Postpartum Depression, classified as a moderate to severe depression that occurs in a woman after she has given birth, occurs in 10% to 20% of postnatal women. An overwhelming, 80% of women will experience some level of postpartum mood instability, the mildest of which is called the "baby blues". Some symptoms of the baby blues include mood swings, feelings of dependency and crying. In very rare cases, untreated Postpartum Depression can lead to Postpartum Psychosis, a very serious illness that involves hallucinations and delusions. Postpartum Psychosis and severe levels of Postpartum Depression requires immediate medical treatment. Paying close attention to your body can significantly reduce the chances of developing Postpartum Depression.
Here are some tips to help avoid Postpartum Depression:
1. Meditation: This practice is known to have physiological, psychological and physical benefits. It has been proven to lead to deeper physical relaxation, lower blood pressure, decrease muscle tension and increase emotional stability, among other things. If you know how to meditate, this is a great time to do it. If not, check out the Silva Method of Mind Control, developed by Jose Silva. He has a quick and easy method of learning how to meditate and refocus your thoughts. Using this method, one can easily achieve a meditative state within minutes on the very first try. He offers free courses on his website to get you started.
2. Acupuncture & Acupressure: These are very effective method and have been proven to help alleviate various forms of depression, including Postpartum Depression. Traditional Chinese Medicine links the mind to the body and vice versa. This form of medicine treats the body as a whole. If there is something wrong with the mind, acupuncture and acupressure taps into physical points on the body in order to treat the problem. These methods are also beneficial in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, pain management, weight control, migraines and much more. Schedule an appointment with an Acupuncturist. Not only will this treatment prove beneficial but it will also grant you a little bit of time to yourself.
3. Placenta Therapy: This is a relatively new concept to western society but placenta is used regularly in Traditional Chinese Medicine to combat anxiety, stimulate & increase lactation, replace iron lost during childbirth, fight fatigue and to avoid Postpartum Depression. People who have consumed placenta boast of having immediate increased energy, improved cognition, a "clear head" and feelings of elation. Postpartum consumption of the placenta also aids in hormone replacement and balancing. And, being a natural source of iron, the body is able to process it quicker and more efficiently than it can process unnatural iron supplements. Locate a Placenta Encapsulation specialist in your area, who can prepare your placenta into easy-to-take, dehydrated capsules. This allows for you to reap the extraordinary benefits of placenta therapy, while significantly lessening the "eww" factor.
4. Motherwort: This is a perennial plant in the mint family. It has a long history of use in midwifery and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as a uterine tonic. Often used to alleviate conditions associated with childbirth, hence the name "Motherwort", this herb is useful for promoting lactation, easing the discomfort of cramps, the treatment of rapid heart rate, relieving anxiety and, recently discovered, for the prevention of blood clot formation. Due to its extraordinary abilities to restore "normalcy" following childbirth, it has been called the "Herbal Placenta". It is also known to improve mental outlook and to be a mood elevator. As a home remedy it is often consumed as an herbal tea, a tincture or an herbal extract.
5. Prenatal Vitamins: After growing a baby and giving birth, a woman's body needs to have depleted nutrients and vitamins restored. And, if she is breastfeeding, her daily nutritional requirements are the same or greater than they were while pregnant. In fact, the recommended daily allowances for vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2 and B3 are all higher for breastfeeding women than for pregnant women. Prenatal vitamins are sources of essential vitamins and minerals, especially folic acid, DHA and calcium. It is important to get sufficient amounts of these nutrients because the nursing baby obtains them through their mother's milk. Prenatal vitamins are sources of iron as well. Blood loss during delivery can lead to anemia which results in fatigue. The continued use of prenatal vitamins, along with proper nutrition, can help to restore lost iron.