Postpartum Depression Treatment
Bringing a child into the world can be one of the most joyous and momentous occasions of a mother’s life. But in the weeks and months after your child’s birth, why are you feeling so depressed? The truth is that you’re not alone. You could be experiencing a condition called postpartum depression, and many women will experience it in their lifetime. If you notice symptoms of depression after the birth of your child, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and help is available. At Vanguard Medical Group, our doctors offer postpartum depression assessment and treatment, including referrals for counseling.
What Is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that develops after some women give birth due to emotional, hormonal, and physical factors. It’s often confused with the “baby blues,” which make new moms feel fatigued, worried, or unhappy. However, these so-called blues last up to several weeks and typically go away without the need for treatment. The symptoms of postpartum depression are more severe and often require additional support to resolve. After giving birth, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease drastically. For some, the consequent chemical changes within the brain trigger postpartum depression. Women suffering from this condition experience numerous symptoms that make everyday tasks more difficult. These symptoms include:
- Bouts of rage and increased irritability
- Difficulty bonding with the baby
- Overeating or not eating enough
- Thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby
- Crying more than normal or without a reason
- Extreme fatigue, trouble sleeping, or oversleeping
- Headaches, upset stomach, muscle pains, and other physical ailments
- Avoiding loved ones
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, anxiety, anger, emptiness, irritability, and doubt
If you notice any of these symptoms, speak with your doctor right away. While some women feel guilt about postpartum depression, you should know that it’s not your fault, and asking for help is the best thing to do.
Postpartum Depression Counseling
If you’ve been diagnosed with postpartum depression, talk therapy providers can help. Your provider or counselor will work with you to develop a treatment plan, that may include a referral for cognitive behavioral therapy to help beat postpartum depression’s symptoms and get back to feeling like yourself again.
Other Treatment Options
In addition to postpartum depression counseling, women may also be prescribed medications, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or antidepressants. These help to regulate the brain chemicals that affect mood, and many women feel better within a few weeks. For those moms who are breastfeeding, we are mindful about prescribing medications that are proven to be safe for both the baby and mother during breastfeeding. Other postpartum depression treatments are available, as well. Some women prefer to take an alternative medicine approach, which could entail acupuncture, massage therapy, and relaxation therapies such as meditation and yoga. The right exercise program can also help alleviate the symptoms of postpartum depression.
Don’t Wait – Seek Help Today
While postpartum depression sometimes goes away on its own, it can take months to do so. If your symptoms last longer than a few weeks, seek postpartum depression counseling or treatment right away. That way, you can ensure you and your baby are living the best quality of life in the healthiest environment possible. For more information, contact Vanguard Medical Group today.