Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are there any ways to avoid postpartum depression?"
I'm due to have my child in two months and I'm worried about postpartum depression. I'm 24 and this is my first child. Are there any methods for avoiding postpartum depression? I really don't want to go through it.
First of all congratulations on getting ready to have your first baby! This is a major life event, and I hope that things continue to go well with you during the pregnancy and during the delivery. I suggest that you sit down and talk to your OB GYN doctor about your concerns about post partum depression. As you probably know, post partum depression is a significant and common health concern after giving birth and it is definitely something to keep a look out for. Most women after birth will experience some post partum blues, or depressed mood. This is not usually as severe as post partum depression and resolves in a week or two. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent post partum depression, in the sense of taking a medicine beforehand. However, it is true that women who have good healthy relationships with their partners and with their families and who breastfeed are less likely to develop post partum depression. Additionally, it is important to talk with your doctor if you have a history of depression already, as this raises your risks and warrants more close monitoring. Otherwise, it is important to keep your post partum doctor appointments, as they will screen for post partum depression and give you help if you need it.