Depression after birth – Why it is Important to Treat It

Postnatal Depression usually develops after a woman gives birth to her first child, or shortly after she becomes pregnant. It is estimated that more than twenty million women in the United States alone suffer from Postnatal Depression every year. Postnatal Depression can have long term effects on a mother’s health, as well as that of her infant. This disorder can lead to potentially serious complications during pregnancy and also in the infant’s life after birth. If you or someone you know is experiencing Postnatal Depression, you should be aware of the serious potential side effects that it may have.

Postnatal Depression can be treated with medication and psychotherapy. The effectiveness of these treatments can vary greatly. Medication often acts to bring down the level of depression experienced by patients, while psychotherapy helps to improve the mother’s ability to care for her infant. However, medication is not always effective. In some cases, women who take antidepressants or other medications for anxiety or depression find that their babies suffer from longer hospital stays, have significantly lower birth weights, or have psychological problems similar to those associated with teenage depression.

There are a number of holistic approaches to treating Post Natal Depression. These include therapy, exercise, massage, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation, and relaxation techniques. Natural supplements can also be beneficial. Guarana, green tea, and B vitamins have been found to help reduce stress and anxiety in many individuals. Other herbs such as St. John’s Wort, Pomegranate, and Turmeric can also have an effect on a patient’s mood.

A combination of medication and holistic treatment can also be helpful. For example, St. John’s Wort can act as an anti-depressant in addition to reducing the levels of stress hormones in the body. It can also help a woman maintain proper hormone balances in her body. Some holistic treatments also combine exercise with massage, which has been shown to have a calming effect on some individuals. If your infant seems unhappy, contact your physician immediately to discuss your options.

If medications do not work, your pediatrician may recommend Cognitive Behavior Therapy. CBT is a therapy designed to change the way an individual thinks about the situations that he or she experiences in life. The goal of the therapy is to help an infant or baby gain the skills they need to deal with changes that occur throughout their lives. For example, this type of therapy can help a woman identify negative beliefs about herself and others, which can lead to Postnatal Depression. Once a mother knows what she is experiencing, it is much easier to understand why she is having feelings of depression.

Depression in infants is a serious matter. Although it can be overcome with therapy and drugs, it is best for both mother and infant to seek help if possible. If your infant seems depressed, contact your physician immediately to discuss your options. This condition can be treated and your infant can grow up happy and healthy.