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Mothers With Postpartum Depression Essay

902 words - 4 pages

The objective of this paper is to develop a thorough understanding of treatments available for mothers with postpartum depression and formulate a research question that can provide for future direction.

Postpartum depression is universally recognized as a serious condition affecting 10-15% of women within a year of birth (O’Hara & Swain, 1992). The high prevalence of postpartum depression among mothers makes this an issue worth exploring the type of treatments available. A set of physical and psychological symptoms are associated with this condition that greatly increase the detriment of postpartum depression. These symptoms can be ranked on several designed scales by health care ...view middle of the document...

Once diagnosis is made Gjerdingen (2002) states that the treatment plan should incorporate patient education on the biology of depression, treatment options, therapeutic adverse events and understanding the need for a social support system.
The aim of Gjerdingen’s (2002) study was to complete a literary quantified analysis of the different interventions and based on statistics determine the most effective form of treatment. Gjerdingen (2002) discusses a form of biological intervention; antidepressant drugs. Assessing several drug trials consisting of the newer Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and the older tricyclic antidepressants statistically showed postpartum patients were improving their condition. A concern for the possibility of the drugs such as fluoxetine being found in the infants is evident (Wisner, Perel, Findling, 1996). For example, evidence of fluoxetine in high amounts in serum levels would cause lethargy, extreme sleep deprivation and/or significant weight reductions in the infant. Gjerdingen (2002) states that the studies done on antidepressant transfer when nursing had extremely low population numbers and that the drug evidence generally either low or not detectable. The reported cases of high levels of drugs in infants were extremely minimal.
Hormonal therapy was another biological option explored by Cizza, Gold, & Chrousos (1997). They identified that endogenous glucocorticoids and estrogen would increase during pregnancy and rapidly decrease immediately after birth. Conducted trials so far have suggested that estrogen therapy may help with reducing depressive symptoms while progesterone may prove to be detrimental, but such results should be confirmed in future trials (Cizza, Gold, & Chrousos 1997).
Another approach is individual and group psychotherapy applied either in a combination with antidepressants or as an alternative treatment. According to four randomized controlled trials therapy was administered either by psychotherapists, trained health visitors or a combination of both. The...

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