Preventing Postpartum Depression and Baby Blues
In the United States 1 in 7 women are diagnosed with postpartum depression and many more deal with baby blues. As a midwife I have supported 100s of women in the postpartum. I love to support them before they reach the postpartum to help build good nutritional stores, blood volume, and prepare for labor, all of which helps prevent postpartum issues. However, even being proactive, hormones are real and lack of sleep magnifies everything. Here are my go-to suggestions for women dealing with postpartum baby blues.
Of course if you feel like you want to hurt your baby or yourself get help immediately. Start by telling someone that will take you seriously.
If you are struggling with baby blues or postpartum depression get a postpartum doula or someone to come in and help. This is not a luxury: this is a must.
If you hemorrhaged, if you have a history of depression, if you had a really long hard labor, or if it is winter and there is less sunshine, it is more likely you will experience postpartum depression, so I suggest preventing it before it starts by jumping on some high quality supplements.
I recommend all my clients take the following three supplements in addition to regular vitamins they are already taking.
Min Chex is a product from Standard Process which contains minerals, including iodine. It helps regulate mood. I recommend every mom be on it. Start by at taking two capsules three times a day for the first week and then one capsule three times a day for the next 5 weeks. Unless you feel you need a higher dose you can take it at the two capsules three times a day for as long as you need it.
BHI Calming is a homeopathic. It is amazing. It is like taking happiness. You put it under your tongue and you will start to feel better almost immediately. It is safe to use with medicines, there are no risks of overdose, and it is non-addictive. I recommend taking it as needed. It is also great for symptoms of PMS or any stressful time in life. Guys can take them also.
I recommend taking digestive enzymes to help the body absorb the nutrients you are taking.
You can get my Postpartum Happy Mama Essential Supplement Kit including a bottle of Minchex, BHI Calming, and digestive enzymes. LINK
Red raspberry leaf tea- drink it by the gallon. Seriously. It helps to balance hormones and contains calcium and iron. It is best if you buy it in bulk and brew it yourself. You can drink it hot or cold. Just drink it.
If you feel like you need more support Orchex is a bit stronger and is still natural. Also from Standard Process, Orchex combines nutrients to promote nervous system balance. It has a potent calming effect that helps maintain emotional balance, encourages mental clarity, enhances the ability to relax, supports the balanced function of the central nervous system, and allows greater adaptability to life’s stresses.
Placenta pills can make a night and day difference for some women. If at all possible get your placenta encapsulated. Then you have the option of taking it or not. Most midwives can suggest someone to have do the encapsulation.
Increased calcium intake of a whole food supplement up to 3000 mg a day. I recommend Calcium Lactate from Standard Process.
Increase B vitamins from whole food source, especially vitamin B12. Consider taking an active form of folic acid known as mythal folate instead of folic acid or folate.
Omega 3 fish oil from a fresh water source. I recommend either Wholistic Solutions, Nordic Naturals or Standard Process Tuna Omegas.
You can get any of these from my Postpartum Resource Page.
Diet and Lifestyle are Key
Postpartum supplements are important to get women over the hump but diet and lifestyle are key. So here is goes, a quick guideline to nutrition.
- Stay hydrated. This seems simple, but it is huge for your emotions and for your milk supply and can be quite tricky in the postpartum. Drink throughout the day, not a bunch all at once. Aim for 2 to 3 quarts of water or herbal tea.
- Cut back on sugars, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates as they are depressants.
- Increase fresh and raw vegetables and fruit.
- Juice fresh vegetable and fruit juice so you get the live enzymes. Make it fresh, not bought in the store, which is basically just sugar.
- Make sure to keep your blood sugar balanced by snacking throughout the day.
- Take a shower. I’m serious—–simple but true: taking a shower every day does wonders for emotions.
- Get outside in the sun if at all possible.
- Get some exercise, but not too much. A gentle walk daily can be wonderful, but intense exercise should wait. If when you start to exercise and you feel a bit blue or weepy then stop or go slower.
- Have someone take the baby for a couple hours if you really need some sleep. Getting a three hour stretch of sleep can do wonders for your emotions.
Some extras if the above is not helping or you still feel off.
Check iodine level using the iodine tincture paint test and supplement iodine accordingly. 13.5 mg a day of a bioavailable iodine is highly recommended.
Check hemoglobin and take blood builder if less than 11.
Check your thyroid. Postpartum hypothyroidism is prevalent in the U. S.
Check for the gene mutation MTHFR.
These might seem really simple but they are super powerful for preventing and combating postpartum depression. You are worth investing in and your baby and family need you to be your best self possible. If you need extra support I would love to meet with you.
To make an appointment with me ….