Why Do I Need Psychotherapy to Treat my Postpartum Depression?

Guest Blogger: Meedlen Charles, MD. 

Dr Charles is board certified in general Obstetrics and Gynecology with Westchester Medical Practice- New York Presbyterian Medical Group Hudson Valley (http://wmpny.com/obgyn.asp) (http://www.hvhc.org/patient-service/maternity-fair/westchester-ob-gyn.html)

She manages normal as well as high risk obstetrics complicated by hypertension, gestational diabetes, twin pregnancies. She is interested in VBAC, water births (first delivery at Hudson Valley Hospital was a water birth). She also works in conjuction with doulas. She offers a wide range of services in gynecology including minimally invasive laparascopic surgery, family planning and contraception, adolescent health counseling, menopausal management, urinary incontinence and infertility. She provides outpatient office procedures such as Essure vaginal sterilization, endometrial ablation, hysteroscopy.

She manages normal as well as high risk obstetrics complicated by hypertension, gestational diabetes, twin pregnancies. She is interested in VBAC, water births (first delivery at Hudson Valley Hospital was a water birth). She also works in conjuction with doulas. She offers a wide range of services in gynecology including minimally invasive laparascopic surgery, family planning and contraception, adolescent health counseling, menopausal management, urinary incontinence and infertility. She provides outpatient office procedures such as Essure vaginal sterilization, endometrial ablation, hysteroscopy.

I am honored to have such a reputable and gifted physician address the need for psychological treatment for postpartum depression on my site. Thank you Dr Charles.

Guest Blogger: Meedlen Charles, MD. 

Prevalence of postpartum depression ranges from 8-15% .  It can occur anytime within the first 12 months of delivery.  Cause is unknown and include hormonal changes, genetic susceptibility as well as live events. 
What are the signs and symptoms, well they vary and they can be caused by the stress of taking care of a newborn.  For example it’s normal for new mothers to sleep too much or too little, feel tired or have lack of energy, have changes in their appetite, weight and desire to have sex. 

But women with postpartum depression might not be able to sleep even when their babies sleep.  Or they might have so little energy that they cannot get out of bed for hours.  They might also feel anxious, irritable, angry, guilty or overwhelmed, unable to care for their baby, feel like a failure as a mother. 

Untreated postpartum has led to a myriad of diverse outcomes such as impaired maternal-infant bonding, marital problems, future emotional and behavioral problems in the infant, suicides, etc.  Treatment can be either with medication or with therapy.  Mild depression can be treated with either medication or with therapy( psychiatrist, psychologist)  but severe depression needs both therapy and medication.  Talk to your OB/Gyn to find out what medication is safe for breastfeeding. 

If you ever feel like you might want to hurt yourself or your baby, call your doctor right away or do one of the following:  call an ambulance,  go to ER at your local hospital or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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