Treatments for postpartum depression range from lifestyle changes and relaxation therapies to natural supplements and gentle home remedies. Increasing exercise, eating a balanced diet and getting enough rest are all important for maintaining a positive affect at any time, especially following the birth of a new child. Additionally, certain supplements offer mood regulation and treat postpartum depression.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a common condition characterized by severe, long-lasting depression following childbirth. Symptoms of the condition vary but include loss of appetite, insomnia, intense irritability, overwhelming fatigue, loss of interest in sex, lack of joy, feelings of shame and guilt, severe mood swings and difficulty bonding with the baby. There is no single definitive cause for the condition. Contributing factors include physical, emotional and lifestyle changes following birth.
Natural Remedies for the “Baby Blues”
A major life event, the birth of a child causes a vast change in a woman’s hormonal state, leading to a number of symptoms. Treatment of these symptoms focuses on balancing hormones and supporting nutritional health. Nutritional supplements as well as lifestyle changes can be adopted to treat postpartum depression.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that functions in a variety of ways. In relation to postpartum depression, the vitamin acts on the regions of the brain linked to or associated with depression. As such, a vitamin D supplement can effectively activate these regions to stimulate a more positive affect.
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital nutrients for a number of cell functions. In regards to depression, omega-3s are a key component in cell membranes. With this composition, these nutrients make it easier for serotonin – one of the chemicals that carry messages to the brain cells – to pass through the membranes and maintain a positive mood.
A number of lifestyle changes also serve as treatments for postpartum depression. Rest, a balanced diet, regular exercise and stress management are all crucial for preventing and treating the condition. Additionally, yoga and other relaxation practices can help relieve stress and boost mood.
Many new mothers experience mood swings as well as crying spells after childbirth; however, some mothers also experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression. A complication of giving birth, postpartum depression can be effectively treated using a variety of natural treatment options and lifestyle supports.