Postpartum Depression Specialist

Palo Alto Mind Body

Concierge Psychiatry, Addiction Medicine, and Functional Health Specialists located in Palo Alto, CA

The birth of your baby is a magical moment that you want to enjoy to the fullest, yet about 10% to 20% of women struggle to take care of their babies because they develop major postpartum depression. M Rameen Ghorieshi, MD, MPH, and colleagues at Palo Alto Mind Body encourage women with postpartum depression to reach out for help. They provide safe, effective treatment that lifts your depression and lets you get back to enjoying your family. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Palo Alto, California, or send a confidential email.

Postpartum Depression Q & A

Palo Alto Mind Body

What is postpartum depression?

It’s important to know that there’s a difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression. It’s estimated that up to 80% of women experience the baby blues. These feelings begin in the first few days after delivery, then go away in a few weeks.

Postpartum depression is a major depressive disorder that appears during pregnancy or often weeks or months after delivery. This type of depression can be long-lasting and severe enough to affect your ability to care for yourself and your new baby. It is frustrating to feel blind sighted by overwhelming depression during such a special, much anticipated time in your life.

What causes postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a complex problem that arises from physical and emotional changes. For example, your hormone levels drop rapidly after childbirth, which causes chemical changes in your brain that trigger depression. The incredible strain on the body during pregnancy often leads to vitamin depletion and new food sensitivities, both of which also increase the likelihood of developing postpartum depression.

Overall energy depletion and lack of sleep contribute to postpartum depression. You are also more likely to develop postpartum depression if you have a history of depression, anxiety, or high levels of stress, although postpartum depression can also affect those with no previous history of psychiatric conditions. 

What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression causes symptoms such as:

  • Feeling depressed (sad, hopeless, or empty)
  • Loss of interest in activities you typically enjoy
  • Change in weight or appetite
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Loss of energy or fatigue
  • Slowing-down of thoughts and muscle movement
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Thoughts of dying or attempted suicide

 

If you are finding it difficult to engage in daily life or unable to fully bond with your baby, call Palo Alto Mind Body to get the help and support you need. 

How is postpartum depression treated?

The psychiatrists at Palo Alto Mind Body offer a variety of evidence-based treatments to improve the symptoms of postpartum depression. Three treatments that make a significant difference are:

Psychotherapy

Several types of talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy, help treat depression. Combining therapy with nutritional balancing or medication generally produces optimal results.

The providers at Palo Alto Mind Body also offer telehealth or telemedicine. Using their secure, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing, you can add extra sessions or maintain your treatment if you can’t get to the office.

Vitamin assessment and balancing

Pregnancy and childbirth can leave many women depleted of crucial vitamins and minerals that are essential to improving and sustaining a positive, calm mood. Even if vitamins were supplemented during pregnancy, women are often still depleted, yet expected to be energetically taking care of their newborns. It is impossible to do so without core nutrients.

At Palo Alto Mind Body, they run specialized tests to examine your underlying nutritional status that go beyond a simple serum test. Once test results are in hand, careful vitamin supplementation and dietary plans can provide remarkably fast results.

Psychopharmacology

Antidepressant medications restore brain chemicals needed to balance your moods. Some medications can be used during breastfeeding; you can count on your psychiatrist to prescribe safe medications.

Postpartum depression takes a toll on your health and life. To receive effective treatment, call Palo Alto Mind Body or send a confidential email. Please note, we also serve many patients located in the surrounding Bay Area, such as South Bay, North Bay, East Bay, Peninsula, San Jose, and San Francisco.