As many women all over the world have always known, postpartum depression is a very real mental health disorder that can deeply affect what should be a happy time - welcoming a new baby to the family. As more and more clinical research has been done confirming its existence and validating new mothers, much discussion has begun about how to treat postpartum depression.
No one wants a new mother to have difficulty bonding with her child or worse harm the baby -- so it has been medically encouraged for many new mothers to take an antidepressant in addition to managing stress through talk therapy, exercise, family support, etc.
Unfortunately, a major reason why women in general, but especially postpartum women, are reluctant to take an antidepressant is because of the side effect of weight gain. And let's face it - that is a very real concern after having carried extra weight for almost 9 months of your life! But recent studies support the fact that women who are suffering from depression after having a baby are able to lose post-baby weight without any interference from antidepressants.
In fact, researchers found that women who had a history of depression after giving birth tended to retain weight because of the depression - not when they treated it. So mental health professionals strongly urge postpartum women who are depressed to seek treatment.
It makes sense. If you are effectively treating your depression, you are able to function normally. Get outside. Get physically active. And have normal eating patterns.
So if you've just had a baby and fear that you suffer from postpartum depression, it's okay. Go to your physician and get screened. Create a treatment plan that you can live with, and don't worry about your weight. Just worry about getting healthy.
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Lisa Angelettie is an author, counselor, & coach on mental health, relationship, and other life issues for women. You can also visit her at http://www.girlshrink.com Please visit us for more discussion on this topic in the depression forum to talk about it further. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter for topics in the news, new articles, website & book reviews, and other useful depression resources. Subscribe below.