Become The Mom You Were Meant To Be
Want to be happier, enjoy your kids, and have more energy? Our Vibrant Mama Starter Guide will show you the 3 simple steps you need to get started. Its a game changer get it free for a limited time.
GET MY FREE GUIDE
2015-2016 was a really hard year for me. We moved to a new state to be closer to my husbands job and about 6 months later, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, my third child. my husband worked crazy hours and it was up to me to basically take care of all 3 kids and manage the entire household by myself.
Because we moved, all of our close friends and family lived far away and I was isolated. I had very little help except for a babysitter that came by for a few hours a week so I could work. My daughter did not sleep through the night AT ALL, and because I was nursing, I was getting up multiple times all night long to take care of the baby.
Because I was doing so much, I would often completely forget to eat or drink and by lunch time, I would literally be shaking. So just to get something, ANYTHING, in my body, I would pack the kids in the car, head to a coffee shop drive through and grab a muffin or a bagel and a decaf coffee. And then at night, to ease the pain of my day, I would eat a bowl of ice cream .
It wasnt fast and it wasnt easy and there were definitely set backs along the way. I would say it took a solid year to finally feel like myself again. But here are the things I did to beat postpartum depression naturally.
If Medication Is Prescribed Will It Affect My Breastmilk
Most antidepressants are considered safe to take while breastfeeding, with little risk of side effects for the baby. Your doctor can explain which medications are safe to take while breastfeeding and which may not be.9
Its important to remember that having untreated PPD can potentially put your baby at risk of behavioral and developmental delays. Breastfeeding should not inhibit you from seeking treatment for PPD, just as getting treatment for PPD should not stop you from breastfeeding.
Seeking Help From Your Provider
I know that youre a mother that prefers an all natural solution to dealing with such things like PPD. But its also wise to let your doctor know if you suspect having PPD. They can help you find resources in your local area and with in person or online support groups that can make a huge difference!
Read Also: How Can You Prevent Depression
Herbal Medicines For Depression And Anxiety Which Are Safe In Breastfeeding
- Saffron is Known to be the the worlds most expensive spice due to the labour intensiveness of its production, Saffrons use as a medicinal herb has been documented for over 4,000 years. In December 2017, the journal Phytomedicine published the results of a clinical trial on saffron stigma for treating mothers suffering from postpartum depression. Results showed that the group treated with 15mg twice daily of Saffron Stigma showed a 96% remission rate for post-partum depression, twice that of the placebo group. They concluded that it was a safe and significant treatment for mothers suffering from Post-Partum depression. .
- High doses of Omega-3 liquid from Fish Oil has been shown to reduce depression through lowering neuro-inflammation, and can be especially beneficial in the perinatal period . It is also one of the most important nutrients for your babys brain development. The recommended dose needs to contain approximately 2 grams of EPA per day and will take 3-4 weeks to exert its effects. It is recommended to take before birth to build up stores and to assist in brain development in the infant. It is important to be taking a highly purified fish oil which is tested for heavy metal contamination.
- Magnesium has been shown to significantly decrease symptoms of anxiety and supports mood. It also improves quality of sleep. Recommended doses are 300mg of elemental Magnesium once or twice a day.
Natural Remedies For Postpartum Depression & Anxiety
This article is intended to be used as a guide for new mothers who may be experiencing symptoms of Depression, Anxiety and Stress. It is not intended as a means to diagnose or replace professional medical advice. If you have suicidal thoughts or are worried about your own or someone elses safety you can call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or speak to a licenced professional.
It is not uncommon for new mothers to be experience stress, fatigue, anxiety and depressive states. Postnatal depression affects up to 15% of women in New Zealand alone. Fluctuations in hormones post-birth involve a sudden drop in Estrogen and Progesterone which can cause feelings of sadness, fatigue and lack of energy.
Postpartum Depression usually has an onset within four weeks after deliveryFeelings of depression may be characterised by a persistent sadness, hopelessness and loss of interest in activities. In states of depression, sleep, appetite, libido, energy and self-esteem can all be affected. Depression can be experienced as mild, moderate or severe and this changes the treatment routes. There are also a number of factors which increase the risk of depression, including prior history to depression, living alone, marital conflict, limited social support and a higher number of children.
You May Like: Symptoms Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder And Depression
Look Into Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
After delivery, women experience dramatic drops in progesterone and estrogens, both of which influence activity at the GABA feel-good receptor in the brain. Some data suggest that low progesterone following birth is correlated with the baby blues, but other data havent supported any clear link between hormone concentrations and postpartum mood.
