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Hormone Therapy For Postpartum Depression

Are There Natural Remedies For Postpartum Depression

Sex Hormones and Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is serious and not something you should attempt to treat without a doctors input.

Along with medical treatment, natural remedies such as exercise and getting the right amount of sleep can help improve symptoms. Massage, meditation, and other mindfulness practices may help you feel better. Maintain a diet high in nutrients, but low in processed foods. If youre not getting the nutrients you need in your diet, ask your doctor to recommend the right dietary supplements.

What Increases Your Risk

A risk factor is anything that increases your chances of having a certain problem. Risk factors for postpartum depression include:

  • A history of postpartum depression. This puts you at high risk of having it again.
  • Poor support from family, partner, and friends.
  • High life stress, such as a sick or colicky newborn, financial troubles, or family problems.
  • Physical limitations or problems after childbirth.
  • Depression during a current pregnancy.
  • Previous depression.
  • Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression. It also increases the risk of dangerous psychotic behaviour after childbirth.
  • A family history of depression or bipolar disorder.

Risk factors for postpartum psychosis include:

  • A personal or family history of bipolar disorder.
  • Previous postpartum psychosis.

How To Help Your Wife Or Partner

Encourage her to talk about her feelings. Listen to her without judging or offering solutions. Instead of trying to fix things, simply be there for her to lean on.

Offer help around the house. Chip in with the housework and childcare responsibilities. Dont wait for her to ask!

Make sure she takes time for herself. Rest and relaxation are important. Encourage her to take breaks, hire a babysitter, or schedule some date nights.

Be patient if shes not ready for sex. Depression affects sex drive, so it may be a while before shes in the mood. Offer her physical affection, but dont push if shes not up for sex.

Go for a walk with her. Getting exercise can make a big dent in depression, but its hard to get motivated when youre feeling low. Help her by making walks a daily ritual for the two of you.

Anna Glezer, M.D. is a Harvard-trained clinician with joint appointments in the reproductive psychiatry and OB/GYN departments at UCSF Medical Center. She is the founder of Mind Body Pregnancy.

Read Also: Things To Do To Get Rid Of Depression

When Should You Call Your Doctor

911, your provincial health information line, or other emergency services right away if:

  • You or someone you know is thinking seriously of suicide or has recently tried suicide. Serious signs include these thoughts:
  • You have decided how to kill yourself, such as with a weapon or medicines.
  • You have set a time and place to do it.
  • You think there is no other way to solve the problem or end the pain.
  • You feel you cannot stop from hurting yourself, your baby, or someone else.
    • You hear voices.
    • You have been thinking about death or suicide a lot, but you do not have a suicide plan.
    • You are worried that your feelings of depression or thoughts of suicide aren’t going away.

    Seek care soon if:

    Oestrogens And Progestins For Preventing And Treating Postpartum Depression

    Love hormone can aid in treating postpartum depression

    Additional research needed to evaluate the effect of oestrogens for the prevention and treatment of postpartum depression but synthetic progesterones should not be administered.

    Postpartum depression is a common complication of childbirth, affecting approximately 13% of women. A hormonal aetiology has long been hypothesised due to the sudden and substantial fluctuations in concentrations of steroid hormones associated with pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period. This review of two trials, involving 229 women, found synthetic progestogens do not prevent the development of postpartum depression and, due to their significant negative effect on maternal mood, their administration in the postpartum period for other clinical indications is questionable. The prophylactic effect of natural progesterone remains unknown. Despite the promising preliminary findings, additional research is also needed before oestrogens can be recommended for the routine treatment of postpartum depression. Its role in the prevention of recurrent postpartum depression has not been rigorously evaluated. Further research is warranted.

    The primary objective of this review was to assess the effects of oestrogens and progestins, including natural progesterone and synthetic progestogens, compared with placebo or usual antepartum, intrapartum, or postpartum care in the prevention and treatment of postpartum depression.

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    Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression Include:

    Feeling sad, hopeless or overwhelmed

    Frequent bouts of crying

    Being unable to sleep or sleeping too much

    Physical symptoms from aches and pains to headaches and stomach problems

    Social withdrawal

    Inability to bond or form attachment with the baby

    Thoughts of self-harm

    If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, its very important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Getting started with treatment early can provide an improved outcome for the patient.

    There are some new mothers that may be at a higher risk of post-partum than others. If you have any of the following, its important to know your risk factors to help you identify any issues early:

    Previous experience with depression or mental health issues

    Family members with depression or other mental illness

    Stressful life situations during pregnancy or after birth including job loss, the death of a loved one, domestic violence, etc.

    Medical complications during childbirth, or have a baby with health issues

    Mixed feelings about the pregnancy whether it was planned or unplanned

    Lack of emotional support from spouse, family, or friends

    History of drug or alcohol problems.

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    How Are We Treating Post Partum Depression With Tms

    We offer a special urgent treatment for Post Partum Depression that involves no medication utilizing both rapid and accelerated forms of TMS for those who have no prior history of depression. If you have a history of depression prior to your post partum episode we will customize your treatment to fit your needs and that of your plan of insurance if relevant.

