Category FAQs Search : Health

Question: What can we do if we are diagnosed with postpartum depression?

Answer: Call your doctor, nurse, midwife, or pediatrician if:

- Your baby blues don’t go away after 2 weeks
- Symptoms of depression get more and more intense
- Symptoms of depression begin within 1 year of delivery and last more than 2 weeks
- It is difficult to work or get things done at home
- You cannot care for yourself or your baby (e.g., eating, sleeping, bathing)
- You have thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby
- Ask your partner or a loved one to call for you if necessary. Your doctor, nurse, or midwife can ask you questions to test for depression. They can also refer you to a mental health professional for help and treatment.

Here are some ways to begin feeling better or getting more rest, in addition to talking to a health care professional:

- Rest as much as you can. Sleep when the baby is sleeping.
- Don’t try to do too much or to do everything by yourself. Ask your partner, family, and friends for help.
- Make time to go out, visit friends, or spend time alone with your partner.
- Talk about your feelings with your partner, supportive family members, and friends.
- Talk with other mothers so that you can learn from their experiences.
- Join a support group. Ask your doctor or nurse about groups in your area.
- Don’t make any major life changes right after giving birth. More major life changes in addition to a new baby can cause unneeded stress. Sometimes big changes can’t be avoided. When that happens, try to arrange support and help in your new situation ahead of time.

It can also help to have a partner, a friend, or another caregiver who can help take care of the baby while you are depressed. If you are feeling depressed during pregnancy or after having a baby, don’t suffer alone. Tell a loved one and call your doctor right away.

(Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services : Office of Women's Health, 16 Mar 2022)

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