A woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy and childbirth. Hormonal changes, the physical stress of birth and lack of sleep coupled with the added responsibility of parenting predispose the new mother to mental disorders like depression. Extreme cases of postpartum depression may cause unpleasant emotional turbulence, hallucinations and even thoughts of suicide.
Women who are more inclined to suffer from postpartum depression include…
- Women with a history of depression or family history of depression.
- Women with relationship troubles or other stressors.
- Women with an insufficient family/social support system.
Postpartum depression is a common occurrence but rarely manifests in its full severity. The treatment involves the same steps as those involved in treating depression , and in most cases antidepressants are administered. The safety of using these drugs during breastfeeding is open to doubt.
Treating depression naturally involves consultations with an expert psychologist or a psychiatrist. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps in casting away negative thoughts and behaviors. Interpersonal Therapy is very effective and helps in getting over the problems that are faced by women. It also helps in handling the transition of roles in a better manner.
New mothers need sleep and rest, which is hard to come by with a newborn. The Asian lifestyle is more suited for new mothers to handle these situations since grandmothers and aunts offer help voluntarily. The new mother is pampered and not allowed to do any kind of work for at least a period of 2 months. This kind of a set-up provides the much needed company and rest that a new mother needs. It also gives her an opportunity to share her fears with someone more experienced.
Homeopathy, herbs and lifestyle changes form an integral part of natural remedies for depression. Homeopathic remedies like Arsenicum album, Aurum metallicum, Calcarea carbonica, Pulsatilla, Phosphorous and Natrum muraticum are some of the remedies that are used depending upon the typical symptoms and overall personality of the patient.
St. John’s Wort is the most commonly used herb for treating depression. Herbs and herbal supplements, although effective, should not be taken along with antidepressants as there is a possibility of some negative interactions.
The changes that occur in a woman’s body during pregnancy can potentially change her entire personality. She needs help, support, guidance and company so that she can vent her feelings and apprehensions about the future. Familial support can prove to be as effective as any other mode of treating postpartum depression. If familial support is not forthcoming, you can ask for help from friends who do not have young children at home. You may be surprised to notice their eagerness to help.