Decision making for postpartum depression treatment

Dorothy K Y Sit, Katherine L. Wisner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


As clinicians, we tend to focus on facts. Which maternal pharmacotherapy is associated with the least amount of drug in the breastfed infants' sera? Are breastmilk levels related to infant serum levels? How frequently should psychotherapy be conducted, and how can the course of treatment be flexible with the patient's needs? What is the efficacy of alternative and novel therapies? How often does postpartum depression recur? These questions are important and lead to the data that we provide to women during the decision making process. However, these data are derived from grouped patient data sets. The application of information from these data sets to the individual in the office is an art that requires assignment of value by the patient based on her view from her own unique perspective. The mental health professional is the provider of information, structure, support, and guidance through the dynamic process of making treatment choices. Effective decision making for the treatment of postpartum depression ideally occurs in a context that values a woman's life experiences and her psychosocial environment, and must be a collaborative process between each patient and provider to be as successful as possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-585
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatric Annals
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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