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The purpose of this literature review is to determine the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors/Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI/SNRI) in women suffering from postpartum anxiety. Efficacy of non-pharmacological, pharmacological, and combination therapy compared within this review. Lastly, prophylactic treatment of anxiety was examined in women who were pregnant or who were newly postpartum without diagnosis of anxiety. In this review the database PubMed was utilized to conduct research that included many different keywords. The articles included were limited to within the last 30 years, and research was narrowed by limiting patient population to postpartum women and eliminating articles that did not evaluate CBT or SSRI/SNRI medication as a form of treatment for anxiety during the postpartum period. The data presented shows evidence that CBT and SSRI/SNRI pharmacological treatment are effective in the treatment of postpartum anxiety, which indication that CBT is more effective in the short term, while pharmacological treatment may be more beneficial for patients needing long term treatment. Analysis of literature did not show any evidence suggesting statistically more significant reduction or remission of symptoms when combining non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments. Further research should be conducted to explore potential benefits of prophylactic treatment in the antepartum period for postpartum anxiety.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

Date of Work


First Advisor

Staveteig, Mindy

Publication Date

Spring 2024


postpartum, anxiety, pharmacological treatment, nonpharmacological treatment


Medicine and Health Sciences

SSRI/SNRI Medication vs. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the Treatment and Management of Postpartum Anxiety