The Importance of Mental Health Support for New Moms

Posted at 12:11 PM on May 2, 2024

Northwest Family Clinics - Mental Health Support for New Moms

Whether you have just welcomed your first baby or fifth baby to the family, a mom's mental health after having a baby should be considered a top priority. Family, friends, and mom herself need to realize that bringing Baby into this world is a glorious time, but it can take an emotional toll on mom. As a group of family physicians and many of us moms, I know this topic hits close to home for many of us. Let us explain further the importance of mental health support for new mothers and how family and friends can be supportive.

Understanding Postpartum Mental Health

Postpartum mental health isn't just about the "baby blues," which many women experience right after childbirth. These typically resolve within a couple of weeks. However, some mothers may develop more severe, prolonged emotional issues, including postpartum depression or anxiety. These conditions can profoundly affect a woman's well-being and ability to care for her child and herself.

Radhika Lal Snyder
In tribute of Dr. Radhika Lal Snyder, MD

The Importance of Mental Health Support for New Moms 

While pregnancy brings about many changes to a woman's body, childbirth additionally brings on a whole new set of changes that can significantly impact the mom's physical, emotional, and mental health. When a mom begins facing the challenges of caring for a newborn, the impact on her mental health can be significant. Never feel like you are alone. All of us moms have certainly struggled. Crying while our babies cry. Feeling like you can't console your baby. Simply put, feeling like a terrible mother and a terrible person. This is not true. Give yourself grace and know this is a hard time for every mom.

The Changes Causing Emotional and Mental Health Hardships

Biological Changes

Childbirth brings significant hormonal shifts that can impact mood and emotions. Understanding these changes can help us appreciate why some mothers might struggle more than others during this time.

Emotional Adjustments

Adapting to the identity of being a mother, along with the responsibilities it entails, can be daunting. Many women feel unprepared for the magnitude of this shift, which can contribute to feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, and depression.

Physical Recovery

The physical recovery after childbirth can be painful and uncomfortable, affecting a new mother's mental health. Especially if mom has to pause her regular fitness routine to recover, this can be emotionally taxing as you are missing that outlet to release stress.

Social Isolation

New moms often find themselves isolated, especially if they're home alone with the baby. This isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness, which may trigger or worsen depression.

Lack of Sleep

Welcoming a new baby means many significant changes in life, and one of those changes is the disruption of your regular sleep routine. Many mothers become sleep-deprived during this time, and sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on our emotional, mental, and physical well-being.

How Can We Support New Moms?

Whether you are a spouse, friend, or family member, we can all take small actions to help mom feel supported.


Ask them how they are feeling, and provide them with a safe and non-judgmental space to openly communicate about how things are going and their struggles. Encourage them to be vulnerable and vent. This can greatly help them cope with emotions.

Professional Help

Encourage new moms to seek help from healthcare providers like family physicians or psychologists. Therapy can provide a safe space to discuss feelings and develop strategies to manage them.

Northwest Family Clinics - Postpartum Doctor

Community and Social Support

Building a community around new moms can be incredibly beneficial. Whether through postnatal classes, support groups, or online communities, connecting with others in similar situations can provide emotional relief and practical tips. Encourage moms to get out there and join a community like this, as it can be beneficial to hear from others who are experiencing a similar situation.

Offer Help

Partners, family members, and friends are crucial in supporting new moms. Simple actions like helping with household chores, offering to babysit, or running errands for mom can be a huge help. Remember, not all of us will ask for help when we need it, so be sure to offer the help!

Education and Awareness 

Increasing awareness about postpartum mental health issues helps in reducing the stigma that sometimes surrounds them. Educated families are better prepared to support new mothers in seeking help.


Encouraging moms to take time for themselves is vital. This might mean a few minutes of meditation, a short walk, or just time to read or relax undisturbed. They need the time to focus on themselves and a brief break from the demanding task of being a mom.

Get Help Early

Mental health in the postpartum period is crucial for the mother and her family's overall well-being. By understanding the challenges and providing robust support systems, we can help new moms navigate this beautiful, albeit challenging, phase of life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum mental health, remember it's okay to seek help. You're not alone; with the right support, you can regain your strength and enjoy motherhood to its fullest.