Postnatal Depression is a real thing and its not in your head like most people think it is. Baby blues is experienced by up to 80% of new mothers and Between 10% and 20% of new mothers experience postpartum depression, but more than half of them go undiagnosed.
Foods, Herbs and other Alternative Remedies can help a lot in preventing and treating Postnatal Depression. Make sure that you follow a healthy diet during your Pregnancy and continue the same even after the birth of your Baby. Some people stop taking their Prenatal Vitamins as soon as they give birth which is not right. It is equally important to continue taking your Prenatals after the birth because it can continue to nourish your newborn if you are Breastfeeding, help you rebounce to your pre-pregnancy state (mentally as well as physically) quickly and prevent Postpartum Depression which is a serious illness.
There are several factors that can put you at a risk of Postnatal Depression like Financial Stress, Stressful Relationship, Not getting any help with the household chores, Traumatic Birth, Lack of Sleep, Improper Diet and Exercise. So its very important to reduce the stress level and there are some Foods, Herbs and Supplements that can help you become calm and relaxed during one of the most vulnerable phases of your life.
I battled Postnatal Depression after the birth of my Son so I know how you Mamas who are facing it feel. It all started with horrible Baby Blues which turned into this nasty depression. The good thing is I did something on time which SAVED me from going into major depression. No, I didn’t take any conventional anti-depressant and still managed to fight it. Gradually after some changes and remedies I started to feel better and finally that dark cloud lifted off my life and I became my normal self again.Since this post is already very long I won’t bore you with my story, will save it for some other day to tell you what triggered my depression, how I faced it and healed myself.
I prepared myself physically, mentally and emotionally during and after the birth of my second baby and didn’t even get Baby Blues. Yes, no Baby blues not even a mild one and 4 months up and I am thriving 🙂 I am sure these remedies (you don’t even have to use all of them just try what works for you) will help you too. Please share this post as much as you can because no Mama should ever feel like this ever. I have also seen some Mamas give up breastfeeding because they don’t want their babies to get any side effect of their antidepressants.
Here is a list of Foods, Herbs, Supplements, Homeopathic Remedies, Acupressure, Aromatherapy Essential Oils that can Prevent and Treat Postnatal Depression Naturally.
These Remedies also work well for any form of Depression, Anxiety, OCD and SAD.
This Post is taken from my E-book Bump To Birth- Holistic remedies For Holistic Pregnancy and Natural Childbirth
1. Foods and Supplements For Postnatal Depression:
Vitamin D Deficiency often triggers depression and its even more important to make sure that you get enough Vitamin D during and after your Pregnancy because your Body is more vulnerable than ever after a Childbirth. You can get Vitamin D by staying out in the Sun for 15-20 minutes everyday (before 10am and after 3pm because you wouldn’t want to absorb harmful UV Rays that are at their peak between 10am and 3pm).
If you live in a place where getting out in the Sun is not a possibility then you can take Vitamin D Supplement. Most Prenatal Supplements have at least 1000IU of Vitamin D in them.
Eat foods rich in Vitamin D like Egg Yolk, Fatty Fish, Oyster, Cheese, Mushroom and if you are a Vegan you might want to get it either from the Sun or a high quality food based Supplement.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B Deficiency, specially Vitamin B6(Pyridoxine), Vitamin B9 (Folate) and Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) has been linked to Depression. Are you getting enough of these Vitamins? Specially Vegans tend to be deficient in Vitamin B12 so taking a Food based Supplement is a safer route to prevent and treat Postnatal Depression. B-vitamins maintain your nervous system so you can function at normal levels.
Foods rich in B Vitamins are:
Whole Grains, Nuts, Seeds, Fish, Blackstrap Molasses, Nutritional Yeast, Eggs, Clam, Cheese, Dark Green Leafy Vegetables, Lentils, Orange, Organic Grass-fed red meat.
Apart from the foods rich in B Vitamins you can go for an Organic Food based Supplement like this.
Calcium and Magnesium are often called “Nature’s Tranquilizers” because of their natural calmative effect, not only for muscles but for the nervous system as well. They bring calm and tranquility to a hyperactive nervous system so it reduces your chances of getting Postnatal Anxiety attacks that some Moms go through. It is also good for Moms who have or are prone to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Insomnia and other forms of Anxiety.
Foods rich in Calcium are:
Broccoli, Dark Leafy Greens, Raw Milk and Yogurt
Foods Rich in Magnesium are:
Dark Leafy Greens, Avocado, Banana, Whole Grains, Dried Figs (Unsulphured and Organic), Blackstrap Molasses.
