Postpartum depression can be treated successfully by combining the following three elements.
1. Seek Professional Help
Talk to your doctor, a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a counselor who is familiar with postpartum depression and who has had experience treating women who have suffered from it. See our Resources page for local health care providers.
There are screening tools available to your healthcare provider, for example, the Edinburgh Screening Tool to assist in the diagnosis of perinatal mood disorders such as postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis and depression during and after pregnancy.
Antidepressants may be prescribed to treat postpartum depression. These medications can greatly reduce the symptoms you are experiencing.
There are some important things to keep in mind, however. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms persist after taking your medication for two weeks or if new symptoms develop. You may simply need a change in your dosage or in the type of antidepressant you are taking. Do not give up if the first medication you are given does not work for you. Everyone is different and the next one prescribed might be the one that works best for you.
Also, if you have any concerns about taking an antidepressant, please discuss them with your doctor. If you are breastfeeding or are concerned about how long you will have to take this medication, ask your doctor. There are medications you can take safely while you breastfeed or even if you are pregnant. Your doctor will be able to give you the information you need to make a decision that is right for you. If, however, you do not feel comfortable with the information you are receiving, please seek a second opinion.
Find a support group to help you through this emotional time. Not only can support groups offer you the information and resources you need, but they can offer you the chance to meet other mothers experiencing the same feelings and issues you are.
Charleston Area Support Group
Postpartum Support Charleston hosts a peer-led support group for women and their families. Visit our Support Group page for details.
The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical or psychological condition. Please consult your health care provider for individual advice regarding your situation.