Postpartum depression is a debilitating mental health condition that affects 1 in 9 new mothers. If you feel empty, sad, or hopeless longer than two weeks after giving birth, you may have postpartum depression. The experienced OB/GYNs at Capital Women’s Care, with three convenient locations in Fairfax, Manassas, and Haymarket, Virginia, offer solutions to help you feel happy and restore your quality of life. Schedule an appointment with Capital Women’s Care over the phone or online to learn more postpartum depression treatments.
Postpartum depression involves feelings of anxiety and sadness that are extreme or interfere with your ability to properly care for your family or yourself.
Having the “baby blues” for a short time after giving birth is common, but postpartum depression can be severe and last longer than two weeks. Fortunately, simple treatments can help you feel like yourself once again.
If any of the following symptoms last longer than several weeks, you may have postpartum depression:
You might also experience a reduced ability to think clearly or have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
Postpartum depression often results from multiple factors. Hormone fluctuations, chemical changes within your brain, and lack of sleep likely play roles. So might stress, changes in your physical appearance, and lack of free time or social support.
Factors that increase your risk of postpartum depression include having a weak support system, relationship problems, a personal or family history of depression or bipolar disorder, financial problems, having multiple births, or difficulty breastfeeding.
To diagnose postpartum depression, your Capital Women’s Care provider reviews your medical history and asks questions about your symptoms.
They may use blood tests to check for hormone imbalance or recommend other diagnostic testing if you have symptoms of specific health problems.
Your Capital Women’s Care specialist works with you to establish a personalized postpartum depression treatment plan that best suits your needs. They may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Changing lifestyle habits can help alleviate symptoms of postpartum depression. Examples include accepting help from friends and family, connecting with other new moms, getting sleep when you can, taking time for yourself, and avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs.
Taking antidepressant medications can help relieve feelings of sadness after having a baby. Your doctor lets you know if depression medicines are right for you.
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is when you talk with a psychologist or other mental health professional about your feelings. They offer behavioral therapy solutions that help you better cope with sad feelings in a positive way.
Living with untreated postpartum depression can negatively affect you and your family. At the first sign of prolonged sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness, schedule an appointment with Capital Women’s Care over the phone or online.