Postpartum Depression Treatment

I’m sure you’ve heard about or known someone who’s experienced postpartum depression. It’s something that has become increasingly common, and no one really knows the reason why. A new mother can be perfectly content all the way through pregnancy, can give birth successfully, and then suddenly be overwhelmed by feelings of sadness, lethargy, and disappointment for anywhere from a few months to a year. Needless to say, this can be psychologically very dangerous to the child, who needs his or her mother to be emotionally available during this formative period of life.

What’s more postpartum depression treatment is tricky, because antidepressant medications can be transmitted through the breast milk. A conscientious doctor will be reluctant to advise a mother in this condition to discontinue breastfeeding, as it may be one of the only sure bonding experiences the mother and child can expect while the mother is still depressed. But the medications are not intended for infants and can not be considered safe for them.

Fortunately, psychotherapy for depression treatment is highly effective in reducing the symptoms of postpartum depression and ultimately resolving the condition. The methods of treatment are very similar to those used for ordinary depressive disorders. You will typically see your psychotherapist for one hour per week, and during that time explore the patterns of thought and behavior that make up your depression.

There are a number of different theoretical orientations that therapists can use to approach your case, so the therapy itself might look different depending on what therapist you see. The important thing, especially because you are going through such a difficult time, is to see a therapist who you like and are comfortable with.

Something that more mothers should consider is pre-emptive postpartum depression treatment–going to see a psychotherapist during your pregnancy just to explore what the pregnancy and the new child mean to you. This can have a profound effect in preventing postpartum depression, which is ultimately what every mother would hope for.