Postpartum Depression

November 12, 2012

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a form of depression that develops in women immediately after childbirth. Although the symptoms may occur anytime during the first year, most women start seeing the changes in the first three months after delivery.

Symptoms

The symptoms of postpartum depression vary widely among mothers. Common indicators include:

  • Despondency and despair
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia and anxiousness
  • Lack of confidence
  • Poor sex drive and passion
  • Aches and pains
  • Unhealthy skin, hair and nails
  • Gastrointestinal, bladder and heart problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Moods swings

Many women feel guilty and embarrassed to talk about it. However, they associate childbirth with declining health for years to come.

Many experts believe that as the developing fetus takes up all the nutrients from the mother¬ís bloodstream, she needs to make a conscious effort to replenish the lost nutrition and energy reserves after delivery. However, the energy demands of caring for a newborn can further drain and deplete the mother’s resources. Many women experience symptoms such as light-headedness and headaches along with their postpartum depression symptoms.

Nutrition and Depression

The reducing nutrient value of the food in the modern times makes it difficult for the mother to replenish and reenergize herself. This, in turn, affects the physiological well-being of the mother. In olden times, many new mothers across the globe consumed their own nutrient-rich placenta in an edible form to replenish the lost nutrients. While this is culturally inappropriate in modern times, it is important to consume healthy and nutrient-rich foods after delivery for physical recovery, and to prevent postpartum depression. This will reduce the use of anti-depressants which are often associated with serious side effects.

Most doctors should, therefore, look at their patient’s nutritional intake before prescribing medications to treat postpartum depression. Remember that a healthy diet will help your body make the required amounts of brain neurotransmitters that regulate mood and energy. Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods and supplements may also play an important role in your recovery. However, make sure the fish or the supplements you consume are devoid of heavy metals such as mercury. You should also include lots of fruits and vegetables into your diet as they supplement important vitamins and antioxidants. Alpha-lipoic acid and coenzyme Q supplements will also help improve your energy levels.

Hence, it is important to create postnatal nutrient recovery program for all the women. This can assist new mothers to regain their health and prevent postpartum depression.

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