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    Tip : Lean On Others For Help And Support

    Human beings are social. Positive social contact relieves stress faster and more efficiently than any other means of stress reduction. Historically and from an evolutionary perspective, new mothers received help from those around them when caring for themselves and their infants after childbirth. In todays world, new mothers often find themselves alone, exhausted and lonely for supportive adult contact. Here are some ideas for connecting to others:

    Make your relationships a priority. When youre feeling depressed and vulnerable, its more important than ever to stay connected to family and friendseven if youd rather be alone. Isolating yourself will only make your situation feel even bleaker, so make your adult relationships a priority. Let your loved ones know what you need and how youd like to be supported.

    Dont keep your feelings to yourself. In addition to the practical help your friends and family can provide, they can also serve as a much-needed emotional outlet. Share what youre experiencingthe good, the bad, and the uglywith at least one other person, preferably face to face. It doesnt matter who you talk to, so long as that person is willing to listen without judgment and offer reassurance and support.

    Need to talk to someone?

    Postpartum Depression Symptoms And Signs

    Hormonal Changes in Postpartum Depression

    Depression after childbirth affects people in different ways. Many people who have just had a baby feel tired, worried, anxious, or stressed. They might also experience mild feelings of depression. Sometimes these feelings go away on their own, without medical treatment. But sometimes they last for a long time.

    Having a few symptoms of postpartum depression may mean its a good idea to talk to a trained health care professional, especially if symptoms affect day-to-day life or cause lasting distress. A good first step is talking to a doctor, but therapists and counselors are trained to help with depression. A doctor can provide a referral to a counselor.

    Many different symptoms might indicate PPD. Here are some of the most common:

    • Doubting ability to be a good parent
    • Thoughts about self-harm or harming the baby

    Read Also: What Do People Do When They Are Depressed

    Fda Approves New Treatment For Postpartum Depression

    Postpartum depression is overwhelming depression and the inability to care for yourself and your newbornabout 1 in 7 women will suffer from postpartum depression after giving birth. Progesterone is the most common hormone in pregnancy, and the dramatic drop in progesterone after giving birth may have a role in depression postpartum. OB/GYN Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones talks about the pros and cons of brexanolone, a newly FDA-approved synthetic version of the allopregnanolone steroid, meant to treat postpartum depression.

    This is your brain on hormones. This is your brain off hormones. This is your brain just right. Sounds like Goldilocks? There’s a new treatment for postpartum depression that aims to make this better.

    About one in seven women will suffer from postpartum depression. This isn’t just a couple of days of feeling overwhelmed with the baby blues, something most of us felt in the weeks after a baby is born. This is overwhelming depression and inability to care for oneself and one’s newborn. Neuroscientists have always been interested by the effect of sex steroids on the brain, estrogens, progestin, and testosterone. Those of us who practice reproductive endocrinology like me have a particular interest in progesterone and its metabolites, the molecules that the brain makes out of progesterone.

    Tip : Take Care Of Yourself

    One of the best things you can do to relieve or avoid postpartum depression is to take care of yourself. The more you care for your mental and physical well-being, the better youll feel. Simple lifestyle changes can go a long way towards helping you feel like yourself again.

    Skip the housework Make yourself and your baby the priority. Give yourself permission to concentrate on yourself and your baby there is more work involved in this 24/7 job than in holding down a full-time job.

    Ease back into exercise. Studies show that exercise may be just as effective as medication when it comes to treating depression, so the sooner you get back up and moving, the better. No need to overdo it: a 30-minute walk each day will work wonders. Stretching exercises such as those found in yoga have shown to be especially effective.

    Practice mindfulness meditation. Research supports the effectiveness of meditation for making you feel calmer and more energized. It can also help you to become more aware of what you need and what you feel.

    Dont skimp on sleep. A full eight hours may seem like an unattainable luxury when youre dealing with a newborn, but poor sleep makes depression worse. Do what you can to get plenty of restfrom enlisting the help of your partner or family members to catching naps when you can.

    Get out in the sunshine. Sunlight lifts your mood, so try to get at least 10 to 15 minutes of sun per day.

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    What Serum Concentration Of Estradiol Is Therapeutic For Ppd

    Estradiol concentrations achieved in transdermal estradiol treatment trials for perimenopause and postpartum depression ranged from 260 â 700 pmol/L, which, like menopausal hormone therapy, simulates mean menstrual cycle concentrations. Notably, such concentrations are 100-fold lower than late third trimester pregnancy estradiol concentrations . Because no correlation between estradiol concentration and depression symptoms was observed in prior studies , we lack evidence that higher estradiol concentrations more effectively treat depression. In addition, whether women with estradiol concentrations in the hypogonadal range stand to benefit more from estradiol treatment than non-hypogonadal women with PPD is an area of debate than deserves further study .

