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  • Writer's pictureMahaley Patel, LMFT

How to Be There for Your Daughter Amidst Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

By: Mahaley Patel, LMFT, Clinical Director


Becoming a mother is a joyous occasion, but for many new mothers, the postpartum period can bring unexpected challenges in the form of postpartum depression (PPD) or postpartum anxiety (PPA). As a parent, supporting your daughter through this difficult time is important for her well-being and the well-being of the entire family. We're here to help you explore the signs of postpartum depression and anxiety, discuss the importance of open communication, and provide practical tips for helping your daughter cope with depression and anxiety. 



Recognize the Signs 


Postpartum depression and anxiety are common mental health disorders that can affect new mothers, typically manifesting within the first year after childbirth. It's essential to recognize the signs to offer timely support. Symptoms of postpartum depression may include persistent feelings of sadness, withdrawal from loved ones, changes in appetite, and difficulty bonding with the baby. Postpartum anxiety, on the other hand, may present as excessive worrying, restlessness, irritability, and difficulty sleeping.


Ask How She’s Doing 


If you are concerned, speak up. Ask your daughter how she is doing and let her lead the conversation. Don’t be accusatory or judgmental. Creating a safe space for open communication is the first step in supporting your daughter through postpartum depression or anxiety. Encourage her to express her feelings without judgment and listen empathetically. Remind her that her emotions are valid, and that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.


Seek Professional Help


Postpartum depression and anxiety are medical conditions that require professional help and for some, medication. Encourage your daughter to speak with her OB or to seek therapy. Offer to help her find a therapist. Offer to watch her baby while she goes to her appointment. support and to help facilitate communication with healthcare providers.


Create a Supportive Environment


The responsibilities of a new baby can be overwhelming. Many mothers are lacking sleep, self-care, proper nutrition, and time to rest and recover. Offer consistent and practical help so that she can make time for herself. Caring for the baby, assisting with household chores, and preparing meals are a great way to offer practical support and help. Provide her with time and space to relax, exercise, or sleep is a great way to encourage self-care. If distance is a barrier, sending meals, offering to assist in finding help, or sending someone in to help with the household chores are great options. 


What Not to Say 


It is common to be overly positive with new moms and highlight the great parts of parenthood. And while that is often well intended, it can often make a new mom who is struggling feel guilt or shame that she is struggling. Do not say things like “you should be grateful” or “but you have a healthy baby!” are counterproductive and do not help mothers with postpartum challenges. When in doubt, listen and validate her feelings and provide emotional and practical support. 


Be Patient and Understanding


Recovery takes time, and there may be good days and challenging days. Be patient, understanding, and avoid placing unrealistic expectations on your daughter. Celebrate small victories and offer encouragement during difficult moments.



Supporting your daughter through postpartum depression or anxiety is a journey that requires patience, understanding, and proactive efforts. By fostering open communication, encouraging professional help, and creating a supportive environment, you can play an important role in helping your daughter navigate this challenging time. 


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If you find yourself in need of support, don't hesitate to reach out and schedule a session. Our dedicated team at Empty Nest Counseling is here to help you navigate life's challenges and transitions with care and compassion. Whether you're experiencing difficulties related to the milestones of becoming an Empty Nester or new grandparent or finding balance in how you relate to your adult children, our therapists are ready to support you. We offer both in-person and virtual therapy. Schedule a therapy or vitality coaching session with us today and take the first step towards a healthier you. Remember, you don't have to face it alone – we're here for you. If your daughter is in need of professional help or community support, please let her know that she can reach out to us as well. Our dedicated team at Ready Nest Counseling is here to help her navigate life's challenges and transitions with care and compassion. We offer both in-person and virtual therapy. She can schedule a therapy session with us today as we have counselors with immediate availability.


Ready Nest Constellations are specialized spaces for your daughter to connect in a new way and find community and support along her journey. We have a six-week Anxious About Motherhood support group led by a counselor with specialized training to support her. Encourage her to join the Anxious About Motherhood waitlist today by emailing groups@readynestcounseling.com with Join the Waitlist: Anxious About Motherhood in the subject line. She'll be contacted when the start date is set for the Constellation to launch the next round of the group. We have several other Constellation groups that may be a fit. You can read more about our Constellations on our website.


Through this group format, your daughter will learn how to process where she's at in her journey, how to survive in the present, and how to cultivate and sustain coping tools for the future. Meeting online, she'll be able to connect with others from all over the world, bringing a sense of unity and diversity to her experience. Prior to the group's start date, she'll receive a beautifully curated box of resources and tools to use through the six weeks.

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