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Postpartum Depression (cont.)

What Is the Treatment for Postpartum Depression?

While self-care cannot take the place of medical care in depression, there are things you can do to improve your mood and your ability to function at home.

Are There Home Remedies for Postpartum Depression?

  • Surround yourself with supportive family members and friends, and ask for their help in caring for the baby.
  • Take care of yourself. Get as much rest as you can. Nap when the baby naps.
  • Try not to spend much time alone.
  • Spend some time alone with your husband or partner.
  • Take a shower and get dressed every day.
  • Get out of the house. Take a walk, see a friend, do something you enjoy. Get someone to take care of the baby if you can; if you can't, take the baby with you.
  • Don't expect too much from yourself. Don't worry too much about the housework. Ask friends and family for help.
  • Talk to other mothers. You can learn from each other, and their experiences can be reassuring.
  • If the depression persists for longer than two weeks or is very severe, talk to your health care professional. Self-care alone is not recommended.

What Is the Medical Treatment for Postpartum Depression?

Treatment for postpartum depression depends on the form and how severe it is.

  • Your health care professional may refer you for psychological help and individual or group therapy.
  • Support groups can be helpful.
  • Marriage counseling may be part of your treatment plan.
  • It's important for friends and family to understand the illness so they can help.
  • Medications can be helpful.

For postpartum blues, no specific treatment may be necessary because the condition goes away by itself and usually does not result in severe symptoms. If symptoms don't go away within two weeks, call your health care professional.

For postpartum depression, the severity of the illness will guide the health care professional in choosing treatment. Milder forms may be treated with psychological therapy. More severe forms may require medication. A combination is sometimes helpful.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/8/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Postpartum Depression »

During the postpartum period, up to 85% of women experience some type of mood disturbance.

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