Postpartum depression is a serious mental health disorder that affects women who have recently given birth. New mothers suffering from this type of depression often feel intense sadness and helplessness and they become unable to care for themselves or their newborn. In extreme cases, they lose interest in the baby and think about harming themselves or their child. Finding natural ways to treat postpartum depression is important because if it’s left untreated, the physical and mental health of the mother and the child can be adversely impacted for several years after childbirth.
One of the most important natural ways to treat postpartum depression is through therapy. Talking about your feelings and your thoughts as well as your fears can help. According to the National Institutes for Mental Health, there are two specific types of that can help: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IT). With CBT, you’ll learn to recognize your postpartum behaviors and create strategies for dealing with how you feel and behave. With IT, you will explore how personal relationships, including the relationship you have with your new baby, are impacting your ability to function and feel well. These therapies are natural ways to treat postpartum depression because there are no drugs or medications required, and you are facing all of your positive and negative feelings about childbirth and mothering.
Dietary changes can also provide natural ways to treat postpartum depression. New mothers need to maintain a healthy level of caloric intake, especially when they are breastfeeding. The body is healing and recovering from the process of childbirth, so you need to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need. Increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids will help you manage your postpartum depression symptoms. Higher levels of the oil and fats that are found in fish and nuts will increase the serotonin production in your brain, helping you to feel better.
Your gut flora may have more to do with your postpartum depression than you realize as well. For that reason, you should take probiotics when you’re recovering from childbirth and seeking natural ways to treat postpartum depression.Many physicians and healers have noticed a link between gastrointestinal distress and postpartum depression. Keep the bacteria and flora in your gut balanced and healthy in order to avoid extreme depression and feelings of fear and helplessness.
Meditation is an excellent way to prevent postpartum depression. A study at the University of Colorado showed that women who were trained in mindful meditation were able to manage their emotions and avoid episodes of postpartum depression. The women who were studied had experienced this type of depression previously, but when they were taught how to meditate and be mindful of each moment, they were less likely to become depressed after giving birth. Work on meditating before you have your baby. If you are able to develop a habit of meditation and mindful practices, you’ll be able to use those during the postpartum period.
Like meditation, yoga is another one of the natural ways to treat postpartum depression. In addition to keeping your mind and emotions healthy, regular yoga practice can also assist in getting you physically back to your pre-baby body. After giving birth, the stress hormones in your brain are on overdrive. Yoga helps you to calm everything down in your mind and your body. One of the best and easiest yoga poses to help postpartum depression is the Easy Pose – in which you sit quietly and place your arms out in front of you, crossed at the wrists. You raise your arms over your head while inhaling a huge breath and visualizing a happy place. Then, you lower your arms while exhaling. Slowing down your body and focusing on your breathing will help you avoid feelings of depression and gain a stronger mind and body.
Herbal supplements also provide natural ways to treat postpartum depression. St. John’s Wort is one of the most popular supplements that can help bring therapeutic relief to women who experience depression after childbirth. You can find this supplement in over the counter products, and it’s safe and inexpensive to take. Talk to your doctor in case it has a risk of reacting with other medications you might be taking.
While the causes and cures for postpartum depression are often hard to understand, it can be a serious problem for many women. Instead of taking prescription medications that might come with side effects and risks, there are natural ways to treat postpartum depression. Try yoga, mediation and making changes to your diet. Natural supplements with herbs such as St. John’s Wort can also be effective. Make sure you talk about how you feel as well, either to a therapist or other women in a support group.