Postpartum Depression Remedies

May 21, 2016

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

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

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.

Lifestyle Changes

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.



Breastfeeding  

Posted by Sp (Gc, Ci) on 09/06/2012

Is it ok for a nursing mother to consume fish oil or krill oil. This would be in addition to consuming probiotics (in the form of sauerkraut) and extra virgin coconut oil. Especially want to know if these combinations will cause any problems to the mother or the baby. Thanks.

Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa
09/07/2012

Hi Sp, I don't think krill oil will present any problem while breastfeeding. I would make sure that all the products you're questioning though are from a good source. All three things would benefit both the mom and the baby! Hope this helps, Lisa


Episiotomy Stitches  

Posted by Kuljeet Singh (Khamanon, Punjab) on 10/18/2011

After delivery, doctor put three stitches three times which has become infected by pus. Please tell me fast reliever and antibiotic.

Replied by Kim
Effingham, Illinois
10/18/2011

Topical MSM, make a paste apply. Several salt water soaks. Argan oil and Niacinamide and Lycine mixed in spray bottle. Hope this helps. MSM topical is good to put on guaze and on tooth infection - very high in sulfur. Silvadene cream - will knock out any infection. Also make sure you clean from front to back. Watch for temperature spikes, this bacteria can get into uterus and create more problems... Report to MD if temp above 101. Drink plenty of water.

Replied by Genierose
Cookeville, Tennessee, Usa
10/23/2011

Make solution of water and juice from a crushed garlic clove. Pat the area with this solution several times a day. It's a miracle!

Replied by Debbie
Melbourne, Australia
10/23/2011

Iodine is a natural antibiotic, anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti viral. You could dilute it in some water and apply to the area.

Replied by Elaine
Edmond, Oklahoma
05/30/2013

When my daughter was born I had clustered hemorrhoids and stitches. I had learned a few years before that Witch Hazel was good for hemorrhoids. I asked my mother to bring me a bottle for the rrhoids and put about a 1/4 to a 1/3 cup in my Sitz bath every day for about a week. Not only did it help with the pain of the rrhoids, but it took the pain out of the stitches as well! I felt I healed up sooner too. Witch Hazel is a topical analgesic and astringent. We're also putting it on my grandson's circumcision. It burns for a few seconds, but he has been in very little pain and we have given him Tylenol once since the procedure 18 hours ago.


Frankincense Essential Oil  

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Posted by Melanie (Mountain City, Tn) on 05/20/2016
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I was 10 months into a bout of postpartum depression when I accidentally stumbled across Frankincense essential oil. I was testing it out before using on my granddaughter to treat vaccine induced seizures. The first time I applied it (3 drops, neat), I became light-headed and tired and knew something was happening. Within 2 hours of the initial application, I felt so good that I applied more. Within 4 days, the weight of the depression lifted! For about 4 more weeks, I practically bathed in the stuff because it made me feel so good. It is now 7 months later, and I apply 3 drops about 1x/week because it has so many therapeutic properties that I treat it like a supplement. While I can't say it's a cure-all, it's pretty close. By lifting the "weight" of the depression, I was then able to tackle my Vit D deficiency and I now am tackling my iodine deficiency. I never in a million years would have expected a condition so mysterious to be so debilitating, but it is, and recovering requires baby steps.


Muscle and Nerve Issues  

Posted by rawan (Abu Dhabi, UAE) on 05/31/2009

Hi, I noticed after I delivered my baby something wrong with my muscles and / or nerves!

When I hold my son sleeping in my arms and he is just one year old and keep him for a while after put him down I feel tremors in my arm, it usually happens when we carry heavy shopping bags but never happen in this situation!

Also I bought a yoga CD so I can do some activities at home, I did the first lesson wonderfully but the second after few days was not OK, it needs some bridge movement which put load on your arms and after I finished I was all weak and shaking it last for a while then back to normal!

what's wrong with my muscles? I went to neurologist because I was scared from any disorder and he told me that I am fine!

Also from time to time I feel like tremor in my body and hands but without seeing it by eyes!

What is the relation between whats happening and baby delivery? any deficiencies?

I am taking multivitamins.

