Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

After your first appointment, your doctor may refer you to a mental health provider who can create the right treatment plan for you. You may want to find a trusted family member or friend to join you for your appointment to help you remember all of the information discussed.

What you can do

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • Any symptoms you've been experiencing and for how long
  • All of your medical issues, including physical conditions or mental health disorders, such as depression
  • All the medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medications as well as vitamins and other supplements, as well as their doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is my diagnosis?
  • What treatments are likely to help me?
  • What are the possible side effects of the treatments you're proposing?
  • How much and how soon do you expect my symptoms to improve with treatment?
  • Is the medication you're prescribing safe to take while breast-feeding?
  • How long will I need to be treated?
  • What lifestyle changes can help me manage my symptoms?
  • How often should I be seen for follow-up visits?
  • Am I at increased risk of other mental health problems?
  • Am I at risk of this condition recurring if I have another baby?
  • Is there any way to prevent a recurrence if I have another baby?
  • Are there any printed materials that I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

A doctor or mental health provider who sees you for possible postpartum depression may ask:

  • What are your symptoms, and when did they start?
  • Have your symptoms been getting better or worse over time?
  • Are your symptoms affecting your ability to care for your baby?
  • Do you feel as bonded to your baby as you expected?
  • Are you able to sleep when you have the chance and get out of bed when it's time to wake up?
  • How would you describe your energy level?
  • Has your appetite changed?
  • How often would you say you feel anxious, irritable or angry?
  • Have you had any thoughts of harming yourself or your baby?
  • How much support do you have in caring for your baby?
  • Are there other significant stressors in your life, such as financial or relationship problems?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with any mental health conditions, such as depression or bipolar disorder? If so, what type of treatment helped the most?
Aug. 11, 2015