Postpartum Depression Treatment Options

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It is very important to know that some studies have shown that babies do not thrive as well when cared for by significantly depressed mothers. There can be problems with the mother-baby bond, the baby's early development, and the mother's emotional state.

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common condition which may affect between 1% and 5.7% of women within the first six months after delivery. More new mothers experience postpartum or baby blues, perhaps as few as 15% or as many as 85%, depending on how it is defined. These feelings peak at day 5 and are usually gone by a week to ten days after the baby's birth. Postpartum depression is more serious and lasts much longer. It can peak at around six months.

It is often difficult for new mothers and fathers to recognize postpartum depression, and the same is true for some of the doctors that may interact with the parents and their baby.

Understanding of postpartum depression is increasing, as is appreciating how common it is. Researchers are attempting to discover what might cause a woman to suffer from PPD or what factors might put someone at greater risk. These factors may include heredity, previous problems with depression, hormonal influences, outside stress, difficult pregnancies, medical problems, and many other things.

For a woman with PPD, the choice of treatment may be difficult. There are two major ways to treat depression in general. One way is with medication; the other is with counseling of some type.

{ MORE: Is It Possible To Get Postpartum Depression After a Miscarriage? }

Counseling has been proven effective for PPD in some controlled trials, especially for mild to moderate symptoms. For PPD, this usually means individual sessions at least once a week for 6 to 12 weeks. Most types of counseling or psychotherapy can be costly and, therefore, not available to everyone with PPD who might benefit from them. Shorter lengths of treatment, group therapy, and treatment by non-professionals have not been proven as effective. When a woman with mild to moderate depression can get counseling, this may be the best method because it does not have side effects or any risks for the breastfeeding baby.

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Postpartum Depression Treatment Options

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20 comments

  1. One big thing with PPD is a lot of people confuse it with stress or baby blues. Yes, stress can make PPD worse, but reducing stress or being prepared will not prevent or make PPD go away. Baby blues last a few days to a couple weeks, but PPD can last for months or longer if not treated. Should someone take meds for baby blues? No. PPD? Likely, either those and/or counseling or hormones. Left untreated, PPD can actually affect the development of your child, and can make life very difficult for Mom or Dad. If there are hallucinations or other troubling symptoms (a good website to check for this would be WebMD or MayoClinic), it could be a very dangerous form of PPD. PPD doesn’t mean that you, as a Mom, are broken, or a failure, or did something wrong. It just means that the chemicals in your brain or the hormones in your body are unbalanced and may need some help fixing themselves.

  2. Vidya says:

    i won’t consider myself depressed or even having baby blues after the birth of my first one. but i was always anxious about breastfeeding and he wouldn’t latch properly, that gave me more anxiety but finally i started pumping exclusively and that improved my morale and mood significantly.

  3. Vidya says:

    i agree. the support of friends, family and loved ones is really really important. We shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to them for any kind of help.

  4. Sierra-Dawn says:

    I am not sure if I am concisered to be depressed. My hub has a six yr old but this is my first child .. And it seems to bring a handful of different emotions

  5. Grace says:

    i don’t have it really bad, i get through it by staying active

  6. Amy says:

    Very informative

  7. ancoda says:

    A great way to give yourself a boost after birth is to get your placenta encapsalated, and take a few pills each day. I helps with depression and milk supply.

  8. Melody says:

    Always important, for ourselves and the other moms we know.

  9. shalayaeddie says:

    My depression didn’t go as deep as me having to take prescription medication for it, just needed a lil extra help from the family until i got the hang of dealing with a newborn baby.

  10. ChrisS says:

    Good to know. Thank you.

  11. Kendall King says:

    When I first had my son, I had a bit of depression because I was constantly on the go and was always taking care of him but now that I have got the hang of things.; nothing really bothers me anymore. plus i have amazing family and friends to help support me through being a first time mommy they really helped out a lot!

  12. I think that the loss of sleep and the added stress of caring for a newborn is a lot for a new mom to take on, especially if they already have other stresses such as finances or other young children. Sometimes, just asking someone to come by and watch the children while you get some much needed rest and can make a world of difference. Maybe even having someone to talk to for advice. Articles that are on this website and other pregnancy website help you prepare better too so that you’re not overwhelmed when the baby gets here. I think that the more prepared you are for the baby, the less stressed out you will be and maybe less likely to get the baby blues. I’ve also read that it’s important to get out of the house if feeling depressed…maybe go for a walk with the baby.

  13. canniclee says:

    Very informative.

  14. Nora Ortiz says:

    sometimes ppd just comes and goes depending how you see your baby and all hormones tend to be sensative when your pregnant and more after you have had the baby and six children is alot but congrats

  15. MLS says:

    Good advice.

  16. jennifer says:

    counseling is the best tool

  17. Hi Grace. I know that PPD can be a struggle, but anything you can do to make positive changes will help. Counseling may seem like a luxury, but mental health is a necessity. There are many counselors who offer free or reduced-rate services. You might contact your primary care physician, or go through a local program serving new mothers. There are options!

  18. Grace says:

    what here could be practically applied to someone who has had it each child but doesn’t want to take med’s and doesn’t have extra money for luxuries like counseling?

  19. Brittany says:

    I used to have the most disturbing nightmares and they faded, but no walking-nightmares. I was normal otherwise, so elated to be a new mommy!

  20. momof6 says:

    I have 6 kids and have suffered with PPD with all of them to varying degrees. inally with my 5th baby my doctor suggested a shot of progesterone to help level out my hormone levels and it really helped. I had it again after my last baby and although I still had a couple of days crying I did not have the uncontrollable and crazy mood swings and extreme feelings I have had before.

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