Replied by T
Maryland, USA
06/01/2009

Hi Rawan, I saw your other post as well, and you'd mentioned there that you'd had all sorts of medical tests done. Pregnancy can trigger thyroid problems. Often this will resolve on its own, but not always. Your symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, moodiness, depression, and muscle weakness are common thyroid symptoms (they could also be caused by something else, but a thyroid problem would be a good thing to rule in or out right up front). Assuming thyroid testing was done, you should see about getting the lab numbers yourself and researching them online - don't take a doctor's word for what is "normal". The medical profession is notoriously ignorant when it comes to thyroid disease and many people suffer needlessly because of it. There are good thyroid forums out there with knowledgeable people who can help you understand the lab results. Ask for not only TSH testing but Free T3 and Free T4 testing (make sure they order the FREEs). You might also want to test for antibodies at the same time (TPOAb and TgAb) as they can indicate an autoimmune type of thyroid disease. Again, get the lab numbers for yourself and research online.

Please do update us and let us know how it's going and what you find out. Sending best wishes for your health!

Replied by Rawan
Abu Dhabi, Uae
08/18/2009

Thank you for your reply, i just saw it because I didn't know EC they post it since there was no postpartum issues page here!!

Now I am feeling ,much better, mind you my theroide (TSH,FT3 & FT4) were done and everything came fine!antibodies I had some small issue after my second pregnancy (this is my third) but didn't check it this time.

I did try many think to help myself, ACV, Oil pulling but didn't get result or wasn't patient enough to hang on with it!

I went to homeopath - naturopath and got something to tune nervs also a natural vitamin from spirulina and Probiotic plus enzymes for stomach because I was having hard time to eat !

So I think I was over stressed from the situation which damage more my nervous system (burned out) and I had kind of anxiety (tremors) also some emotional issues but all due to hormones I guess because till now and after all these months I feel great just I got Postpartum PMS, 2 days before period I feel nervous and tired and can't sleep well also last 2 days of period and in the ovulation time, so deffenetly it's hormonal issue but can live with it :)

Now am taking just every few days vitamin B complex, 3 times a day fish oil (1000 mg.

It is so sweet from you to answer really! thank you a lot and wish u all the best!

EC: We created a new ailments page after getting your first post!

Replied by Rawan
Abu Dhabi, Uae
08/18/2009

EC, thank you so much I did really appreciated! I am fan of this wonderful trustful site and I love it and love its readers helpers! you guys are awsome! It was just sad to me when I didn't see postpatrum issues in the list of aliment since it is really painful time for any mother who pass throught it and NOT giving it attention was very frustrating! I hope more posts and contribution from sufferers or past sufferers to be able helping others! bless you!


Post-Partum Insomnia  

Posted by Natalia (North Royalton, Ohio, Usa) on 04/26/2010

Hello, I am 29 years old. I had a baby in December of 2009. About a month after delivery, I developed insomnia. It started out gradually then increased to me being able fall asleep from 5am until 7am, only. Some days I only sleep 1 hour, 7-8am. This has been going on for the past 3 months. I take stress B vitamins, multivitamins, a Stress care product for energy and adrenal support (contains ashwagandha, licorice root, holy basil, shatavari root, gotu gola, etc.), vitamin D3, Rhodiola, and a naturopathic insomnia medication. I have been going to a chiropractor and he has re-aligned my pelvis. He believes that I have a major hormone imbalance post pregnancy. I have never had sleep issues before. I can't even take naps. I have no sleepiness. He is trying to crack my upper back to get the adrenals to work and balance my hormones. Is there something else that I can do to help balance my hormones post pregnancy. I am in need of help. Please write back!

Thank you,
Natalia

Replied by Trish
Chautauqua, Ny, Usa
04/26/2010

I suggest you visit a good Five-Element Acupuncture Pracitioner .... have had wonderful results w/menopause symptoms.

Replied by Tom
Regina, Sk
04/26/2010

Natalia: I check what I knew with a search and it came up with many good articles right on. I just hope this works for you.
I used "post partum depression trace mineral deficiency" for the string.

The best one overall, with even more info that came up is here, although the writer's CV is unknown and even I don't agree with 100% of the post's content:

http://www.rense.com/general79/badfood.htm
This is just wrong in my opinion. There are 2 deficiencies that plague most women to varying degrees and this deficiency is caused or exacerbated by doctors, dieticians, the New Food Pyramid (NFP)... and, oh yeah, Pregnancy! The two deficiencies referred to regard Minerals/Trace-Minerals & EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids), deficiencies already epidemic, anyway.

