Postpartum depression (baby blues) is a form of secondary depression that occurs in females during the initial period after giving birth. Many women are affected by post partum depression, it is surprisingly common. Symptoms appear within the first year and may continue on for up to one year after the birth of their baby. Changes and fluctuations of hormones in pregnancy and breastfeeding can also be very confusing to understand when a mother has many new stressors to content with and for this reason these baby blues problems can be frustrating for a new mother.
SYMPTOMS OF POST NATAL DEPRESSION
- Sadness and crying episodes, low self esteem, hopelessness
- A feeling of being overwhelmed or guilt
- Sleep and eating disturbances
- Inability to be comforted
- Exhaustion, emptiness, social withdrawal
- Becoming easily frustrated
- Feeling inadequate in taking care of the baby
- Spells of anger towards others
- Increased anxiety or panic attacks
- Decreased sex drive
Anxiety disorders such as this are an unpleasant combination of emotions and may often also include physical sensations such as nausea, tension, headaches and heart palpitations.
LIFESTYLE FACTORS FOR POST NATAL DEPRESSION
- Please remember also that you are not alone, many people may feel isolated during this transitional time after giving birth. Support groups are available or mothers meeting groups which gather together to provide support and listen to a mothers concerns and feelings
- Exercise and enjoying a hobby help to lift feelings of depression due to increasing endorphins (happy hormones in the brain)
- Ask for help if you need it
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR POST NATAL DEPRESSION
- There is much evidence to support the use of Omega 3 Essential fatty acids to reduce the incidence of this anxiety disorder fatty acids are commonly found to be low in many Western women. A deficiency of this important oil is implicated in depression and nervous system disorders, it is therefore one of the most effective nutritional supplements given to women when breast feeding
- Homeopathic doctors have used ignatia for emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. Folk healers also used Ignatia to treat headaches, sore throats, coughs, and menstrual problems. Homeopathic Ignatia may benefit post partum women by helping them to better process their fears and anxieties as well as improving coping abilities
- Addressing nutritional deficiencies is imperative when any kind of nervous system disorder present. The mineral Magnesium and the B Vitamin family are important to help prevent post partum depression by addressing common nutritional deficiencies as well as providing nervous system support
- Vibrational remedies such as flower remedies are beneficial for women to decrease emotional sensitivity
- The amino acids Tryptophan and Tyrosine is of benefit to women who are feeling low
- There are also many wonderful herbs which can help to reduce nervous system distress and depression however many of them are not recommended in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please see a Healthcare professional if you wish to take a herbal supplement to treat depression.