Bioidentical progesterone treatment may be a viable alternative to traditional antidepressants. Bioidentical progesterone is not chemically identical to the synthetic progestins found in birth control pills, and most obstetricians and gynecologists are unfortunately unfamiliar with the former as a treatment option. In the 1980s, two studies led by Dr. Katharine Dalton demonstrated the effectiveness of bioidentical progesterone for treating PPD, with remission rates of less than 10 percent. Since the 1980s, progesterone therapy for PPD has been widely used by health professionals trained in Natural Procreative Technology, a womens health initiative that strives to understand and cooperate with a womans reproductive and gynecological health. Progesterone can help alleviate some symptoms of depression in as little as one injection almost immediately. Unfortunately, outside of the NaPro literature, further randomized controlled studies using bioidentical treatment for postpartum depression have yet to be published.
What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression
- Your baby blues dont go away after 2 weeks
- Symptoms of depression get more and more intense
- Symptoms of depression begin within 1 year of delivery and last more than 2 weeks
- It is difficult to work or get things done at home
- You cannot care for yourself or your baby
- You have thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby
Ask your partner or a loved one to call for you if necessary. Your doctor, nurse, or midwife can ask you questions to test for depression. They can also refer you to a mental health professional for help and treatment.
You May Like: Does Working Out Help With Depression And Anxiety
Worried Someone You Love May Be Suffering From Ppd Or Ppa Watch For These Signs:
- Baby Blues dont improve after the first two weeks postpartum
- Frequent crying or tearfulness
- She no longer has interest in things she used to enjoy
- She is either too tired or just doesnt care to make decisions
- She isnt engaging with the baby
- Her sleep patterns have changed, including frequent waking or having trouble sleeping, and not just due to having a newborn
- Constant or near-constant worrying
- Feelings of dread about what might happen
- Racing thoughts
Treating Postpartum Depression With Complementary Or Alternative Medicine
Editors note: Baby blues affects about 75% of all pregnant women, starting on the fourth or fifth day after giving birth. Women who suffer more severe symptoms are more likely to develop post-partum depression. I saw an interesting study that looked at providing nutritional supplements during those days to see if these changes in mood could be lessened. Although the study was small and it didnt include a placebo, women taking the supplements had much better mood scores when checked 5 days after delivery. This study prompted me to ask my colleague, Dr. Harrison, about other interventions for post-partum depression.
Read Also: Is Prozac Good For Depression And Anxiety
Myths About Postnatal Depression
Postnatal depression is often misunderstood and there are many myths surrounding it.
- postnatal depression is less severe than other types of depression in fact, its as serious as other types of depression
- postnatal depression is entirely caused by hormonal changes its actually caused by many different factors
- postnatal depression will soon pass unlike the baby blues, postnatal depression can persist for months if left untreated and in a minority of cases it can become a long-term problem.
- postnatal depression only affects women research has actually found that up to 1 in 10 new fathers become depressed after having a baby
These factors are equally true of antenatal depression.
You May Like: How To Break The Cycle Of Health Anxiety
How Is It Treated
Postpartum depression is treated with counselling and antidepressant medicines. Women with milder depression may be able to get better with counselling alone. But many women need both. Moms can still breastfeed their babies while taking certain antidepressants.
To help yourself get better, make sure you eat well, get some exercise every day, and get as much sleep as possible. Get support from family and friends if you can.
Try not to feel bad about yourself for having this illness. It doesnt mean youre a bad mother. Many women have postpartum depression. It may take time, but you can get better with treatment.
Don’t Miss: Anxiety And Depression Of America
Tips On How To Overcome Postpartum Depression
Some of the tips to overcome postpartum depression can include consulting a professional, meeting with other moms, getting enough rest, eating healthy, breastfeed only if you want to, exercising a bit, learning to relax, making realistic goals, talk to your partner and lastly not to be hard on oneself.
Giving birth is an emotional roller-coaster ride that could derail your life in the form of postpartum depression. Dont worry, it is totally okay to be overjoyed one moment and then be in tears the next moment. Anxiety, worry and sadness are all normal after pregnancy and these emotions are usually a part of having Baby Blues. However, if you continue to feel these emotions 2 to 3 weeks after delivering your baby, you could be dealing with postpartum depression.
This condition is prominent in women who have a history of depression and anxiety. Even women dealing with depression during their pregnancy period can get postpartum depression. If you are stressed, battling OCD or lacking support from your partner, family and friends, you could develop postpartum depression.
Eliminate Grain And Junk Food
Eating well is crucial for mental health. All of the toxins and garbage in a lot of modern day food processing are messing up our brains. Wheat, gluten, grains, and dairy have all been shown to cause negatives effects on the mental health of many people. The same goes for processed food.
Now, quitting cold turkey if you love your sandwiches and pasta may be too difficult all at once. But work in decreasing the grains in your diet and see how it affects you over a week or two. Instead, focus on:
- Healthy lean proteins
- Bounteous fruits and vegetables
You May Like: Free Online Help For Depression
How Is Postpartum Depression Treated
Doctors normally prescribe antidepressants that have not been sufficiently studied when given to breastfeeding mothers. That is why I have researched natural alternatives that you can try to treat postpartum depression.
