Why a new mom may put herself—or her child—in harm’s way

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If you are feeling depressed more than a week or two after giving birth, talk to your doctor.

Cognitive behavioral therapy — which focuses on changing thought patterns — and antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications are all treatment options for women with postpartum depression.

Postpartum psychosis requires more immediate attention, according to the Mayo Clinic. Mothers who are suffering from hallucinations or paranoia should be brought to the hospital, where doctors will assess their mental stability. Occasionally electroconvulsive therapy, or small electrical shocks to the brain, is recommended.

“The chemical changes triggered by the electrical currents can reduce the symptoms of depression, especially when other treatments have failed,” the Mayo Clinic website explains.

(CNN’s Elizabeth Landau and Lateef Mungin contributed to this story.)

 

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