Conclusion: Doesn't this collectively mean that "We Intuitively Know" (or at least highly suspect) that Postpartum Depression is likely caused or at least exacerbated by an EFA &/or Mineral deficiency? For once that alleged "Whack-Job" Tom Cruise was sorta right concerning a "chemical-Imbalance" (I especially love it when he plays a cocky, young guy with attitude...hummm?) If there really is a "chemical imbalance", why not try giving all the Vitamins, Minerals, Trace minerals, EFA's & digestible Protein, to provide the raw materials for your body to repair itself, while avoiding those nutrient-stealing foods mentioned above... instead of designer drugs like the breathtakingly stupid SSRI's (selective seratonin re-uptake inhibitors).

Maybe try some or all of his first a) to h) list there, but especially the trace minerals and EFAs.

Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa
04/26/2010

Hi Natalia,

In Traditional Chinese medicine and Asian cultures it is a known fact that having children results in us mothers losing "chi". After all, our babies are made from us. They also know that after having a baby, it is imperative to work at building the chi back up. They don't work on hormones, or separate parts per se but rather as a cohesive organism, restoring our energy channels. This was all explained to me long ago after my third child. I was a wreck and at that time my best friend who was studying to be an acupuncturist told me to get to a good acupuncturist. She recommended one for me. They should be able to make you a Chinese herbal "medicine" which will restore your balance. In my case, I was exhausted and freezing all the time. Everyone is different and they look at us as unique individuals. For example, three different people may have fibromyalgia but depending on the symptoms and when they check you, they can see that each one is unique although from the surface it all looks like "fibromyalgia".

I hope this information helps you. I know that after having a baby, it can be a difficult time in spite of the glory and miracle of it all. I wish you the best, Lisa

Replied by Jbw
Dayton, Ohio
04/26/2010

Try calcium citrate at least 3 x per day 200mg ea.

Your hormones are very much out of alignment after giving birth. Try to get help during the day so you can simplify your life; this will equate less stress. Make sure your diet is good and start walking at least 30 min every day or at least 3x per week. Also take a multi-vitamin 1 per day usually does the trick. I had the same experiences. Have your doctor run blood work to check your thyroid and other hormones. Good Luck.


Postpartum Depression  

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Posted by Jewel (Stanwood, Washington, United States) on 10/15/2012
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I accidently came upon this cure after having my third child. I had suffered severe postpartum depression with my first and second children to the point where I was barely able to leave the house for months. With my third, I realized right away that she was intolerant of dairy and because I was breastfeeding I switched to organic soy milk. The fog of depression had just started but when I started drinking soy milk, I noticed that on those days I felt like myself. I didn't connect the two until I talked to my counselor about it and she brought up the fact that soy has natural estrogen and so unknowingly I was balancing my hormone levels. I continued to drink it as needed and have not dealt with post partem depression at all since. I hope this helps someone.


Posted by Rawan (Abu Dhabi, UAE) on 05/31/2009

Hi, please could you advice about good remedies for mood swing? I am 33 years old woman and after my baby was born (20 months) till now I am having mood swings sometimes. Feeling down and close to depressed mood also fatigue and lethargy. Clinically all tests were done and did not show any problem. please advise!

Replied by Selena
Chula, GA
05/31/2009

Of course you are tired and having mood swings. Running after a toddler is a lot of work. It is normal to feel depressed and worn out. Especially if this is your first child. Motherhood is hard and no one ever really understands how much of yourself you lose when becoming a parent. Suddenly your life belongs to someone else and every time you try to take time out for yourself you feel guilty. My suggestion to you is to eat a very good energy rich diet (green drinks very good). Get lots of sunshine and fresh air. Enlist any friend or relative that you trust to keep your child and have some "you" time at least once a week. You didn't state whether you were single or not, but if you are married you and your husband should have dates. I always felt guilty when my kids were small because I felt like I was a bad mom if I weren't with them every moment I wasn't working. For your health and sanity, don't forget about yourself (or your marriage). Good luck and know you aren't alone.

