Making the first call for help can be difficult. Women resist it for a number of reasons: You may hope this goes away by itself. You may worry that others won’t understand. You may fear that someone will react impulsively and misinterpret what you are saying. You may wonder if you will be labeled “crazy”. You may feel like you are weak if you can’t take care of this yourself.
Asking for help is an important first step toward healing. Tell your partner. Tell your healthcare provider. Call us. We can help you decide what you should start doing to feel better. For women outside our local area, many will travel to us in order to receive treatment at The Postpartum Stress Center.
If you are unable to come to one of our offices we suggest that you review our clinician referral list by clicking the purple button . These are clinicians, from around the country, have been trained by Karen Kleiman and have a special interest in treating postpartum depression. Also, please check Postpartum Support, International for their list of support coordinators who can help you find a therapist in your area.
If you are still unable to find a provider who specializes in the treatment of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders in your area you may find the following list helpful. When you call, ask if they have the name of a therapist who specializes in the treatment of women and depression. Expertise in postpartum depression is not as essential as finding a good, qualified therapist with whom you feel comfortable. (In some cases, you may need a physician or psychiatrist for medication and/or a therapist)
- General practitioner or family doctor
- A Birth or Women’s Center
- Breastfeeding support group (Call even if you’re not breastfeeding)
- Local mental health agency (Usually has a reasonable sliding fee scale)
- Local Family Services agency
- Parenting or new mother support group
- Local hospital (Try Social Services Dept / Childbirth Education Dept Maternity Services Dept)
- Local teaching hospital (Psychiatry Dept)
- Ask a PPD support-group or new mother’s group member to recommend a therapist in your area
- Personal referral from friend, neighbor, someone you trust
- Church or synagogue
- A Google search for “therapist” and “postpartum depression” and then your city and state
- Your insurance website
- Psychologytoday.com has a searchable database
- Postpartum Support, International (PSI)
- Expert clinicians who have completed our specialized PPD Training Program
And remember: always be a strong consumer advocate. If you think you aren’t getting adequate care, if you are concerned about the medications you are taking, if you have concerns about your treatment – ask questions until you are satisfied with the answer. If you’re not satisfied, get another opinion. YOU may be the best judge of how you are feeling and how your treatment is progressing. If you have recently had a baby and are not feeling yourself or think something is wrong… it is probably time to get help. PPD can occur anytime within the first year after childbirth. Without proper treatment, symptoms can linger or get worse.
PPD is very treatable. You will feel better again.