Postpartum Depression - Home Treatment
Postpartum depression is a medical condition, not a sign of weakness. Be honest
with yourself and those who care about you. Tell them about your struggle. You,
your doctor, and your friends and family can team up to treat your
- Schedule outings and visits with friends and
family, and ask them to call you regularly. Isolation can make depression
worse, especially when it's combined with the stress of caring for a
- Eat a balanced diet. If you have little appetite, eat
small snacks throughout the day. Nutritional supplement shakes are also useful
for keeping up your energy.
- Get regular daily exercise, such as
outdoor stroller walks. Exercise helps improve mood.
- Get as much
sunlight as possible. Keep your shades and curtains open, and get outside as
much as you can.
- Ask for help with food preparation and other daily
tasks. Family and friends are often happy to help a mother with newborn
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Avoid using alcohol or other
substances to feel better (self-medicating). Talk to your doctor if you're
having symptoms that need treatment.
- Don't overdo it, and get as
much rest and sleep as possible. Fatigue can increase depression.
Join a support group of new mothers. No one can better understand and support
the challenges of caring for a new baby than other postpartum women. For more
information on support groups, talk to your doctor or see the Web site of
Postpartum Support International at www.postpartum.net.
For more information on how to cope with your symptoms,
Depression: Managing Postpartum Depression.
The potential for domestic violence increases during a
woman's pregnancy and when a couple is adjusting to a new baby. If your partner
is violent or emotionally abusive, you and your baby are physically at risk,
and you have an higher risk of postpartum depression. Now more than ever, it's
crucial that you protect yourself and your baby-seek support and help. For more
information, see the topic