Treat Postpartum Depression Without Antidepressants

baby

More than just the “baby blues,” postpartum depression occurs when these so-called “baby blues” do not go away after the first month of giving birth.

If you suspect that someone you know (perhaps yourself) is suffering from postpartum depression, it’s important to know that there are ways to get through these feelings without taking any medications such as antidepressants.

Who Is Affected by Postpartum Depression?

About 15 percent of new mothers develop postpartum depression, according to the National Instituted of Health. Of these, some experience mild-to-moderate depression while others experience major depression.

What Are the Signs of Postpartum Depression?

Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression vary from woman to woman and may include some of the following:

  • afraid of being alone with the new baby
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • concentration loss
  • inability to care for the new baby
  • irritability
  • energy loss
  • lack of interest in the new baby
  • loss of interest in everyday activities
  • negative thoughts of harming the new baby
  • sleep issues
  • thoughts of suicide or death
  • withdrawn and/or worthlessness feelings

How Can Postpartum Depression Be Treated Without Medication?

Treatment for postpartum depression may include medication, psychotherapy or both. Some non-medication oriented treatments may include:

  • Extra Help: A new baby can be overwhelming with all of his/her daily needs. It’s important for a sufferer to ask her partner, friends or family members for help with the baby from time to time. A new mother should not be ashamed of asking for help.
  • Time Without Baby: For some, getting to go out alone for a couple of hours, or having the opportunity to visit friends or family without the baby, helps aid in relieving some of the symptoms.
  • Psychotherapy: Also referred to as ‘talk therapy,’ psychotherapy may be helpful for some new moms. Specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT) are forms of psychotherapy that have been shown to be helpful in treating postpartum depression.
  • Support Groups: Some women find that talking about their feelings with other women who are experiencing the same issues can be helpful in addition to psychotherapy.

Source: National Institutes of Health

 
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