Do I have postnatal depression?
Q: I had a baby 5 and 1/2 months back. It was a normal delivery. Since then I am having a lot of physical discomfort and disorders. Initially my body used to feel very loose, especially my hands as if there wasn't any grip in the body; my legs used to feel week and there was a lot of pressure on my face and head. I had shown to various doctors and finally a doctor described my condition as postnatal depression. I was asked to visit a psychiatrist who said that the problem will take some time to get cured and as I am feeding the baby I was unable to take strong medicines. Even during pregnancy I had these problems like weakness and sensations on my head and body. I have been taking Serlift. Recently I also started taking Sensival 25 mg. Though the symptoms have disappeared totally but the pressure on my face and head is still there. I have difficulty walking and feel as if something is pulling in my head and my face becomes heavy and hurts. My doctor asked me to try accupunture. When I visited the gynaecologist, she said its not postnatal depression but due to some overactive hormones in the hormones caused due to breast feeding the baby. Both are telling me to top feed my baby so that I can take stronger medicines and I am confused. What should I do?
A:Post Partum Depression (Depressive Disorder occurring within 4 weeks of delivery) is a fairly common phenomenon, occurring in more than 10% of the females, more so after the first child birth. From your report, it seems the you are suffering from “it”. So now, there is no way out but to treat it. Sertraline (Serlift) and Nortyptiline (Sensival) are good antidepressants and can be given in adequate dosage during pregnancy and breast feedings. So don't worry about the medications. These medicines have to be taken in adequate dosage (Sertraline - 200 - 300 mg / Sensival 75 - 150 mg) for at least 6 – 9 months, even when you are doing perfectly well.