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Postpartum Depression - Treatment Overview

Talk to your doctor about your symptoms, and together you can decide what type of treatment is right for you.

Treatment choices include:

Recommended Related to Postpartum Depression

Understanding Postpartum Depression -- Prevention

Because postpartum depression (PPD) may be related to fluctuation of hormones after childbirth, prevention may not be possible. However, several approaches may help guard against the condition. One of the best things to do is learn as much as you can about what to expect physically and psychologically during pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood. This may help you develop realistic expectations for yourself and your baby. Take a childbirth education class. Also, talk to other pregnant women and new...

Read the Understanding Postpartum Depression -- Prevention article > >

  • Counseling for both you and your partner. Counseling can give you emotional support and help with problem solving and goal setting. For more information, see Other Treatment.
  • Antidepressant medicine. It relieves symptoms of postpartum depression for most women. For more information, see Medications.

Women with moderate to severe postpartum depression are advised to combine counseling with antidepressant medicine. Women with mild depression are likely to benefit from counseling alone.

You may also benefit from:

  • A part-time or full-time mother's helper.
  • Parent coaching or infant massage classes, for strengthening mother-baby attachment.

How long do you need to take antidepressant medicine?

Antidepressants are typically used for 6 months or longer, first to treat postpartum depression and then to prevent a relapse of symptoms.

To prevent a relapse, your doctor may recommend that you take medicine for up to a year before considering tapering off of it. Women who have had several bouts of depression may need to take medicine for a long time.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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