Sunday, April 14, 2024

How To Treat Postpartum Depression At Home

Herbal Medicines For Depression And Anxiety Which Are Safe In Breastfeeding

Managing Your Postpartum Depression
  • 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.

Get More Sleep And Rest

More than one-third of American adults admit to not getting enough sleep, and I would bet that number is even higher among new moms. Large meta-analyses have found associations between sleep disturbances and depression in both the general adult population and in postpartum moms. Sleep depression and depression can create a vicious cycle, as each contributes to the other.

Getting enough sleep can seem impossible for new moms, especially in modern Western societies where women have less support than in previous generations. Sleeping when the baby sleeps is not always an option, but aim for it whenever possible.

If you are breastfeeding, not on any medications with drowsy side effects, and a nonsmoker, co-sleeping and side-lying nursing might be good options that offer more sleep. Despite what mainstream organizations want to claim, co-sleeping can be safely done. Check out the La Leche Leagues Safe Sleep Seven to find out how to create a safe sleeping environment for you and your baby.

How Do Doctors Screen For Postpartum Depression

It can be hard to detect mild cases of postpartum depression. Healthcare providers rely heavily on your responses to their questions.

Many healthcare providers use the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to screen for postpartum depression. It consists of 10 questions related to symptoms of depression such as feeling unhappy, anxious or guilty. You’re asked to check the response that comes closest to how you’ve felt the last seven days. A higher score indicates possible postpartum depression.

If your provider feels you have signs of postpartum depression, they will recommend an appropriate treatment.

Also Check: Major Depressive Disorder Is Diagnosed When A Person Experiences

Symptoms Of Peripartum Depression

Symptoms of Peripartum Depression include:5

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Crying for no reason
  • Lack of interest in the baby, not feeling bonded to the baby, or feeling very anxious about/around the baby
  • Feelings of being a bad mother
  • Fear of harming the baby or oneself

A woman experiencing peripartum depression usually has several of these symptoms, and the symptoms and their severity may change. These symptoms may cause new mothers to feel isolated, guilty, or ashamed. To be diagnosed with peripartum depression, symptoms must begin during pregnancy or within four weeks following delivery.

Many women with peripartum depression also experience symptoms of anxiety. One study found that nearly two-thirds of women with peripartum depression also had an anxiety disorder.6

While there is no specific diagnostic test for peripartum depression, it is a real illness that should be taken seriously. Any pregnant woman or new mother who experiences the symptoms of peripartum depression should seek evaluation by a medical professional an internal medicine doctor or an OB-GYN, who can make referrals to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional. Assessment should include a psychiatric evaluation and a medical evaluation to rule out physical problems that may have symptoms similar to depression .

When Should I Seek Professional Medical Treatment For Symptoms Related To Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression: Don

You should seek professional help when:

  • Symptoms persist beyond two weeks.
  • You can’t function normally or cope with everyday situations.
  • You have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
  • You feel extremely anxious, scared and panicked most of the day.

For immediate help or if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else:

  • Dial 911 in an emergency.
  • Contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HELLO to 741741.

Read Also: What To Do When You Are So Depressed

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.

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.

Medications For Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression help can also include anti-anxiety and/or antidepressant medication. Note that medication can often take several weeks to be fully effective. When taking any sort of medication for mental health conditions, its important to be patient. Correct dosage amounts and types of medication can take some adjustment to get right.

How does medication treat postpartum depression?

Medication for postpartum depression treatment can affect certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These are responsible for mood swings, emotions, and behavior. Anxiety, acute or severe depression, bipolar disorder, sadness, and irritability can all potentially improve with the use of medication.

Types of medication for postpartum depression

Understanding how to treat postpartum depression with medication is important. Types of medications your doctor might suggest can include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and more.

