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Postpartum Depression

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How Is Postpartum Depression Treated?

Postpartum depression is treated differently depending on the type and severity of a woman's symptoms. Treatment options include anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications, psychotherapy, and participation in a support group for emotional support and education.

In the case of postpartum psychosis, drugs used to treat psychosis are usually added. Hospital admission is also often necessary.

If you are breastfeeding, don't assume that you can't take medication for depression, anxiety, or even psychosis. Talk to your doctor. Under a doctor's supervision, many women take medication while breastfeeding. This is a decision to be made between you and your doctor.

When Should a new Mom Seek Professional Treatment?

Untreated postpartum depression can be dangerous for new moms and their children. A new mom should seek professional help when:

  • symptoms persist beyond two weeks.
  • she is unable to function normally.
  • she can't cope with everyday situations.
  • she has thoughts of harming herself or her baby.
  • she is feeling extremely anxious, scared, and panicked most of the day.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on July 17, 2012
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