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Baby blues, a milder form of PPD or postpartum depression, tends to go away in a few weeks after delivery. However PPD can become a chronic condition if not treated on time. If you feel you are having baby blues, connect with support and help groups and talk it out with them. Lifestyle and habits like alcohol can make the mood swings worse during this time. Underactive thyroid can also aggravate baby blues. So, remember to ask the doctor if the medication needs a revision. Post partum depression is treated using medications and counseling.
Counseling is a procedure where the psychiatrist talks to you about the problems and your mood swings. They suggest ways to cope with your feelings and also set goals for you. Family counseling is also provided by them where other family members are taught to deal with your problem.
Antidepressants are proven to treat postpartum depression. However, more importance is given to nursing mothers and only specific medications are prescribed for them and the ones do not affect the quality of the breast milk. There are some antidepressants which do not interfere with the breast milk or cause any side effects.
During pregnancy the hormone production is commonly thrown out of balance. Sometimes hormone replacement therapy works well for women with PPD. Estrogen is replaced and women may notice signs of improvement in their moods after this. You can also weigh the benefits of hormone replacement compared to antidepressants with your doctor.
Depression can also be a result of the increased work at home front while caring for your baby. You can consider hiring help and attend some parent coaching classes. These classes are beneficial as they teach you baby massage and also how to bond with your newborn.
If the treatment is right, postpartum depression goes away within a few months. In extreme cases it can last up to one year. However, continue with the treatment even if you are feeling right. Consult your doctor before you stop any medications. Postpartum psychosis is the extreme and worst form of PPD and it will need hospitalization.
Doctors use a combination of treatment plans like medications, antipsychotic drugs, and mood stabilizers to control the signs of symptoms of PPD. If PPD is severe, they may even consider providing electroconvulsive treatments. In this treatment protocol, a tiny amount of current is passed through the brain to create brain waves similar to the ones that develop during a seizure. However, such treatments are not common.
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Mayo Clinic: Postpartum Depression: Treatment and Drugs