overnight.  It may take a few weeks or even a few years for a new mom to recover and for your family to heal.  Some women are not able to do all of the things she used to do.  Others reject their husbands, children, family and friends.  Do not assume your loved one is overreacting or being unreasonable.  In time and with help, this will pass.  Your love and patience make a tremendous difference.
  • Encourage Her to Continue Treatment Even After She Starts Feeling Better.  While discontinuing treatment is very tempting once a new mom starts feeling better, it can be very dangerous.  The chances of relapse are much higher if treatment is stopped too early.
  • Get Help for Yourself and Your Family.  Find a support network for yourself.  Let others know you need help.
  • Be There for Your Family.  You may have to take over other roles in the home.  Your wife and/or partner may not be able to shop, cook, clean or care for your other children.  If you cannot do this one your own, ask for help.
  • Know When You Are in Crisis.  If your wife is a danger to herself or others, take her to the Emergency Room or call 911.

Please note that the Task Force itself does not provide therapy or advice. We do not provide a hotline or a warmline, and cannot provide advice via email. However, if you feel that you (or a loved one) may be suffering from perinatal depression/anxiety, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help by calling 211 if you are a resident of Los Angeles county, Postpartum Support International if you are anywhere within the United States or beyond by contacting www.postpartum.net, or speaking to your healthcare provider.

If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby (or if your pregnant/postpartum loved one is exhibiting frightening or bizarre thoughts/behaviors ) call 911 immediately.

A phone call is the first, and sometimes the hardest, step toward getting well.

The mission of the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force is to remove barriers to the prevention, screening and treatment of prenatal and postpartum depression in Los Angeles County. The Task Force is a project of 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor Community Partners.