mother health

Things You Should Never Say To A Mom Suffering Post-Partum Anxiety

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 Come back if you are thinking of killing yourself or your baby.

Alright, on the face of it this seems like sensible advice. If anyone is truly thinking of killing themselves or their baby, they should get help immediately.

But what if I told you that this was said by the same doctor who said number one on this list? And what if I said that I had already been diagnosed with PPA by that time, but that the doctor insisted I didn’t actually need help unless I was in immediate danger of offing myself (or my baby)?

I do not think it will be a shock to anyone when I say there are a lot of steps between reasonable health and suicide. Apparently, however, I was only of interest to that doctor if I had made it to the latter extreme. And although I was able to brush it off and keep seeking treatment, I couldn’t help worrying about what other women he had told this to. What if it took all her courage to reach out for help, and that was the response she got? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

     Have you tried exercise?

On a lighter note, this is perhaps my favourite, if you’ll pardon the term. Honestly, what woman doesn’t hit the gym five days after giving birth? Time’s a wastin’! However, the poor young man was so earnest that I could not do much more than patiently explain that, between trying to look after my sweet little girl and trying to recover from having her, I hadn’t so much as glanced at my running shoes for hours.

Most of the people who said these things were, I believe, genuinely trying to be helpful. But that, in itself, is problematic. These things were, as I mentioned, all said by healthcare professionals, or people working in mental health support. And if they don’t know what not to say, then we all need to do a lot more talking.

(Image:  PathDoc/shutterstock)

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