People are generally useless at asking for help and the kind offer of ‘do let me know if there is anything I can do?’ is rarely taken up. So be proactive. Cook meals, take magazines, toys, games to the hospital, offer to babysit, or take the kids to the park, tidy your friend’s house while they are in the hospital.
Think what chores need doing and just do them. I have got a lot better at asking for help when on verge of a breakdown, but still often feel like I don’t want to put people out.