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Postpartum Depression (cont.)

How Do You Prevent Postpartum Depression?

Too often, depressive symptoms are dismissed as normal for a woman who has just experienced childbirth.

If you have had depression in the past, or have risk factors for depression, talk with your doctor before getting pregnant or early in your pregnancy.

All new mothers should be screened for depressive disorders.

What Is the Prognosis for Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression usually goes away during the months after delivery. Some women have symptoms for months or years. With the help of appropriate treatment, the prognosis for postpartum depression is usually quite good.

If untreated, the illness can cause prolonged misery for the mother and her family.

  • It can hurt the mother-baby relationship.
  • It could even be dangerous if the mother considers hurting her child or herself.

Support Groups and Counseling for Postpartum Depression

A support group can help you cope with your illness.

  • Depression After Delivery: 800-944-4PPD
  • National Women's Health Information Center: 800-994-9662
  • Postpartum Support International (PSI): 805-967-7636

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology

REFERENCES:

Allen, Judith. The Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Sexualities, Histories, Progressivism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Gjerdingen, D. "The effectiveness of various postpartum depression treatments and the impact of antidepressant drugs on nursing infants." Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 16.5 Sept. 2003: 372-282.

Roberts, S.L., J.A. Bushnell, S.C. Collings, and G.L. Purdie. "Psychological health of men with partners who have post-partum depression." Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 22 Sept. 2009: 473-482.


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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