What is support?

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”    

–Mary Anne Radmacher

Support is defined as bearing all or part of the weight of, or to hold up and give assistance to. Support is crucial to recovery from postpartum depression and anxiety. From family support, weekly support groups, telephone support, and online support, there are many places to reach out and connect with others who can help during the postpartum period. If one type doesn’t feel particularly helpful, we encourage you to continue trying different areas in order to find the right support for you.

Telephone support is one of the many services offered here at Pacific Post Partum Support Society. We are so lucky to have experienced postpartum counsellors available to offer support, information, and referrals to mothers and their families. For me, this service was particularly beneficial, as I felt more comfortable sharing my thoughts and feelings over the phone, as opposed to face-to-face. It seemed to offer an anonymity that felt comforting and free of judgment. Speaking to someone who had experienced PPD/A and understood what I was going through and what I was feeling was an integral part of my recovery. I came to rely on the weekly phone calls to check-in, and looked forward to hearing the voice on the other end of the line asking how I was doing. After the birth of my daughter, I felt I had lost myself. My days, and all of my attention, were now occupied by this new baby I was responsible for. Having someone call to check-in on me, particularly while I was feeling so low and anxious, felt incredible. I also didn’t feel the need to put on my “happy face” and pretend that things were great, or were improving, when they weren’t. I could be completely honest. Please click here to read more information about this service, as well as our contact numbers and hours of operation.

One question that frequently comes up is how to handle support that is not wanted or not helpful. Well-meaning friends and family may try many things to help during this time. PPPSS offers many services for supporters – please click here to access these. These are great resources for people who want to help but aren’t sure how. I wrote a previous post in September 2014 about the support I received during my PPD/A from family and friends. For me, when I was at my worst I was not able to figure out or voice what kind of support I needed, therefore it was important that my husband was able to speak on my behalf and communicate with others about what was and wasn’t helpful. When trying to adjust to life with a new baby while also dealing with PPD/A, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to recognize exactly what help you need. For this, a friend, family member, Doctor, counsellor, any advocate whatsoever is particularly helpful.

To read previous posts regarding support, please click on the links below:

Online support

PPPSS Telephone Support

Support from family and friends

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