Treating Postpartum Depression Without Medications

by Mona Saint MD

Two studies just released in the British Medical Journal both found ways to effectively treat and prevent postpartum depression without antidepressant medications. One study found that patients who received counseling from a trained nurse had significantly less postpartum depression at 6 months postpartum than the group that did not receive any special counseling. In the second study, new moms who received phone calls from women who previously had postpartum depression were significantly less likely to develop postpartum depression at 3 months. The author states that their research is consistent with other studies that link depressive symptoms with “smaller social networks, fewer close relationships…” in society.1 Take home message: those having symptoms of postpartum depression or at high risk should seek prompt evaluation from their provider, and may consider using trained counseling and support groups in conjunction with conventional evaluation, with or without medications.

1. MedPage Today 2009
2. Morrell C, et al. “Clinical effectiveness of health visitor training in psychologically informed approaches for depression in postnatal women: pragmatic cluster randomized trial in primary care”. BMJ 2009.

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02.03.09 at 10:31 am

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