If you are a new parent and you feel disjointed and sad with rapid unexpected mood swings, then chances are you are suffering from postpartum depression. As 1 in every 7 parents suffer from postpartum depression, there are various treatments available both from natural as well as medicinal perspective.
Mental state for postpartum depression
Scientists claim that humans have around 70,000 thoughts in a day. It’s safe to assume that these thoughts and their nature can make or break your day or your mood.
Whenever you are struck in the depressed state where you mentally have negative thoughts, train your mind to visualize positive thoughts and start visualizing the happiest memories of your life.
Practice this daily so you know how to channel positive thinking whenever the negativity starts creeping on.
Have you ever seen why the earlier generation have longer life expectancy then today’s? They are much healthier and have more energy than some of the younger folks today. One of the factors, this can be attributed to is regular physical work.
Exercising triggers a sequence of events that benefit not only our heart but also reduces are stress as well as blood pressure. Exercising at a good heart rate releases Endorphins, which are the feel-good chemical are body releases. When you exercise at low intensity, the body yields neurotrophic or growth factors which trigger new nerve connections in the body.
This fact really helps depressed individuals as spur of nerve connections helps relieve depression.
As part of natural remedies for postpartum depression, Light therapy has its merit. Light Therapy basically compensates for lack of natural sunlight due to seasonal variations. The depressed individual is made to sit near a light lamp which will mimic natural sunlight in the range of 2500 to 10000 lux.
The exact reason why light therapy is effective is still being studies and a popular theory is that light naturally triggers the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is made from the essential amino acid tryptophan and this amino acid enters the body through your diet and is commonly found in foods such as nuts, cheese, and red meat
Lack of Vitamin d has been linked with depression and in several depressed patients, it has been found that they lack of vitamin d. As vitamin d has been linked with proper brain function, its insufficiency has been linked with depression in individuals.
Foods like salmon, mackerel and fish liver oil are a good source of vitamin d and is prescribed for optimum levels. In vegetation diets certain Vitamin d supplements are advised to maintain the needed levels.
Natural treatment for postpartum depression often involves taking Omega 3 supplements through specific food choices.
Omega-3s contain essential fatty acids that create sheaths around the neural connections in your brain, which when insufficient, the signals in your brain cannot get sent from one place to another very easily. Soem of the food items rich in Omega 3s are :
- Fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Chia seeds
Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins are vital for optimal brain functions and hence their deprivation is linked with depression in individuals.
If you have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, taking a daily supplement that includes vitamin B-12 may help your body get the nutrients it needs.
Vitamin B12 is ample in animal products such as fish,eggs and poultry. Some of the breakfast cereals are also a good source of B12 and other vitamins.
Another natural treatment for postpartum depression is the use of essentials oils for reduction of depression and improvement of mood. Plant parts like roots, leaves and flowers are blended together or used individually to have the desired effect.
One can diffuse essential oils into the air, dissolve them a bath, apply them during a massage, or use other methods to spread their aroma. Some of the popular oils to experiment with are :
- Clary sage
- Orange oil
- Any citrus blend
When considering natural treatment for postpartum depression, there are certain herbal teas which have known to give results. Some of these teas are :
- Lavender tea: Lavender oil has been used since ages to treat depression in ayurvedic regimes. Additionally, Lavender tea exhibits soothing aroma that has shown to reduce stress, improve mood and also help patients sleep better
- Lemon Balm tea: A study has pointed out that lemon balm tea is able to reduce mild depression in patients by increasing GABA levels and decreased corticosterone levels including those of cortisol. GABA is a neurotransmitter that induces relaxation while cortisol is known as the human stress hormone.
- Chamomile tea: Chamomile tea contains apigenin which is an antioxidant that directly targets neurotransmitters and brain receptors to induce relaxation. The tea has shown to improve sleep in patients and also help relieve anxiety and depression.
- Passionflower tea: This tea also improves sleep and relieves stress by boosting GABA levels, which induce relaxation and improve sleep quality
- Peppermint tea: This tea contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that help in decreasing inflammation and pain. It offers the same effects on the nervous system as other herbal teas, helping to reduce cortisol levels and boost mood.
- Ginseng tea: Studies has shown that ginseng helps in fatigue reduction which is often found in depressed patients. This also result in reducing stress as a related effect of fatigue reduction.
Acupuncture has been long merged into western medicine for various neurological treatments. In this natural way of postpartum treatment, the practitioner inserts needles into the skin at specific points of the body thought to correspond with specific organs (right).
Research suggests the needles may activate natural painkillers in the brain and in traditional Chinese medicine, the process is believed to improve functioning by correcting energy blocks or imbalances in the organs.
