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The Pregnancy Diet Plan to Combat Post Partum Depression

Updated on October 19, 2012

Postpartum depression is a potentially serious condition in which the rapidly fluctuating hormone levels in a woman's body cause feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, sadness and helplessness. Serious cases of post partum depression should be addressed by a doctor. There are methods of combating "baby blues," including medication and support groups. Women can take charge of their feelings and help to moderate the chemical changes that are taking place in their body, in part, by ensuring that they are following a wholesome and healthy diet.

Here are some pregnancy diet tips to help combat post partum depression:

· Eat lots of fatty acids, such as those found in fish and nuts. Arachidonic acid (AA) and docosohexaenoic acid (DHA) are required for the development of brain and nerve cells in a growing baby. These fatty acids cannot be produced internally, so mom has to provide them through the placenta and breast milk. Because fatty acids are transformed into chemicals that are hormone-like in function, and they serve to regulate hormone production within the body, their consumption can significantly lower the chances of developing post partum depression, which makes them an essential part of the pregnancy diet.

· Eat whole, natural foods. A woman's body doesn't need the added pressures of trying to break down chemicals into safer compounds, so it's best to go organic during the post partum period. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and unprocessed seeds and nuts and meat are all good choices during this time.

· Back off from refined sugars and flour. These foods cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate wildly and to crash, causing mood swings and fatigue.

· Eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and berries to get sufficient antioxidants. Antioxidants are packed with vitamin C, a lack of which has been linked with higher incidences of depression. Beta carotene is an antioxidant that is converted into vitamin A, which is important for the immune system. A weakened immune system can make it easier to get sick, and sickness can really add to depression quickly. The antioxidant vitamin E is in spinach, vegetable oil, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and fish. Studies have correlated depression sufferers with low levels of vitamin E, so it is even more important to eat vitamin E rich foods or to supplement your pregnancy diet plan with vitamin E during this post partum time.

· Get some vitamin D. A stroll outside with baby can increase the body's production of endorphins, the "feel good" hormones. Women with vitamin D deficiencies are more than twice as likely to develop depression. It's hard to walk in the sunlight with your baby and not smile, so go soak up some rays!

It is very important to follow a balanced post partum pregnancy diet meal plan in order to try and avoid the pitfalls of post partum depression. It's also to remember that, while the pregnancy diet plan can help, it's not necessarily a cure all for the symptoms of post partum depression. There is no shame in a woman talking to her doctor and getting help.

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