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Epidemiology Of Postpartum Depression

Estimates of prevalence of PPD in the US, UK and Australia range from 7%20%, with most studies suggesting rates between 10%15%.6,7 Significant risk factors for PPD include a history of depression prior to or during pregnancy, anxiety during pregnancy, experiencing stressful life events during pregnancy or the early puerperium, low levels of social support8 or partner support,9 low socioeconomic status, and obstetric complications.7 Although mental health often is not prioritized as a problem in poorer countries where access to basic nutrition and health care are not consistent, the evidence suggests that postnatal depression may be both more common and more grave for women and their children in low-income countries. The limited data from resource-constrained countries suggests that rates of depression in mothers of young infants exceeds 25%,10 and in some settings may be as high as 60%.11 The intersection of cultural, interpersonal and socioeconomic factors may also confer significant risk of PPD: in one study in Goa, India, risk for depression after delivery increased with economic deprivation, marital violence, and female gender of the infant.12

Create Time For Yourself

Do I have postpartum depression?

You may feel stuck on the couch breast-feeding. Maybe youre feeling overwhelmed by work, household responsibilities, or your older children. Instead of dealing with these stresses alone, reach out for help. Take up your mother-in-law on her offer of free babysitting. Let your partner or another trusted adult take the baby for an hour or two.

You may find it helpful to schedule some dedicated me time once a week. Even if you can only get out of the house between nursing sessions, you can use this time to decompress. Go on a walk, take a nap, go to a movie, or do some yoga and meditation.

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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

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.

  • 1Focus on bonding with your baby. Postpartum depression can interrupt the bonding process with your baby. It might be difficult, but this is a very important part of raising your child. Try to spend as much time as possible playing with and attending to your baby so you form a strong attachment with each other.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
  • Its also okay to take a break from spending time with your baby, so dont hesitate to ask your partner or a family member to take them for a little while.
  • If you have problems bonding with your baby, try talking to your therapist or doctor for more advice.
  • 2Talk about your feelings with your partner. Postpartum depression can make you withdraw from your partner or lash out at them. Instead, open up to them and tell them what youre going through. This helps you feel less isolated and strengthens the partnership between you.XTrustworthy SourceMedlinePlusCollection of medical information sourced from the US National Library of MedicineGo to source
  • Read Also: How To Deal With A Depressed Person

    Final Takeaway For Those Suffering From Postpartum Depression

    What you feel after a new baby arrives is real and raw. Adjusting to a new normal is never easy, but sometimes what you experience is more than just a case of thebaby blues. When you feel overwhelmed, stressed, and hopeless, its time to get real and get help by talking to your OB GYN.

    Dont suffer in silence. This isnt good for you or for your baby. The most important thing you can do as a new caregiver or parent is to seek help so you can feel better and take the best possible care of your newborn.

    Who Is At Risk For Postpartum Anxiety

    Postpartum Depression

    Anyone can have postpartum anxiety. But people who have an anxiety disorder before or during their pregnancy are at higher risk of having an anxiety disorder after pregnancy as well. As many as 1 in 3 women with anxiety during pregnancy experience some type of postpartum anxiety.

    There are other risk factors for PPA, too. These include:

    • Lack of social support

    • Personal experiences of trauma in childhood

    • Previous unwanted pregnancies

    Also Check: Why Do Women Get Depressed

    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

    Does A Mothers Postpartum Depression Affect Her Newborn

    The answer to this is yes. A mother who is battling postpartum depression is more likely to feel anger and resentment towards her baby.

    Although your baby cannot talk or express themselves, they feel that connection right away and will also feel that resentment.

    Because of this reason alone, I highly suggest you go to your doctor and make sure you are treated right away to give you and baby both a chance to thrive.

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    What Are The Types Of Postpartum Depression

    There are three different types of postpartum mood disorders:

    Postpartum blues or baby blues

    The baby blues affect between 50% and 75% of people after delivery. If you’re experiencing the baby blues, you will have frequent, prolonged bouts of crying for no apparent reason, sadness and anxiety. The condition usually begins in the first week after delivery. Although the experience is unpleasant, the condition usually subsides within two weeks without treatment. The best thing you can do is find support and ask for help from friends, family or your partner.

