When Should I Seek Professional Help And Who Should I Talk To
Its smart self-care to closely monitor how you feel during this new stage of your life and keep your doctor updated on any emotional changes youre going through. If you’re within the first two weeks postpartum, your doctor may wait to see if your symptoms resolve because its more likely a short-lived case of the baby blues.
Its important to know that while the baby blues are temporary, they can still be distressing and take away from your ability to care for your baby during those important early days. Although your doctor may advise you to wait two weeks before being evaluated for PPD, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t reach out for support from family and friends right away and ask them for whatever help you need.
Working with a therapist might be helpful even at this point. Says Anna Glezer, MD, a psychiatrist specializing in reproductive issues and an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco, “Reaching out for help doesn’t mean you have to take medication. Psychotherapy can help a lot with the transition as well.”
All things considered, dont wait on the calendar to reach out right away to your doctor or another professional if:²
You start feeling hopeless or deeply sad.
Your symptoms of depression intensify.
You are unable to care for yourself or your baby.
You have thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby.
Turn To Ayurvedic Remedies For Postpartum Depression
According to ayurveda, postpartum depression is the result of excess vata dosha in the pelvis that makes mothers emotionally withdrawn and unable to bond with their babies. The kapha dosha in the region must be restored to keep the balance of energy in the body. Here are some treatments you may be prescribed to rejuvenate the body and mind.12
How Is Postpartum Depression Diagnosed
There is not a specific test that diagnoses postpartum depression. Your healthcare provider will evaluate you at your postpartum visit. This visit may include discussing your health history, how youâve felt since delivery, a physical exam, pelvic exam and lab tests. Many providers schedule visits at two or three weeks postpartum to screen for depression. This ensures you get the help you need as soon as possible.
They may do a depression screening or ask you a series of questions to assess if you have postpartum depression. They’ll ask how you’re feeling and how your baby is doing. Be open and honest with your provider to ensure they get an accurate picture of your emotions and thoughts. They can help distinguish if your feelings are typical or symptoms of postpartum depression.
Your healthcare provider may order a blood test because postpartum depression can cause symptoms similar to many thyroid conditions.
Remember, your healthcare provider is there to support you and make sure you are healthy, so be honest with them. There is no judgment, and you arenât alone in your feelings.
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Why Arent People Talking About Ppd/ppa
How many women do you know that openly admit to having postpartum depression? Aside from some celebrities, I dont know a single one personally.
Its even hard for me to admit it reading what I wrote above about my experience with PPD is painful for me to do.
But the truth is that postpartum depression is much more common than a lot of people realize: 1 in 8 mothers experiences PPD. And its estimated to be higher than that, but many women go undiagnosed and untreated.
That means many more moms are experiencing it than we realize. Its so easy to assume that everyone else has it together while we struggle, but that isnt very likely. Though we see the happy moments pictured on social media and smiles at Gymboree, many new moms are feeling lonely or overwhelmed, and many are struggling with PPD.
But people arent being open about it.
Its hard to admit that youre struggling especially if youre a mom. Theres a lot of shame and guilt associated with admitting that you arent perfect. But having a baby, recovering from childbirth, and caring for a baby can all be very taxing on anyone. Were all in a similar boat.
And I think thats where we can be more helpful to one another. If we arent being honest and admitting that it can be hard after the baby is born, or that it can take time to get the hang of things, arent we setting one another up for disappointment?
I know Ive always been unsure about warning other moms about what to expect.
Try Bright Light Therapy
White light therapy has the advantage of being a gentle treatment option that doesnt impact you adversely. Plus, it is something you could even do at home if you so desire. All you need to do is sit in front of a light box when you wake up. This emits light that is similar to natural outdoor light. The treatment has been very effective in other conditions such as seasonal affective disorder and premenstrual disorder which have similar symptoms of low mood, fatigue, sleepiness, social withdrawal, and decreased interest in daily activities. Small studies have proven its potential for treating postpartum depression but larger studies are yet to be done.10
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How To Build A Strong And Secure Bond With Your Baby
While you are working on treating your postpartum depression or anxiety, keep in mind the importance of bonding with your baby. I dont mention this to make you feel guilty but rather to encourage you to make bonding with your baby a priority, as best you can.
Some things you can do to build a strong bond with your baby include:
- Responding promptly to your babys cries
Postpartum depression can happen to anyone. I want you to know that if you experience PPD or PPA, you arent broken. You will see better days.
Good luck mama! Follow the steps listed above to begin to improve your symptoms.