Apart from these Foods you can take Calcium Magnesium Supplement. Always go for the Citrate form because its easily absorbed by the body. I recommend Now Foods Calcium and Magnesium Citrate 100% Pure Powder .
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are also known as “Brain Foods” which means your Body requires a healthy dose of these Essential Fatty Acids for it to function properly and lack of Omega 3 Fatty Acids can cause Depression, Anxiety and Fogginess.
Foods Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids are:
Fatty Fish like Salmon and Sardines
Nuts and Seeds like Walnut, Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax Seeds.
Omega-3 Enriched Eggs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Mustard Oil (In some parts of Asia Moms eat foods cooked in Mustard Oil to boost their Omega 3 Levels and prevent Postpartum Depression).
If you are concerned about Mercury Contamination in Fish you can go for a high quality Fish Oil Supplement like this.
Iron Deficiency Anemia is quite common during Pregnancy and immediately after Childbirth. Iron Deficiency Anemia can cause discomforts like shortness of breath, fatigue, fogginess and in some cases can trigger Postnatal Depression. Eat Iron rich Foods and get your levels checked from time to time to make sure that you are not deficient because Iron level can change quickly.
This Natural Iron Supplement is my Favorite.
Foods Rich in Iron are:
Blackstrap Molasses, Herbs like Nettle and Red Raspberry Leaf, Organic, Grass-fed red meat, Dark Leafy Greens, Dried Fruits like Figs, Raisins, Apricots, Dates (Organic, Unsulphured), Lentils, Beans.
2.Herbs For Postpartum Depression:
Chamomile (Find Here)
Brew some Chamomile, Lavender and Passionflower Tea and sip it 2-3 times a day. Chamomile Tea will also help your baby calm down and help with colic and digestive upset.
3. Aromatherapy For Postnatal Depression
Aromatherapy can do wonders in preventing and treating Postnatal depression. All you need to do is mix these Essential Oils with some Carrier Oil and massage (ask your partner to do a full body massage) 1-2 times a day. You can also diffuse these oils in a diffuser or use them as Air Freshener by mixing 20-25 drops of Essential Oils with 6 oz of Mineral Water.
Essential Oils for Postnatal Depression
These are very effective Essential Oils that can really uplift you and help you cope with Motherhood. When making your own massage oil just mix these together and massage.
Rose and Jasmine Postnatal Depression Massage Oil Blend
6 -7Drops Rose Oil
6 -7 Drops Neroli
2 Oz (60ml) Sweet Almond or Jojoba Oil
Ylang Ylang and Orange Postnatal Depression Massage Oil Blend
Avoid Ylang Ylang if your Blood Pressure is low because it reduces high Blood Pressure.
Mix these together with some Carrier oil and massage
5 Drops Sweet Orange
3 Drops Ylang Ylang
5 Drops Geranium
5 Drops Lavender
2 Oz (60ml) Sweet Almond or Jojoba Oil
4. Homeopathy for Postpartum Depression :
I love Homeopathy and I highly recommend it for Postnatal Depression. I know there are lots of people who think they are just useless sugar pills but they are anything but useless Sugar Pills. I use Homeopathy everyday for every aches, pains and ailments, during and after pregnancy, for babies, kids and everyone and they work every time!
Try and match the symptoms and take these remedies as required. Take 30c Potency 3 Doses (1 Dose a day for 3 days) and see if you notice any improvement. You can repeat one more set of 3 doses after 15 days if you feel that the first dose made you feel better otherwise try the next remedy.
Sepia (Buy here)
Sepia comes from the ink sac of the cuttlefish. Moms who require Sepia feel detached from their Babies (not able to bond with their newborn), Partner or older kids if they have. They want to be left alone, cry for no reason, lack energy and feel better when they exercise. They are prone to genital herpes outbreaks, PMS, and often complain that they are sagging (i.e., face, belly, breasts etc.).
Pulsatilla (Buy here)
Moms who need Pulsatilla have sensitive and child like nature. They cry easily and need lots of support and assurance, they hate being left alone and want consolation all the time, feel insecure, very fluctuating moods.
Nat Mur (Buy here)
Homeopathic Nat Mur is prepared from common table salt. Moms who need Nat Mur are highly strung, reserved, want to be left alone, prone to headaches, colds, eczema, they won’t ask for help easily and try to do everything on their own, they tend to cry in private, discouragement and doubts are some of the things that people who need Nat Mur display psychologically and they may withdraw themselves totally from the surrounding world, burst of anger and rage.
