Here are a few ideas and local resources for moms feeling burdened by postpartum depression…..Not all of these will be good for a mama wondering if she has PPD, or maybe not any of them. It’s OK and GOOD to trust your own intuition. And if things are feeling serious right now, these are supportive, but professional evaluation is in order.
1. It’s hard to have a little dependent person needing you 24/7 when you also don’t feel amazing, or like yourself, or maybe downright crappy. Be kind to you, there’s no ‘fault’ in this.
2. VERY important to have someone to talk with, and if you have scary thoughts or impulses – it’s imperative that you bring another thoughtful person into your realm about this. If you don’t trust your practitioner with emotions, then start with the most caring, grounded, smart person you DO trust to help you find professional evaluation – be it a minister, La Leche League leader, chiropractor, sister-in-law, you’ll know. Or consider Ann Arbor’s wonderful Dr. Elizabeth @ www.WomanSafeHealth.com.
3. Rest, if you can. Exhaustion compounds anxiety and hormones. Which can then make it really hard to sleep. An awful & vicious circle. Even cat naps in the day can help. IN THE FIRST WEEKS AFTER BIRTH – Mamas should mostly be supported by others, while in bed with her baby. Lots of skin-to-skin, NOT HOSTING or otherwise doing. For the not-deeply-serious cases, this will make a notable improvement for may be 50-75%. Unless laying in bed, or in your bedroom, makes you depressed. Then we need a different way for you to be supported and get rest. Although breastfeeding needs frequent feeds, sometimes things get a lot better when moms can get a 5-hour stretch of sleep in the night, and dad or grandma take one bottle feeding. PPD requires creative, flexible problem solving. Highly distressed moms may need a little break to get back on solid footing. This is an important time to not be too rigid.
4. Vitamin D is essential. Supplements ok. Also, taking your sad self out to the porch in a warm coat, and letting the sun shine on your forehead is brilliant. Supports vitamin D production in the gut, helps to reset the pineal gland, and therefore endocrine/hormonal balance, and fresh air reminds you of living. The more the better. Or for a few minutes, a few different times. Before noon even better.
5. Exercise if possible. This could be just walking to the corner and back. With someone. Do swing your arms.
6. Consider homeopathics. Liddell has a fabulous blend called ‘PostPartum Blues’. It’s not contra-indicated even with meds or other things.
7. Consider an herbal liquid concentrate (tincture) like Wish Garden Herbs Baby Blues – I’ve had clients who are prone to PPD feel it starting to come on, and then call the next day after using these two products saying they feel about 90% better!
9. Pregnancy tea infusions – Continue with Red Raspberry, Nettle, Alfalfa, Oatstraw, and maybe put the motherwort in here too.
10. Magnesium supplement like ‘CALMS’ powder calms nerves, brings relaxation, supports bonding.
And keep breathing, it’s not just for labor. YOU WILL GET THROUGH this! Keep talking to your baby, and to yourself, about what is happening. And keep asking for help until things get sorted out. You are loved.