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Saturday, December 31, 2011

What is the best treatment for postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression affects one in every four new mothers. It is a common problem that can occur a few days after giving birth and continue for a few days, weeks, or years. Usually, it passes off. However, treatment is required when postpartum depression continues for a few weeks. It is in chronic cases that PPD lasts for several months.

The first thing doctors are most likely to tell a patient of postpartum depression that there is no real treatment available. Doctors can give anti-depressants, muscle relaxants and lead the patient to psychiatrists. That is not really much of a treatment. But the problem is, if no treatment is taken for the symptoms of postpartum depression then it can last for years.

Doctors handle postpartum depression as just any kind of depression. They resort to medication, counseling, and suggest support groups as treatment.

Psychotherapy could be helpful to some extent in the treatment of postpartum depression. In fact, psychotherapy is the most popular treatment choice among patients of postpartum depression because breastfeeding mothers would be concerned about taking medicines with potential side effects. One crucial aspect of psychotherapy in the treatment of postpartum depression is Interpersonal therapy (IPT). This takes up interpersonal relationships of the patients with other family members and friends.

Some patients do go for hormone therapy which includes the replacement of estrogen. This is combined with anti-depressants. However, such therapies have their own side effects. Anti-depressants are given when the patient is unable to care for herself and the baby. It requires close monitoring of the patient too. Doctors also discuss marriage counseling if there are triggers at home that propel the patient into postpartum depression.

But all these kinds of postpartum treatment are limited in their scope. The main issue with a patient is that she does not realize when the depression strikes. On one side the patient is thrilled on having a baby. On the other the patient might be overwhelmed with fears and doubts about being able to take care of the baby. Initially, most new mothers tend to dismiss the 'baby blues' as a passing mood. Feeling dull, crying at the slightest of things and even thoughts of death could overwhelm the patient.

Symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) could also include anxiousness, frustration, refusal to get out of bed, difficulty in eating or sleeping, etc. Plus there could be other psychological problems too.

Considering the limited scope of conventional treatment, a holistic approach that uses herbal or natural supplements along with counseling diet and fitness regime would be the best approach for any patient. Family support is essential. A natural cure could work wonders for most patients.

The best part about a natural cure is that it would not have any side effects Combined with a proper diet, recommended exercise, improvement in interpersonal relationships with the help of counseling if required, etc. can all prove to tackle postpartum depression very easily. In fact, most women who have conquered their postpartum depression have used a holistic and natural treatment strategy for postpartum depression.