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:
Aug. 11, 2015
- 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?
- Depressive disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed July 16, 2015.
- Depression during and after pregnancy. WomensHealth.gov. https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/depression-pregnancy.html. Accessed July 1, 2015.
- Postpartum depression. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/pi/women/resources/reports/postpartum-dep.aspx. Accessed July 16, 2015.
- Frequently asked questions. Labor, delivery, and postpartum care FAQ091. Postpartum depression. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/-/media/For-Patients/faq091.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20150716T1631486138. Accessed July 16, 2015.
- Postpartum depression facts. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/postpartum-depression-facts/index.shtml. Accessed July 16, 2015.
- Roy-Byrne PP. Postpartum blues and unipolar depression: Epidemiology, clinical features, assessment, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 21, 2015.
- Roy-Byrne PP. Postpartum blues and unipolar depression: Prevention and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 21, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. Depression during pregnancy and postpartum. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Marder S. Postpartum psychosis: Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, assessment, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 22, 2015.
- Marder S. Treatment of postpartum psychosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 22, 2015.
- Butler Tobah YS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 27, 2015.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Intrapartum and postpartum care of the mother. In: Guidelines for Perinatal Care. 7th ed. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; Washington, D.C.: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 2012.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 29, 2015.