Post Partum: Seeking Help
How to Seek Out and Ask for Help from Family and Friends
When you are going through a life-changing experience, like pregnancy, the support of your family and friends is invaluable. However, the issue is that many people do not know how to find the support they need.
In this post, we will go over how to identify who can help you through your pregnancy woes as well as some coping mechanisms to help you maintain your identity.
When looking for pregnancy support, you need to ask yourself: who is truly capable of helping me right now? Many people will want to reach out to you and try to offer guidance. However, if they don’t have experience with pregnancy or miscarriage much of their guidance will be uninformed.
The best people to help you deal with your pregnancy issues are mothers or those who have lost pregnancies. They have suffered through the same issues as you and have come out the other side.
Many women lean on their mothers or sisters for support. However not every woman has this option available to them. Friends who are mothers are also a great resource for support.
Sometimes family and friends feel “too close” to a situation, and you may prefer someone outside of your current circle who will be more objective. For this reason, there are many pregnancy support groups nationwide. They offer discussion of pregnancy-related issues and can help you feel less alone in your situation.
Finally, if you feel your mental health is being severely hampered, reach out to a professional therapist. Therapists are trained in many situations and can help give you strategies to cope with your issues.
How to Ask for Support
You need to talk to people if you want to support. Even your friends and family will rarely notice if you are struggling. The best way to get emotional support is by directly telling people what you need. However, in difficult situations, we may not know exactly what we need and we have to rely on the discretion of others to help us.
Here are some tips to invite people to support you.
Open up and share your struggles. You need to tell people exactly what you are going through emotionally and physically.
Accept help when it is offered. Many people, although they need help, still refuse it when offered as a matter of pride. If a loved one offers to help you, don’t be shy about accepting it. Everyone goes through trials in their life and needing support is nothing to be ashamed of.
Ask for company. Sometimes loneliness is one of the most difficult parts of going through a traumatic experience. Physically sitting with someone can go a long way towards helping you overcome your feelings of isolation.
Be honest about what you don’t want. If someone is bringing you casseroles every night and you simply do not need any more food, tell them so. A true friend will want to help you in any way possible and will be more invested in your health than in their sense of virtue. If you are worried about coming off as rude, sincerely thank the person for their consideration, but ask them if they would be able to help you with another task, such as watering your flowers, or taking out your trash.
Look for lessons. When you talk to people about your problems, they will be prone to giving you advice. Look for lessons that will make your life easier to manage going forward, not temporary solutions.
Ask people what they think you need. You may not be entirely aware of what you do and do not need. Loved ones may be able to offer suggestions on how to help you that you would not have thought of yourself.
It’s Alright to Need Help
When you are pregnant things that used to be easy like vacuuming the floor or washing dishes can suddenly become burdensome. Pregnancy is a time of great change and you cannot expect to be able to live the same independent life you had before pregnancy.
One of the best ways to make it through your pregnancy with strong mental health is by reaching out to those around you and asking for help. Those with experience with pregnancy are the best resource for helping you through your pregnancy, however, those without experience can help by performing menial chores and other labors of love.
One of the best resources that you can seek for outside help is a doula, like Tamara. Tamara is trained specifically to act as a guide for an expecting mother as she and her partner traverse pregnancy and parenthood. She can help guide you through the mental and physical challenges of pregnancy and help you come out the other side as the best mama you can be.