Cope with Postpartum Depression

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Is motherhood not all that you thought it would be? Did you think the first few days and weeks after having a baby would be the happiest time of our life? Instead, do you feel depressed?

Perhaps you feel that your responsibilities as a new mother are overwhelming. If so, it’s important to know that you are not alone.

In fact, up to 15 percent of new mothers suffer from these types of feelings, which are symptoms of postpartum depression.

Facts About Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression that occurs following the birth of a child. It usually occurs within the first three months after giving birth and can last up to a year or more.

Up to 15 out of every 100 new mothers suffer from postpartum depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. About half of them have mild to moderate depression, and the other half suffer from major depression.

Postpartum depression can last about four to six months without treatment. However, if left untreated, it can turn into chronic, long-term depression.

Cope with Postpartum Depression

It’s important to know that treatment is available for postpartum depression. Sufferers should not be afraid to talk to their healthcare provider, as well as their husband or partner, about ways to get through this difficult time. Ways to cope with postpartum depression include:

  • Extra help: Caring for a new baby can be overwhelming and exhausting. New mothers should not be afraid to ask for extra help in order to have some time alone to focus on themselves.
  • Counseling or psychotherapy: Also referred to as ‘talk therapy,’ psychotherapy is helpful for some new mothers. It can help to talk about their feelings with a licensed professional and find ways to change their negative thought patterns into positive ones.
  • Support groups: Some women feel it is helpful to talk to other women who also are experiencing postpartum depression. Collectively, women can discuss ways to work through the depression as well as have support in knowing that they are not alone.
  • Medication: Sometimes extra help, counseling and participating in support groups are not enough to cope with postpartum depression. In these cases, antidepressant medications may be prescribed to treat the symptoms of postpartum depression. The type of medication prescribed may vary depending on whether or not the new mother is breast-feeding.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

 
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