P.S. If youre stressing about toxins, please know that this is the last thing I want you to do! Stressing about toxins is toxic we want your body and mind to be strong and healthy so that they can do their job of detoxing any toxins youre exposed to. Try to breathe and slow down. Prioritizing is what matters most youll never be able to fully avoid exposing yourself or your baby to everything toxic. Choose the items that provide the biggest risk and repeated exposure. And as always, make product and lifestyle choices out of love, not fear. Make choices based on the love you have for yourself and your family rather than what ifs and worries.
If you are concerned about your safety or the safety of your baby, or if you have thoughts about harming yourself or your baby, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK .
What Exactly Is Postpartum Depression
“Postpartum” refers to the period following childbirth. Postpartum depression is a severe and long-lasting type of depression linked to this time.²¹ While postpartum depression, or PPD, is frequently described as depression that starts within four weeks of babys birth, symptoms can arise at any time within the first year postpartum, and possibly even before delivery.²³¹ Without treatment, there’s no telling how long it will last, but it will not necessarily go away on its own or by wishing it would, and it can have serious consequences for mom and baby.³
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression
Symptoms of postpartum depression can vary from woman to woman. But common signs include:
- feeling sad, hopeless, or overwhelmed
- feeling worried, scared, or panicked
- blaming yourself unnecessarily
- sleeping too much or too little
- eating too much or too little
- trouble concentrating
- not feeling attached to the baby
- not wanting to do things that usually are enjoyable
Although it is very rare, some women have very serious symptoms such as:
- thoughts of hurting the baby or themselves
- hearing voices, seeing things that are not there, or feeling paranoid
Try Supplementing With St Johns Wort
Many natural health communities tout St. Johns wort as a beneficial treatment for depression, as the herb has been shown to have mood-boosting activity at the serotonin and feel-good GABA receptors. In double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, St. Johns wort often performs better than antidepressant medications at reducing depression symptoms, with up to 10 times fewer reported side effects. Of note, St. Johns wort should not be taken concurrently with SSRIs, nor should it be combined with light therapy because it may increase the bodys sensitivity to light.
However, if you are breastfeeding, St. Johns wort might not be the best choice. Even though it is found in breastmilk at undetectable to low levels, breastfeeding infants whose mothers supplemented with St. Johns wort had higher instances of drowsiness, colic, and lethargy.
Talk with your provider about other supplements that might be useful for postpartum depression:
- Sam-e, which may be especially helpful for women with MTHFR mutations
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Who Is At Risk
Any new mother can experience symptoms of peripartum depression or other mood disorder. Women are at increased risk of depression during or after pregnancy if they have previously experienced depression or other mood disorders, if they are experiencing particularly stressful life events in addition to the pregnancy, or if they do not have the support of family and friends.
Research suggests that rapid changes in sex and stress hormones and thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy and after delivery have a strong effect on moods and may contribute to peripartum depression. Other factors include physical changes related to pregnancy, changes in relationships and at work, worries about parenting and lack of sleep.
How Do I Know If I Have Baby Blues Or Postpartum Depression
Many people have baby blues after giving birth. Baby blues and postpartum depression have similar symptoms. However, symptoms of baby blues last about 10 days and are less intense. With postpartum depression, the symptoms last weeks or months, and the symptoms are more severe.
You may have the baby blues if you:
- Have crying spells.
- Have trouble sleeping.
- Have sudden mood changes.
Remember, it doesn’t hurt to share your symptoms with your provider. They can assess if you need treatment for your symptoms.
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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.
It’s 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.
What To Eat To Treat Depression
The best way to start treating depressive symptoms is to add:
- Vegetables ?
to your diet. It will actually decrease depression, because a well-nourished body is better at handling stress, recovering from illnesses and difficult life events.World-leading expert on diet and mental health, Professor Felice N Jacka at the Department of Psychiatry at Deakin University, has studied the effects of the traditional Mediterranean diet on depression. The antidepressant diet includes whole grains, fish, vegetables, fruit, berries, nuts, seeds and, of course, the unrivaled cold pressed olive oil.Professor Jacka and her colleagues conducted the SMILES trial in 2017. It showed that 30% of depressed participants recovered from depression just by changing their eating habits. It means that you can too. If you want to know exactly what and how much to eat and what to avoid to reduce depressive symptoms, check out the free therapy app from Flow Neuroscience: . Its a complete treatment programme for depression, including facts, exercises and helpful tools for how to treat depression with the antidepressant diet.Or, read more about how your diet can help you recover from depression in this article: An easily digested guide to diet and depression.Now, lets move on to our next medication-free depression treatment.