Replied by Rawan
Abu Dhabi, Uae
08/18/2009

Hi, thank u for ur reply whuch is much appreciated! I did reply on my second post you can read my answer also to tell u I am married and having 3 kids plus I got house maid to help at home so it isn't the matter of running after my baby. But thank God everything is fine now with some tinny issu which I can deal with it! I hope I hear from other women as well who was having such or other postpartum issues! Regards


Postpartum Remedies and Tips  

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Posted by Misha (Binghamton, Ny) on 03/31/2016
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Hello all,

I had a baby about a year ago and have struggled with terrible PPD (albeit undiagnosed by a medical professional). At times, I was borderline suicidal. Although I never sought formal treatment, I would still encourage others to seek help (and early) on to avoid the suffering I had.

Through much trial and error, and time I suppose, I have developed a protocol that has helped me tremendously.

One issue I encountered was that although I lost most of the baby weight after my pregnancy within about 6 months, I gained back about 20 lbs because I was so down all I wanted to do was eat.

Now I track my calories in an online app and have cut out soft drinks and most junk foods. I try to eat fresh foods and whole grains and cook at home.

What has made the biggest difference in my weight loss effort has been implementing an eating schedule. In the fitness community, it is known as "Intermittent Fasting". Basically, I eat only between the hours of noon and 8PM. It sounds extreme, but believe me, it has significantly reduced my cravings for bad foods and it has helped me to get my appetite under control. I have lost 11 lbs this month just from these changes and it doesn't feel that bad at all. I feel satisfied when I eat. This food schedule may not work for all women so if you start feeling super sluggish, very cold, or overly hungry you might need a bigger window to eat while trying out this way of eating.

If you have a super sweet tooth like I did, you have to cut out the sugar nearly cold turkey to reduce the cravings. I find that the more sugar I eat, the more I want and crave it. Natural sugars found in fruits are fine and have not impeded my progress. Stay away from sweeteners I.e. Stevia, sucralose, aspartame, etc. I still use one tsp of sugar in my coffee because every other sweetener has affected me negatively. Stevia caused my periods to stop and sucralose gave me hives for the two years when I used it!!!! Not even the allergist could figure out that sucralose was making me itch and breakout!!!

I tried Ashwaghanda to balance my adrenals and calm my anxiety but found it made me angry and gave me daytime sleepiness, though many others say it helps them. Although I do not take this anymore, I thought it was worth mentioning.

Coffee no more than once a day!!! Believe me, I LOVE coffee but too much makes your body feel like it is in flight or fight mode which is not good while tackling postpartum hormones and nerves!

I currently take about 2,000 mg in Vitamin D daily;

A hair skin and nails formulation with biotin and msm to counteract the hair loss;

A high quality fish oil 1400 mg;

Magnesium 250 mg to help me relax and sleep at night. They say Magnesium is depleted in new moms and I have found that I sleep like a log when I take it.

When I remember I throw in a little B-Complex too.

I credit the Fish Oil and Magnesium for making the biggest difference in how I feel.

Alternating warm and very cold water at the end of your showers helps to tone up your problem areas, along with using a coffee ground salt scrub on your tummy, thighs, etc.

It is not easy being a new mom, especially if you are a stay at home mom and it is just you and baby. Physically and mentally you are beat up and I think the key to living to fight another day is to ask your creator to give you patience and strength, not only for yourself, but for your little one. Take a moment each day to get out in nature (with your baby if possible) and reflect on the positives you have in your life while getting a bit of exercise in the form of an easy walk.

Warm hugs to all moms struggling! You too can get through this!


Weight Loss  

Posted by Duddu (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) on 09/07/2012

I want to lose all my baby weight. I want to know whether is it safe to take ACV to lose weight while breast feeding? please help me with clear answers.

Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa
09/07/2012

Hi Duddu, You can take ACV while breastfeeding but do you realize that you will burn a lot of calories while breastfeeding? The "baby fat" will burn off just by your breastfeeding your baby. I had five kids and breastfed all of them and returned to my normal weight each time just by doing this. And my first one, I gained 45 lbs.! Hope this helps, Lisa

Replied by Duddu
Abu Dhabi, Uae
09/10/2012

Hi Lisa, Thank you for the reply. This is my second baby and usually after child birth I don't lose weight as I breast feed rather I put on.. So I am not there in that list of ''lose weight while breast feeding'' :(.. I have 6 months to lose a lot of weight before the wedding of my sis-in-law... I am relieved to read that ACV is safe while BF, , shall give a try along with my dies and workouts.. wish me luck..