Postpartum Depression (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
For part of your postpartum checkup, your doctor typically asks you about your moods and emotions.
If you have had depression, postpartum depression, or postpartum psychosis before, are now pregnant and have depression, or have bipolar disorder, ask your doctor and family members to watch you closely. Some experts suggest that high-risk women have their first postnatal checkup 3 or 4 weeks after childbirth, rather than the usual 6 weeks.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms, and together you can decide what type of treatment is right for you.
Treatment choices include:
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:
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.
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