ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Natural Treatments for Postpartum Depression

Updated on January 6, 2018

Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression

It is normal to feel low and even depressed after childbirth. It can pass by fleetingly as postnatal blues on about the third day after the birth when your milk comes in, or span a longer period while your hormones sort themselves out and you begin to make the emotional adjustments to your new life. We all have different resources for dealing with the stresses of birth and parenthood: it’s a mistake to assume that because you have been through a difficult birth that you will feel depressed - just as it’s a mistake to assume you shouldn’t be depressed because things haven’t been that bad.

Listen to those you love and trust if they tell you that you are looking (and sounding) low–post-natal depression which lasts longer than a few days always needs the help of competent professionals: your doctor, a counselor or psychotherapist and/or a homeopathic practitioner. Don’t ignore your distress by telling yourself (or others) that it isn’t that bad, or that other women have far worse to cope with, or you’ll get over it. Remember it is a sign of strength to ask for help, not a sign of weakness.

Seek the help of a counselor or psychotherapist to help heal and integrate a particularly difficult birth experience if you are in distress and finding it difficult to bond with your new baby and/or reconnect with your partner, especially if you are suffering from two or more of the following:

  • you feel separate from everybody and everything ... if there is an unpleasant feeling of distance an unreality that affects your life.
  • you cannot feel the floor or pavement solidly under your feet–it is as if you are not connected or are sort of floating.
  • you suffer from inexplicable or overwhelming fears and worries.
  • you feel repeatedly angry with your baby.
  • you feel apathetic and indifferent i.e. nothing matters and what is the point anyway.
  • you feel cut off and unable to respond to your partner or the baby.
  • your sense of time has changed–everything seems to take a long time, even small tasks.
  • you feel tired a lot the time and find it difficult to sleep at night, waking unrefreshed and joyless. Post-natal depression can be mistaken for exhaustion, so if you are dragging yourself around and not sleeping well, or lacking in energy however much rest you get, you may be depressed

How to take care of yourself after birth

  • eat well–plenty of fresh foods and protein. Many women find that eating little and often suits them better at this time.
  • invest in a Fast Food Cookbook and learn how to cook healthy meals in minutes.
  • drink plenty of (sugar- and caffeine-free) fluids, especially if you are breastfeeding.
  • only do those chores that are absolutely necessary–delegate as many as you can (and farm out household chores for the first 6-12 weeks, especially if you had a Caesarean.) Remember, the housework will always be there, your baby is only little once!
  • reassess your priorities: these will change with each baby that comes along–the more children you have the more demands on your time and energy, especially emotional energy. A contented mother and baby are much, much more important than a tidy house or a 3-course meal.

Rest relax recharge

  • sleep at night, nap when your baby naps–or at least rest.
  • take some gentle exercise (in the fresh air if possible) every day, this will help your body to recover faster and create energy.
  • do the relaxation or meditation technique that you learnt in pregnancy once a day.
  • have a facial or haircut (at home if you can arrange this).
  • vary your daily activities with your new baby so that you don’t get bored.
  • arrange to spend time each week with a friend doing easy, fun things not associated with work or parenthood.
  • do something just for yourself every day (without the baby): take a bath or shower, sit on your own with a cup of tea, write a letter to a friend, read a magazine or a book–even if it is for ten minutes.

Mothers with special needs

Babies come in all shapes and sizes: some are quiet and easy-going, others are needy and demanding. All babies are time-consuming–it is more than a full time job, you will be on call 24 hours a day for an indefinite period of time, and this in itself can leave many women feeling completely exhausted. In addition, this job may be one for which you little or even no preparation or training or former experience! Some women have never even held a baby until they hold their own. This makes the job a serious challenge!

Reach out to the support network you set up during your pregnancy–or create one–ask your social worker, GP, midwife, homeopath for local groups and help lines. Use your telephone support system if you don’t have close friends or family living nearby. Make contact with at least one other mother and baby so that you can talk about yourself and your baby and not feel isolated with your small charge. Every new mother needs support–it helps ease the passage into parenthood, and is especially important if you fall into one of the categories below:

  • you have a demanding baby, or a baby with special needs of any sort i.e. a premature baby, a sick or disabled baby, one with colic or one who sleeps during the day but not at night.
  • you are a single parent, or your partner is absent or sick, and especially if you have no close friends or relatives close by who can help out in the early months.
  • this is your first baby–especially if you are a very young mother.
  • you are having difficulties with breastfeeding.
  • you have one or more other children, especially if they are very young as two babies in nappies can be a real handful.
  • you need to return to work within a few weeks or even a few months, especially if you are an older mother.
  • you suffered a lot of stress in your pregnancy, such as moving house or a bereavement or an unexpected change in circumstances.
  • your own health is poor.
  • you had a difficult birth and have found it difficult to recover–i.e. if you are exhausted and still in pain.
  • you are struggling financially.

Healing after birth

Don’t fall into the trap of sweeping your distress, your complaints under the carpet while you attend to your baby and her needs. Mothers have needs too, make sure that yours are met and you will find you will recover from the stress of the birth faster and it will make the job of parenting easier.

There are many complementary (alternative) therapies that can help with the emotional roller coaster of that post natal period: acupuncture can help with emotional and physical complaints; the healing power of herbs can help with balancing hormones and general healing; homeopathy can help with emotional and physical problems in both mothers and babies and with breastfeeding difficulties; cranial osteopathy is a gentle physical therapy that can balance the body (mothers and the baby) after a difficult labour or where mothers feel achy and ‘out of sorts’; the therapeutic value of massage is well known – an aromatherapy massage is especially delicious for new mothers and can be very healing, as can a reflexology massage.

Choose a therapy that seems right for you and your needs. Ask your GP or health provider to refer you to a practitioner who is registered with a recognized organization.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)