There are three main ways to treat PND: psychological therapy, antidepressants, and self-help. Each have their merits, and what works for one might not work for another.
The main effective form of psychological therapy offered is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT essentially challenges the way you think,, and bases its techniques on the idea that a combination of unhelpful and unrealistic thinking leads to negative behaviour. During CBT sessions, you explore the thoughts and feelings you’ve been having, and try to look at them from a different perspective. It aims to break the cycle of negativity, and teaches you coping strategies for you to implement in your day to day life.
There are a number of different antidepressants you could take which balance the chemicals in your brain that alter your mood. It can be a bit of trial and error deciding which ones are best for you, and it will take at least a week for you to notice any difference. Some doctors advise that you give them at least three months before deciding whether or not they are working for you, just to make sure the initial side effects have worn off and that they are working at their full potential. You also need to be aware that not all antidepressants are suitable if you are breastfeeding, as they could affect your production or pass through to your baby.
Self-help works for some, but will all depend on your motivation and energy levels. Sticking to a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol and drugs goes a long way to brighten your mood and boost your motivation. Get out and about; meet friends and explore new places. Most of all, make time for yourself. Yes you’re a parent, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything. Accept offers of help, and even request babysitting services so you can have a night out. Make sure that you and your partner have time together as a couple, rather than as just parents. And most of all, make a regular date in your diary to do something you love.