How to Treat Postpartum Depression

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Have you just given birth and feel depressed? Do you feel like you have no interest in your new baby? Do you feel that your responsibilities as a new mother are overwhelming?

If you are experiencing these types of feelings, you are not alone. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that up to 15 percent of women suffer from moderate to severe depression after giving birth. Termed “postpartum depression,” this form of depression can happen shortly after giving birth and can last a year or more.

How Is Postpartum Depression Treated?

If you feel that you are suffering from postpartum depression, it’s important to know that treatment is available. You should not be afraid to talk to your partner as well as your gynecologist about ways to get through this tough time.

Treatment for postpartum depression may consist of one or more of the following:

  • Extra help: You should not be afraid or ashamed to ask for extra help with your baby. A new baby can be extremely overwhelming with all of his or her needs as well as lack of sleep that you may be experiencing.
  • Psychotherapy: Also referred to as "talk therapy," psychotherapy is helpful for some new mothers. It can help to change negative thought patterns into positive ones.
  • Support groups: You may feel that talking about the feelings you are experiencing with other women may be helpful. You can discuss tips, methods and ways others have worked through the same issues.
  • Medication: Antidepressant medications may be prescribed to treat postpartum depression. The type of medication prescribed may vary depending on whether or not you are breast-feeding.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

 
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