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The Conventional Model Of Depression Isnt As Simple As You May Think
I have discussed depression and anxiety quite a bit, but I havent covered postpartum depression before in much detail. This article will review what conventional medicine gets wrong about depression, what unique factors might contribute to postpartum depression, and what natural alternatives to antidepressants may be effective.
One in seven new moms experiences postpartum depression. If youre currently dealing with it, you dont have to go it alone. Find out more about what causes postpartum depression and get nine natural treatments to help you counteract it. #healthylifestyle #wellness #chriskresser
Conventional medicine describes depression as a simple chemical imbalance, where, for reasons mostly out of your control, your brain isnt producing enough of these feel good neurotransmitters:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the most widely prescribed class of antidepressants. SSRIs are designed to increase serotonin levels in the brain by preventing its reabsorption. The solution sounds straightforwardtake an SSRI to fix a brain chemical imbalance, and youll feel happier. Unfortunately, the data just do not support this overly simplistic model.
In his book Blaming the Brain: The Truth about Drugs and Mental Health, Dr. Elliot Valenstein, a professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Michigan, explains how the chemical imbalance model of depression just doesnt hold up to scrutiny:
Is Sahm Depression The Same As Postpartum Depression
The short answer? No. But once again, the long answer is incredibly complex. While postpartum depression and stay-at-home mom depression may be comorbid, that isnt inherently the case and the two can in fact be mutually exclusive.
Postpartum depression develops after a woman gives birth, starting anywhere from a few weeks after delivery all the way to a year after birth. When untreated, postpartum depression can last for months.
Conversely, stay-at-home depression develops while a woman is staying home raising a child. Not all women who have stay-at-home depression had postpartum depression. Additionally, stay-at-home depression can occur years after birth . Due to the aforementioned circumstances as well as the variety of individualized factors, its important to note that the two forms of depression are not the same and do not necessarily co-occur within a patient.
However, the most likely form of comorbidity between postpartum depression and stay-at-home mom depression exists within women who were already at risk. People who are predisposed to depression may experience it in multiple forms and during multiple life stages. While it is possible to experience both postpartum and stay-at-home mom depression, they are not the same and one can exist exclusive of the other.
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Intimate Partner Violence And Child Abuse
HCPs are ideally positioned to recognize signs of family violence, including intimate partner violence, as well as child exposure to intimate partner violence and other types of child maltreatment. These forms of violence can negatively impact the health of mother and child, and the effects can persist over time. It is important that providers be equipped to recognize and respond safely to situations involving family violence, and to ensure that their interactions or interventions do not revictimize the mother or child.
According to the Maternity Experiences Survey, about 1 in 10 women who have given birth reported experiencing one or more acts of violence in the past 2 years, most often being pushed, grabbed, or shoved in a way that could have hurt them.Footnote 215 Over half identified their partner, husband, or boyfriend as the perpetrator of this violence. One-third experienced the violence during pregnancy, and 16% reported that the violence increased after the birth of the baby, 52% that it decreased, and 32% that it stayed the same. Of those women who experienced abuse, 61% reported discussing or receiving information about what to do if they experienced abuse.Footnote 215
Provincial/territorial child welfare legislation considers exposing a child to intimate partner violence/family violence a form of maltreatment, and HCPs are required to report it.Footnote 296
Starting Depression Treatment At Home
By making an activity chart
For this exercise, youll need:
- Something to write with ?? ??
Now its your turn. Go ahead and write. It doesnt have to be perfect, this is just for practice.Did you really do it? If not, give it another try.Congratulations, you took the first step towards at-home depression treatment. Before we move on to the next, take a look at this video. It shows how to treat depression at home with an activity chart and explains the next two steps in some detail:
Step 2: Record your mood
Just for practice, now you try it. Rate how depressed you felt during these activities on a scale from 1 to 10. 10 is when the symptoms are very intense, and 1 is not at all intense. It can be difficult to remember how you felt earlier today and it doesnt have to be perfect. The important thing is that you try it.Did you really do it?Congratulations on finishing the second step on the road towards treating depression on your own. Only one step left.
The last step is very important when it comes to treating depression at home. Recording your sense of mastery will help you reflect on what kind of activities are especially important to you and should be added to your schedule. When doing this regularly, you will get to know yourself better and gain a better understanding of your depressive symptoms. A complete Activity chart might look like this:
Step 3: Record your sense of mastery
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