Your doctor will evaluate you and see which course of action is best suited for your particular situation.
Ways To Build Support Networks
Postpartum depression can make you feel isolated and alone. This can make you feel worse, so its very important to build a support network of people who care about you. Be open about how youre feeling with your friends, family, and partner, and stay connected with your people. This network can help you get through this difficult time.
Recommended Reading: Bipolar Depression How Long Does It Last
What Are The Next Steps
Seek the professional help that you need and start your journey to overcome this!
Time is an issue for a lot of us. My sessions were an hour long, so I wasnt there all day.
This is 1 million percent worth your time. You are worth feeling better, mama. Contact your PCP, and they will hold your hand from there and guide you the right way.
How Can I Help My Wife
If you are the partner of a woman suffering from PPD, you can help by encouraging her to seek help from a medical professional. Your goal should be to reduce her stress and anxiety in any way you can, while also paying attention to your own mental health. Taking on extra responsibilities can helpwhatever will allow her to make more time for sleep.
Its hard when you have a newborn, but if you can strategize to help with feedings overnight to make sure that mom is able to get enough sleep, that can be a way to try to protect against some of those mood disturbances, Dr. Taljan says.
Read Also: How To Get Ketamine Treatment For Depression
Start Seeing A Psychotherapist
Compared to antidepressant medication, psychotherapy is cost effective, well tolerated, and generally more effective for treating depression, especially in the long term. A meta-analysis and review examined 28 trials and reported that psychotherapy intervention during pregnancy significantly reduced the number of women who developed PPD.
Specifically, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy have great track records of mitigating postpartum depression.
- Cognitive therapy helps prevent postpartum depression. In pregnant women with a history of depression, MBCT decreased depression relapse compared to other treatments, including antidepressants. MBCT is also a viable treatment option for postpartum depression.
- Cognitive therapy helps treat postpartum depression. In 2018, a meta-analysis reviewed 20 randomized controlled trials that compared the effectiveness of BCT against typical treatment methods . Women who underwent psychotherapy saw greater improvements in their depression symptoms in both the short and long term than women who received other treatments.
- Cognitive therapy is superior to antidepressant treatment. In one study, MBCT therapy worked better than both SSRI treatment and a combination of SSRI and MBCT treatment. In another study, adding an SSRI to psychotherapy treatment offered no benefit beyond psychotherapy alone.
Before giving up, consider the following:
Antidepressants: They Dont Work For Everyone
Antidepressants are cash cows for the pharmaceutical companies. Nearly 13 percent of Americans over the age of 12 take an antidepressant. The global market for antidepressants exceeds $11 billion. Thats a lot of money for a type of drug with questionable effectiveness and high incidence of side effects.
Some clinical trials have demonstrated benefits over placebo, but on average, antidepressants show no benefit over placebo. A 2017 meta-analysis states that:
SSRIs versus placebo seem to have statistically significant effects on depressive symptoms, but the clinical significance of these effects seems questionable and all trials were at high risk of bias.
Although two earlier meta-analyses agreed that SSRIs performed no better than placebo for mild and moderate depression, antidepressants can often mitigate severe depression . Antidepressants can be life-saving for some, and these pooled analyses cant tease out individual responses, which can vary tremendously from person to person. For treatment of PPD, antidepressants have yielded similarly mixed results.
More than half of all antidepressant users experience one or more of the common side effects, including:
- Sleep disruption
- Sexual dysfunction
Many users also report anti-motivational syndrome, where emotional responses, both good and bad, are blunted. If the benefits of antidepressants clearly outweigh the risks, they might be an option for some women, but they are not the miracle, cure-all drug for everyone.
Don’t Miss: Why Do I Feel So Depressed In The Morning
Build A Secure Bond With Your Baby
Emotional bonding is the secure attachment that forms between parents and children. Successful bonding allows the child to feel safe enough to develop fully, and having this bond will affect the way in which they communicate and form relationships throughout their life.
A secure bond forms when you tune in and respond to your childs needs or emotional cues, such as picking them up, soothing them, and reassuring them when they cry. Being that dependable source of comfort allows your child to learn how to manage their own feelings and behaviors, which, in turn, helps to strengthen their cognitive development.
Postpartum depression can have a significant impact on early bonding, making it difficult get through each day and hindering your ability to look after both your baby and yourself.
One study of 14,000 children in the United States found that 40 percent of the children lacked strong emotional bonds with their parents. This lack of strong parental attachment made the children more likely to experience behavioral and educational problems.
Some parents feel an instant rush of love the moment they set eyes on their baby, while for others, it takes time. If you have not yet bonded with your baby, do not feel anxious or guilty. Sometimes, it can take weeks or even months to feel an attachment, but it should come with time.
Here are some ways that you can strengthen the bond with your baby.