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How is PPD treated?

  • Effective treatments for postpartum depression exist. A healthcare provider can help the woman determine the best course of treatment for her. Some treatment options include:
    • Counseling: Also known as talk therapy, this process involves talking with a mental health professional, which may include counselors, social workers, therapists, psychiatrists, or psychologists. There are two types of counseling that have shown to be helpful in treating postpartum depression.
      • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A type of psychotherapy in which negative patterns of thought about the self and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns or treat mood disorders.
      • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): A type of psychotherapy that is time-limited, focused, and an evidence-based approach to treat mood disorders. The main goal of IPT is to improve the quality of a client’s interpersonal relationships and social functioning to help reduce their distress.
    • Medication: Antidepressants are typically prescribed for postpartum depression. Antidepressants are designed to balance chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain that affect mood and emotions. They include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), atypical antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Women should talk with their doctors to see how antidepressant medication can affect breastfeeding or their pregnancy. These treatments can either be used alone or in combination (called combination therapy).
    These treatments can either be used alone or in combination (called combination therapy).