Official treatments for depression after pregnancy are various forms of psychotherapy which is always combined with medication, skills to manage and cope with your feelings of postpartum or postnatal depression (that can be individual as well as support group therapy).
This treatment is widely inspired by positive psychology and gives the individual the power that they can overcome mental illness. For depression after pregnancy, monitored group talks, emotion-focused therapy, support group therapy, thought and behavioral therapy engagement of the individual have always been successfully effective.
The medications that are more prescribed for depression after pregnancy are the newer categories compared to the older group. This is mainly because the older groups tend to have more side-effects.
On a rough rate, medication is given for a period of 3-4 weeks minimum and should be continued for approximately 4-9 months to prevent more episodes. It is very important to take medication if your condition really requires it. After consultation with a professional, medication is only prescribed as per requirements.
This includes necessity, strength of dosage, and other depressive conditions that could occur. There is also a risk of breast milk sensitivity. It is important for nursing mothers as that would require other medication to keep depression at bay and protecting the baby.
Other forms of side effects (along with effective solutions) that you have to keep an eye out for are:
- Dry mouth. Sip on water regularly, chew sugarless gum as much as possible and clean your teeth daily.
- Constipation. Try to eat bran cereals, prunes, fruits and vegetables as much as possible.
- Blurred vision and headache. This side-effect will pass by quickly with time and does not usually require a change of new glasses.
- Dizziness. You should try to rise from the bed or chair slowly to avoid this.
- Drowsiness in the day is seen to usually pass. If you are feeling drowsy, you should not drive/operate heavy equipment. Professionals usually prescribe calming medication to generally help sleep at night and minimize drowsiness in the day.
- Nausea is also temporary and short-term after each dose.
- Nervousness and insomnia (which includes trouble falling asleep or waking often during the night) may occur during week one. Through dosage reduction and passing time you will usually resolve this.
The side effects that you experience below need your doctor’s immediate attention:
- Bladder problems. If emptying the bladder is difficult, painful and the urine stream is not strong as usual.
- Sexual problems are bound to occur as a change after pregnancy. If it is something that is troubling, you should try discussing this with your doctor.
- While feeling agitation or jittery happens for the first time after taking medication - it is not usual for it to continue for more than a short-term.
3. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
ECT is best for individuals who have the signs of more serious or life threatening depression after pregnancy. Sometimes, ECT is also effective for individuals who cannot take medication or medications are not working at all. For ECT to give good results and tackle postpartum/postnatal depression, at least three sessions per week are required.
Disclaimer- All the information provided in the blog is for reference purposes only. Please do not consider this as a medical advice. Always consult a doctor if you have any questions related to your own health or the health of your child.