    Postpartum depression

    Postpartum depression is a far more serious condition than the baby blues, affecting about 1 in 7 new parents. If you’ve had postpartum depression before, your risk increases to 30% each pregnancy. You may experience alternating highs and lows, frequent crying, irritability and fatigue, as well as feelings of guilt, anxiety and inability to care for your baby or yourself. Symptoms range from mild to severe and may appear within a week of delivery or gradually, even up to a year later. Although symptoms can last several months, treatment with psychotherapy or antidepressants is very effective.

    Postpartum psychosis

    What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline

    Your Healthy Family: TMS treatment for postpartum depression

    SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

    Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

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    Psychological And Psychosocial Treatments For Postpartum Depression

    Many mothers with postpartum depression are hesitant to take antidepressants due to concerns about infant exposure to medication through breast milk or concerns about potential side effects,95 and therefore often prefer psychological treatments.49,50,96 Although relatively few studies have systematically investigated nonpharmacologic treatments for PPD, existing research supports the use of both psychological treatments , as well as psychosocial interventions, such as nondirective counseling. A Cochrane meta-analysis of ten randomized controlled trials of psychosocial and psychological treatments for postpartum depression concluded that both psychosocial and psychological interventions are effective in decreasing depression and are viable treatment options for postpartum depression.97

    Interpersonal therapy

    Cognitive behavioral therapy

    Nondirective counseling

    Peer and partner support

    Comparisons of psychological and psychosocial treatments

    A recent meta-analysis compared psychological and psychosocial interventions for PPD, including CBT, IPT, and nondirective counseling, as well as peer support.121 This study did not find any difference in effect size for any of these treatments, and concluded that different types of psychological interventions seem equally effective for treatment of PPD.

    Frequently Asked Questions Expand All

    • What are the baby blues?

      About 23 days after childbirth, some women begin to feel depressed, anxious, and upset. They may feel angry with the new baby, their partners, or their other children. They also may:

    • Cry for no clear reason

    • Have trouble sleeping, eating, and making choices

    • Question whether they can handle caring for a baby

    These feelings, often called the baby blues, may come and go in the first few days after childbirth.

  • How long do the baby blues usually last?

    The baby blues usually get better within a few days or 12 weeks without any treatment.

  • What is postpartum depression?

    Women with postpartum depression have intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, or despair that prevent them from being able to do their daily tasks.

  • When does postpartum depression occur?

    Postpartum depression can occur up to 1 year after having a baby, but it most commonly starts about 13 weeks after childbirth.

  • What causes postpartum depression?

    Postpartum depression probably is caused by a combination of factors. These factors include the following:

  • Changes in hormone levelsLevels of estrogen and progesterone decrease sharply in the hours after childbirth. These changes may trigger depression in the same way that smaller changes in hormone levels trigger mood swings and tension before menstrual periods.

  • National Womens Health Information Center

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    How To Treat Postpartum Depression Which Affects Both Mom & Baby

    By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC

    Did you know that 7080 percent of all new mothers experience some negative feelings after the birth of their child? Its common for women to experience severe mood swings after giving birth, which are known as baby blues. But when this sense of sadness doesnt go away, it may be the start of postpartum depression.

    Mothers going through depression often feel too ashamed to talk about how theyre feeling, and researchers feel that this condition is both under-recognized and under-treated. Mothers dont feel like theyre being good mothers and often feel guilty about not wanting to take care of their newborn.

    For most women, these feelings of inadequacy and sadness go away naturally, but for some this can turn into lasting depression, which can hinder the relationship between the mother and child. In fact, researchers have reported that postpartum depression has a moderate-to-large adverse effect on mother-infant interaction. Children older than 1 year whose mothers had postpartum depression have been reported to display more behavioral problems and cognitive deficits than children of mothers who were not depressed. For this reason, its important to understand the symptoms of ongoing postpartum depression and take these mood swings and phases seriously.

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