Postpartum Depression (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
Postpartum depression is a medical condition that requires treatment, not a sign of weakness. It isn't always obvious to an observer, and there are no laboratory tests for depression. This is why it's important that you tell your doctor about your symptoms.
Your doctor will diagnose and recommend treatment for postpartum depression if you've had five or more of the following symptoms (including the first or second) for most of each day over the past 2 weeks:1
If you think you may have postpartum depression, take a short quiz to check your symptoms:
Although the most disturbing symptoms can be the hardest to talk about, it's especially important to tell your doctor about any urges to harm yourself or your baby. If you have compelling thoughts about hurting yourself or others, you must tell your doctor immediately and get treatment.
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.
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