Ignatia (Buy here)
Ignatia comes from the St. Ignatius Bean, a tall woody shrub. The seeds from the flowers are used to make the remedy. A person who needs this remedy suffers from chronic Insomnia, gets offended easily, feeling of grief, sorrow, guilt and disappointment (because her high expectations are not met). Sighs and sobs a lot.
If you are not able to fit into any of these remedies you can try-
Tissue Salt or Cell Salt For Postnatal Depression
Biochemic tissue cell salts are made from the minerals that are found in the rocks and soil of the earth. These minerals should be present in our food and bodies for balanced health. When these salts are imbalanced in our Body we tend to get into all sorts of health problems. Depressed people will have a deficiency of one or more of these salts.
Take these 3 Tissue Salts for up to 3 months to prevent and treat any form of depression.
Kali Phos- Tissue Salt No 6
Nat. Mur., tissue salt no. 9
Nat. Sulph., tissue salt no. 11
Take 6x Potency everyday for up to 3 months.
Or you can use this 12 in 1 cell salt tabs which has all the listed cell salts and more for optimal health.
Feeling suicidal? Please get some help Mama! Call your nearest suicide help line and talk to someone.
5. Acupressure for Postnatal Depression
There are some Acupressure Points in our body that can help with Depression if stimulated properly. Acupressure points GV 20 and GV 24.5 are the 2 major points that can help with Postnatal Depression.
Refer to the image above to locate the GV 20 Point. Push down hard on this point, and continue the pressure while making a circular motion. You want to do 30-50 circles, applying pressure the entire time.
Press the GV 24.5 point on the forehead for clarity and emotional balance. GV 24.5 is on the center of the brow where the bridge of the nose joins the forehead. Pressing this point relieves depression and anxiety.
Eating your own placenta might not sound appealing to everyone but it has been shown to reduce the risk of developing Postnatal depression.
Placenta contains your own natural hormones and is good for treating Baby Blues and Postnatal depression. It also reduces postnatal bleeding, increases your milk supply and helps uterus shrink quickly to its original size. Learn how it saved one Mommy Blogger’s Sanity at Loula Natural.
I highly recommend keeping Bach Rescue Spray handy, spray it whenever you feel anxious, angry or lonely. It immediately helps you calm down. Bach rescue remedy is a combination of 5 Flower essences (Clematis, Cherry Plum, Impatiens, Rock Rose, and Star of Bethlehem) developed by Dr. Edward Bach. It is also very useful in Labor to help you keep your cool.
Drink 6-8 Glasses of Water everyday because dehydration could also lead to depression.
Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Sugar and processed Foods, Dyes and Additives.
Try Deep Breathing whenever you feel anxious. Inhale through your Nostril slowly at a count of 4 and exhale through your mouth slowly at a count of 8. If you have time do some Meditation for about 10-15 minutes which will help you control your mind and emotions. If you can book a Reiki session with someone online or in person it could benefit you a lot because Reiki balances your Physical, Mental and Emotional energy.
Get your Thyroid levels checked because thyroid imbalance can also trigger depression.
Exercise regularly and try and get some Fresh Air and some Sunshine.
If you are feeling suicidal please don’t waste any time and see a counselor as soon as possible. Meanwhile you can take homeopathic remedy Aurum Metallicum 200c. Aurum Metallicum is prepared from Gold and is given to patients with major depression because it is supposed to lift that dark and heavy feeling. But please see a counselor, you need some help Mama. Your life is too precious to be wasted. I didn’t see any counselor though I was Suicidal and actually tried to attempt suicide not once but TWICE but I don’t know what state you are in right now so don’t risk your life.
Remember that a Happy Mom= A Happy Baby and a Happy Family so spread this word, share it with as many Moms as you can because no Mom should be deprived of Help and Support and no Mom should ever commit Suicide because of lack of help, support and hopelessness. Every Mom should know about these Natural Remedies that can change their and their family’s life forever.
Some more posts related to Depression from my Village Green Network Friends:
10 Ways To Show Love to Someone With Depression by Kelley Baker of The Darling Bakers, please read it, you will feel so much better 🙂
Diana of The Kitchen Rag tells her story of how self love transformed her life.
Elizabeth of The Nourished Life explains how Vitamin D deficiency is linked to Depression
Julie of Real Fit Mama shares 10 Tips For Beating Depression