More than 600,000 mothers per year deal with some form of postpartum depression. This is not just the “baby blues” which is mild depression and only tends to last several weeks.
The symptoms of major postpartum depression include insomnia, appetite loss, sadness, worry and emotional distress that interferes with daily life. If left untreated it can turn into chronic lifelong depression.
Don’t try to tough it out, seek guidance and follow tips to help work thru the pain and depression.
Suggestions for managing Postpartum Depression:
Clinical Psychologist Shoshana Bennett says:
Get your rest, it is important for emotional health and your serotonin levels will replenish during sleep, try to get 5-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, Exercise, eat well, and nurture yourself. Find someone to help you with baby care.
Seek emotional support have friends or family to talk to about your worries, and understand that new motherhood challenges are temporary. Discuss your worries with the father.
Don’t forget about Dad for about one in ten new fathers also can experience postpartum depression. Research shows male children with depressed fathers are more likely to have learning and behavioral disorders. Seek help immediately!
DHA is a deficiency during this time, it is an omega 3 fatty acid vital to a healthy emotional state, this can become depleted during pregnancy due to the sharing of DHA with baby.
Rich sources include eggs, algae, hemp hearts and cold water fish like salmon or herring. If you need to use DHA supplements make sure it is a reliable company.
B vitamins are deficient also during this time and affect mood disorders and depression, take a supplement and eat more fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains.
Progesterone needs more balance, see your doctor or try some wild yam or sarsaparilla.
Balance your blood sugar by avoiding processed and high sugary sweet foods.
Herbs can also help, during postpartum depression, try making a tea with Oatstraw or Nettles, they are rich in minerals to nourish the nervous system. Let tea steep 10 minutes or more to get the most of the minerals. Lemon balm tea helps relieve depression; so does passionflower or motherwort, these can also be taken in an extract form.
The homeopathic Arnica also helps to soothe the muscle and nervous systems. If you do not feel any better, please see your doctor for help or get a referral for someone who can.
Remember to get outside and enjoy the sun, it is uplifting and do some deep breathing for oxygenated air. Vitamin D from the sun helps the brain and your emotional well-being. It will bring depression down and an overall good feeling to the body.