Diagnosing & Treating Postpartum Depression Online
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a form of depression that occurs after childbirth. People with postpartum depression usually experience feelings of sadness and/or anxiety that tend to interfere with the mom's ability to take care of herself and her family. Not all mothers develop postpartum depression, so the question remains: what causes postpartum depression?
This form of depression does not have a single cause, but instead by a combination of physical and emotional factors. After childbirth, the levels of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in a woman's body quickly drop. This drop in hormones can lead to chemical changes in the mother's brain that may trigger mood swings.
Additionally, catching up on sleep can be a real issue. Most mothers are unable to get the rest they need to fully recover from giving birth and this can lead to physical discomfort and exhaustion. Constant sleep deprivation can contribute to the symptoms of postpartum depression.
You and your online doctor can help determine the severity of your postpartum depression and what type of treatment is needed, or if a referral to a specialist is required.
During a video consult on TelaCare your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms point to postpartum depression. Then your provider will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. Your provider may recommend in-person examination by a specialist if this is needed. Your treatment plan is based on the duration and severity of your symptoms and your medical history. Along with these questions, the doctor may ask you if you’ve had thoughts about harming yourself or your baby and what kind of support system you have at home.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans.
Depending on the cause and severity of your postpartum depression, your treatment plan may include:
- Counseling/Therapy: This treatment involves talking one-on-one with a mental health professional.
- Medication: Antidepressant medication act on the brain chemicals that are involved in mood regulation.