    Effect Measured In Women Already Diagnosed With Mood Disorders

    Health Tip on Postpartum Depression In Women With Low Anti
    Johns Hopkins Medicine
    In a small-scale study of women with previously diagnosed mood disorders, researchers report that lower levels of the hormone allopregnanolone in the second trimester of pregnancy were associated with an increased chance of developing postpartum depression in women already known to be at risk for the disorder.

    In a small-scale study of women with previously diagnosed mood disorders, Johns Hopkins researchers report that lower levels of the hormone allopregnanolone in the second trimester of pregnancy were associated with an increased chance of developing postpartum depression in women already known to be at risk for the disorder.

    In a report on the study, published online on March 7 in Psychoneuroendocrinology, the researchers say the findings could lead to diagnostic markers and preventive strategies for the condition, which strikes an estimated 15 to 20 percent of American women who give birth.

    The researchers caution that theirs was an observational study in women already diagnosed with a mood disorder and/or taking antidepressants or mood stabilizers, and does not establish cause and effect between the progesterone metabolite and postpartum depression. But it does, they say, add to evidence that hormonal disruptions during pregnancy point to opportunities for intervention.

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    Is Postpartum Depression Real

    Postpartum depression is real, and it is treatable. But its important to reach out for help.

    Myths about postpartum depression can make it harder to recognize the condition. People who have heard myths about PPD may believe them and be less likely to seek help.

    Here are some important facts about PPD:

    • Mood swings after childbirth are normal and often go away after a week or two. Clinical depression is not typical, and it may not go away without treatment.
    • PPD is not the same as baby blues. About 80% of women experience baby blues after childbirth. Baby blues are characterized by mild to moderate feelings of tiredness, stress, sadness, weepiness, or loneliness. These symptoms usually go away on their own after about two weeks.
    • PPD often develops in the first six months after childbirth, but it develops even later in some people. In most cases, symptoms of PPD appear in the first year after childbirth.
    • PPD can affect any new parent, whether they are an adoptive or biological parent. Fathers can also experience PPDit can affect any person of any age or background.
    • Disturbing thoughts about bad things happening to the baby are common with PPD. Having these thoughts does not mean a parent will harm their baby.
    • Symptoms of PPD vary widely. Feeling sad or tearful can indicate PPD, but feelings of anxiety, disconnect, anger, sadness, or worthlessness are also common.

    Where To Find Support For Postpartum Depression

    First, consult with your OB-GYN to address your physical symptoms. If youre interested, your doctor can refer you to a therapist or other local resources. Your local hospital is another good place to get referrals.

    You might feel more comfortable reaching out to others whove been through the same thing. They understand what youre feeling and can offer nonjudgmental support. Consider joining a group for new mothers. Some of them may also be living with depression, anxiety, or postpartum depression.

    These organizations can help guide you to the appropriate resources:

    If you dont like one support system, its okay to try another. Keep trying until you find the help you need.

    Read Also: Signs Your Suffering From Depression

    Biological Predictors And Biomarkers For Ppd

    In recent years, more development has been made to identify the biological predictors for PPD. Substantial biological changes can be associated with pregnancy. Such changes are necessary in order to maintain normal pregnancy and fetal development, as well as successful labor and lactation. Upon parturition, the intricate balance that has developed during gestation to sustain the maternal-placental-fetal unit is suddenly no longer needed. Furthermore, the maternal system has to undergo a dramatic biological changes into the lactation phase within a short time. It may days or even months to re-establish a new biological balance. It is conceivable that failure to re-establish the balance properly and promptly may cause maternal mental health issues in return.

    Epidemiological Clinical Research And Basic Science Evidence Which Support Estradiol As A Therapeutic For Ppd

    Women’s Health, Hormones, Sun & Postpartum Depression

    Epidemiological studies converge to powerfully suggest that female gonadal steroid fluctuations can lower the threshold for emergence of mood disorder symptoms and episodes . This theory is substantiated by the 2-3.5-fold increase in risk for psychiatric hospitalization due to incident PPD in the 5 months after childbirth , the 2-5-fold risk for MDE and depressive symptoms in perimenopausal compared to premenopausal women , and the 1.7-fold increased risk for major depression in women relative to men during childbearing years that begins during puberty . Furthermore, susceptibility to depressed mood during one reproductive transition confers vulnerability for future reproductive hormone-related mood disorders .

    Estradiol appears to function as an antidepressant through mechanisms inherent in traditional psychotropics in widespread regions of the cortex and limbic brain . Estradiol promotes neurite outgrowth and neuronal survival in hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus, dopaminergic neurons, and prefrontal cortex . Pro-monoaminergic effects of estradiol include enhancement of norepinephrine, dopamine , cholinergic , and serotonin systems . Estradiol also mitigates against oxidative stress, glutamateric excitotoxicity, and β-amyloid toxicity . A potential role for estradiol to modulate feedback regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is yet another mechanism by which estradiol may act as a psychotropic.

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