Some women may become depressed after childbirth as a result of hormonal changes, the burden of child care, and the lack of social support. There are many ways to treat postpartum depression between psychological, pharmacological, hormonal, and others, and the choice of appropriate treatment depends on several factors related to the mother’s health condition and the extent of her response to treatment. . [1]

In this article, we discuss postpartum depression treatment options, and tips for contributing to postpartum depression treatment at home.

Postpartum depression treatment

A combination of psychotherapy and medication is the best way to treat a condition. In developing the appropriate treatment plan for the mother, the doctor depends on several factors, including: [1]

  • severity of depression.
  • Response to treatment.
  • Having a history of depression.
  • Suffering from other diseases.
  • Breastfeeding a child.

It is worth noting that getting the support of family and friends and help in taking care of the child is a cornerstone of treatment for postpartum depression in addition to following the treatment plan. [1]

Postpartum depression treatments include:

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is usually the first choice for treating postpartum depression either alone or in combination with medications. The American Psychiatric Association recommends treatment of postpartum depression without medication and only psychotherapy for mild postpartum depression, especially in breastfeeding women. [2]

Common types of psychotherapy include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

It is a type of talk therapy and is useful in treating depression after cesarean or natural delivery, in which the therapist evaluates the mother’s irrational thinking patterns, such as feeling guilty and always short, and not allowing herself to make any mistake, which leads to depression and anxiety. [2] [3]

Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to correct these perceptions and encourage behavior in a more positive manner. The duration of treatment for postpartum depression with this type of treatment is usually 3 to 4 months. [3]

  • interactive psychotherapy

Interactive therapy aims to improve the woman’s relationship with family, friends, and those around her, which helps provide the moral support she needs at this stage. The treatment also helps in solving problems that cause her to feel depressed. Treatment sessions often take 3 to 4 months. [2] [3]

  • Guided self-help

The idea of ​​guided self-help therapy is to teach the woman to help herself and treat postpartum depression at home by following instructions that contribute to identifying the problems she suffers, and how to deal with them and finding solutions to them. These directions are usually obtained through specialized books, or with the help of a therapist, Or via an online course. [3]

drug therapy

Pharmacotherapy is used in the treatment of moderate or severe postpartum depression along with psychological treatment, and the doctor prescribes the appropriate medication for the mother after comparing the desired benefits and potential risks, especially in the case of a nursing mother. [4] [5]

Antidepressants are used to treat postpartum depression, and it usually takes 6 to 8 weeks for their effects to appear. Examples of these medications include: [1] [6]

  • These medications are considered the first choice for treating postpartum depression and are characterized by fewer side effects compared to other antidepressants, such as Paroxetine.
  • Atypical antidepressants: Atypical antidepressants, such as bupropion, are used to treat postpartum depression that does not respond to SSRIs.
  • Brixalone: ​​Brixalone is the first drug designed to treat postpartum depression. It relieves depression by restoring hormone levels after childbirth. It is usually prescribed by doctors to treat conditions that have not responded to other medications. This medication is taken by injection as an intravenous infusion over a 60-hour period under medical supervision.

Your doctor will usually recommend taking antidepressants for at least 6 months or a year. To avoid a recurrence, some cases may require its use for a longer period. In some cases with a history of postpartum depression, it may be recommended to take preventive medications during pregnancy or immediately after childbirth to prevent postpartum depression. [4]

It should be noted that the use of birth control pills as a method of contraception after childbirth should be avoided during the treatment of postpartum depression; Because it may exacerbate symptoms of depression, so another appropriate method must be chosen. [4]

hormonal therapy

Estrogen replacement therapy can be helpful in some cases of postpartum depression, as it has been found that a very low level of estrogen and progesterone may trigger postpartum depression. [7]

Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is one of the alternative options in the treatment of postpartum depression, as it is suitable for breastfeeding women who prefer not to take medications for fear of the baby’s health, as this treatment is safe and effective, and works by activating neurons through magnetic waves. [8]

This treatment is usually done over 5 sessions per week for 4 to 6 weeks. [8]

Tips to treat postpartum depression at home

Following the following tips can help treat and prevent postpartum depression: [9]

  • Do regular exercise.
  • follow a healthy diet with regular small meals; To maintain blood sugar levels.
  • Get enough sleep every night.
  • Relax and rest at bedtime instead of doing housework.
  • The mother allocates time for herself to rest and relax, or to engage in an activity that she likes.
  • Make sure to communicate with family and friends and ask them for help.
  • Avoid isolation and sharing feelings with family members and friends.