Yoga has been looked upon for decades to relives stress and anxiety in patients. One national survey estimated, that about 7.5% of U.S. adults had tried yoga at least once and that nearly 4% practiced yoga in the previous year.
Various benefits associated with long term Yoga practitioners are :
- Lowered blood pressure and cholesterol
- Glowy skin and healthy hair
- Overall betterment of physical health
- Highest pain tolerance and lowest pain-related brain activity
Yoga poses for depression
Here are various yoga poses that have been linked with depression and anxiety relieving
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
- Paschimottanasana (a) to Halasana (b) (Seated Forward Bendto Plow Pose)
- Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Angle Standing Forward Bend)
- Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two-Legged Inverted Staff Pose)
- Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward-Facing Bow Pose)
- Balasana (Child’s Pose)
- Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)
- Halasana (Plow Pose)
At the end of the routine, if you feel that you are ready to rest, you can lie in Savasana (Corpse Pose) for 10 minutes or longer to conclude the regime.
The ancient practice of meditation has been linked with natural ways to treat postpartum depression. Meditation is strongly believed to alter brain physiology and hence help with depression. Specifically speaking mindfulness meditation, has been shown to be helpful in treating depression in various individuals.
Mindfulness meditation in 10 minutes
- Settle into a quiet space. Using a cushion or chair, sit up straight but not stiff; allow your head and shoulders to rest comfortably and place your hands on the tops of your legs with upper arms at your side.
- Now breathe and close your eyes, take a deep breath, and relax. Feel the fall and rise of your chest and the expansion and contraction of your belly. With each breath notice the coolness as it enters and the warmth as it exits. Don’t control the breath but follow its natural flow.
- Stay focused thoughts will try to pull your attention away from the breath. Notice them, but don’t pass judgment. Gently return your focus to your breath. Some people count their breaths as a way to stay focused.
- Daily practice will provide the most benefits. It can be 10 minutes per day, however, 20 minutes twice a day is often recommended for maximum benefit.
Skin-to-skin bonding has been found to trigger the release of oxytocin, which is hypothesized to minimize the risk for depressive symptoms as well as decrease maternal stress. The oxytocinergic system regulates the release of oxytocin, which is an effect that is opposite that which occurs with the human stress response.
The oxytocinergic system regulates calmness, connection, and socialization processes. During kangaroo care, oxytocin blocks the stress response and decreases the circulation of catecholamines, yielding positive outcomes that include maternal stress reduction and prevention of postpartum depression.
Homeopathic medicines have been around for a while and are regulated by the FDA as over the counter medicine. They are cheap as compared to traditional allopathy drugs and this makes them more approachable.
For chronic depression, a professional homeopath must be consulted to find the correct medicine for the individual. Here are a few of the most common medicines for depression :
Sepia: The homeopathic remedy sepia is prepared from the dark brownish-grey colored pigment obtained from the ink sac of the common cuttlefish and is used to cure a number of health problems. In the domain of the alternative stream of medicine homeopathy, sepia is considered to be among the 20 medications that possess the broadest range of applications for better blood circulation, digestive issues, skin problems and headaches.
Sepia is likely to work well on one or more of these physical symptoms like morning sickness, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, lower back pain, and uterine cramps relieved by a heating pad.
Nat: is used when the hurtful or painful feelings were so deep and powerful that the person felt she had to control them or else fall apart altogether. Instead she chose to suppress her feelings, to soldier on, and to build a wall around her wounded heart, keeping potential new close relationships at bay lest she be hurt again.
Lac: Prepared from the milk of nine women, Lac Maternum or Mother’s Milk, is an essential remedy for those who need it. Mother’s Milk serves to complete the birthing process that may have been cut off for many reasons. What this means is that folks in need of Mother’s milk are often not fully in this world. One can see this in the symptoms.
Ineffective and confused at tasks, it’s easy for those needing Mother’s Milk to procrastinate and question the meaning of life. Often the inner state is chaotic. They may feel unprotected, even porous, with little energy for self-care and caring for others.
It can be used for eye infections, burns, insect bites, sore nipples, and rashes. The act of breastfeeding provides an essential bond between mother and child. and is essential to the development of the immune system of the child.
Ignatia or Gelsemium comes from the St Ignatius bean, a climbing shrub native to China, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The seeds were used to treat epilepsy and some contagious diseases, such as cholera.
Most homeopathic medicines will have Ignatia in them, listing it as a bereavement or shock and disappointment remedy. Its use in such situations may well have converted people to homeopathy, yet it has far wider use than that.
This article is presented for informational purposes only. Please see a licensed health provider if you are suffering from depression.
Previously Published on dadtribe.in