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Postpartum Depression Health Center

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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

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that happen in a woman after giving birth. According to the DSM IV, a manual used to diagnose mental disorders, PPD is a form of major depression that has its onset within four weeks after delivery. The diagnosis of postpartum depression is based not only on the length of time between delivery and onset, but also on the severity of the depression.

Read the Postpartum Depression article > >

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: November 14, 2014
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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