How can I treat my postpartum depression? Postpartum Recovery

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mom with post partum depression by crib
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Postpartum depression (PPD) can be devastating for a mother to experience. Seek help from a medical professional if you have any signs of PPD, and see what experts and moms recommend for treatment and prevention.

Have a Support Team

"If you have a history of postpartum depression during your first pregnancy, there are preventative steps you can take during future pregnancies. Seeing a therapist throughout the pregnancy is the first step in taking control of your emotions. It's important to establish a support team who will help you be successful avoiding the dark days associated with depression. The team should include your partner, therapist, and health care provider. This high-risk group of women may also want to...

"If you have a history of postpartum depression during your first pregnancy, there are preventative steps you can take during future pregnancies. Seeing a therapist throughout the pregnancy is the first step in taking control of your emotions. It's important to establish a support team who will help you be successful avoiding the dark days associated with depression. The team should include your partner, therapist, and health care provider. This high-risk group of women may also want to recruit their best friend, sister, or mother to help them navigate this emotionally terrifying time. Women suffering from this type of depression need to acknowledge and be communicative on how they are feeling and use their support team regularly." -- Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA

Make a Plan

"Identify whether or not you're at risk for postpartum depression based on your history of depression or other risk factors, such as having a sick baby, poor social support, or financial stress. If you are at risk, it's helpful to establish a plan for a mental health follow-up in the first two weeks of delivery, if not sooner. Early and regular contact with a mental health professional can help make the determination of what social and medical support is needed before symptoms worsen. It...

"Identify whether or not you're at risk for postpartum depression based on your history of depression or other risk factors, such as having a sick baby, poor social support, or financial stress. If you are at risk, it's helpful to establish a plan for a mental health follow-up in the first two weeks of delivery, if not sooner. Early and regular contact with a mental health professional can help make the determination of what social and medical support is needed before symptoms worsen. It also can help reinforce a safety plan for mothers and babies." -- Kameelah Phillips, MD, OB/GYN, AdvantageCare Physicians, New York, NY

Ask for Help

"New babies are exhausting and you need help. No one will disrespect you for reaching out for a little assistance."

Get Out of the House Regularly

"I'm a stay-at-home mom with no car, so it helps my mood to go for a walk with my daughter each day, either to the park to see other babies and mommies or to the store to get a special treat."

Find a Local Support Group

"I didn't feel like doing anything, so I had to plan things in advance just to get out of bed. I started going to a breastfeeding support group just to be around other people. It helped."

Sneak in Some "Me" Time

"Even if it's only the couple of minutes you can salvage to take a shower, at least it's something!"

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.