Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious condition suffered by women following childbirth. This article discusses natural treatments for PPD.
One common symptom to watch for in new mothers is long periods of crying. Other symptoms are withdrawal from social interactions with family and friends that were a pleasant part of life prior to having the baby. Unfortunately, this type of depression is fairly common. Healthline reports that one out of seven mothers struggles with symptoms of PPD.
Natural Options for Treating Postpartum Depression
Melatonin supplements are recommended as a way to fight the blues caused by the interruption of the natural sleep-wake cycle. Healthy Pregnancy reports that mothers exposed to blue light rays at night as they get up to take care of babies are at high risk of postpartum depression due to the resulting hormonal shifts. Melatonin regulates the body’s sleep cycle by communicating with the brain about when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up.
Exercise has always been considered an excellent way to improve depression symptoms. WebMD reports that a study found that 75 percent of new mothers, who participated in yoga sessions over an eight-week period, going twice a week, claimed that they felt better.
- Increased Omega-3 Intake
Healthline reports that PPD is linked to an omega-3 deficiency in the diet. Supplements offer one way to ensure that you’re getting enough of these important fatty acids. Obviously, eating foods rich in omega-3s is also a great idea. Adding flaxseed, salmon, sardines, chia seeds, and oily fish to the diet regularly is recommended for new moms.
- Avoiding Exposure to Blue Light at Night
New moms should change out lightbulbs in the areas where they will be providing infant care at night. Replace these lights with bulbs that cast off warm colors instead, such as orange and red tones. Doing this can prevent the disruption of the sleep-wake cycle.
WebMD claims that study findings suggest that massage is one way to combat PDD. The benefits of postpartum massage are many. Specifically, depression and anxiety symptoms improve. Not unrelated is the fact that massage also reduces stress. An American Pregnancy Association reports that part of the reason massages help with stress is their ability to reduce biochemicals associated with depression.
Be sure to find therapists who have specialized training. Identify trained professionals with experience in perinatal or prenatal massage who have worked with postpartum clients.
- Emotional Support From Friends and Family Members
It is tempting to withdraw from your social circle when feeling depressed, but it is important to resist this temptation and stay surrounded by people who care about you. Sharing your challenges as a new mom will inspire others to share their stories and offer the support you need.
PPD support groups are also a good option for new mothers who don’t have family members or friends they can count on. Online groups are also available as another convenient option.
A University of Colorado study reports that new mothers have a lower risk for PPD when they meditate. Regular meditation lowers stress levels significantly.
- Bonding With Your Baby
While many new moms gush with positive emotion as soon as they see their baby for the first time, this is not always the case. Hormonal imbalances and the dramatic change in life’s routines and sleep patterns can make it difficult for some women to enjoy their status as a new mother.
Close contact between mother and child can increase oxytocin, which makes new moms happier. Cuddling a newborn baby benefits both the mother and child.
Postpartum depression is not something to feel guilty about or endure alone. New mothers should never feel like it is their fault they are feeling depressed. Anyone feeling depressed in the weeks following childbirth is encouraged to try the above ideas or reach out and get help from professionals when necessary.