What is the time frame that postpartum depression occurs?
What are the identifiable risk factors for postpartum depression?
From “What Midwives Need to know about Postpartum Depression” by Diana Lynn Barnes, Psy.D., risk factors for postpartum depression include:
- Personal and/or family history of depression and/or bipolar disorder.
- Previous personal and/or family history of postpartum depression.
- Early history of trauma, abuse or alcohol use in the family.
- An unstable marriage.
- Isolation from family and friends.
- An unwanted pregnancy.
- Ambivalence about the maternal role.
- Ambivalent and/or negative feelings about the pregnancy.
- A difficult pregnancy, labor and/or complicated delivery.
Why does postpartum depression happen?
What are the symptoms of PPD?
From Our Bodies Ourselves Pregnancy & Birth (p. 288):
- Feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness, or guilt, especially failure at motherhood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to bring pleasure
- Excessive anxiety over the baby’s health or, the opposite, lack of interest in the baby
- Inability to care for yourself or your baby
- Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying
- Changes in appetite, such as forgetting to eat or overeating
- Changes in sleep, such as waking in the night, having racing thoughts, and not being able to go back to sleep
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Hopelessness and profound sadness
- Uncontrollable mood swings, including feelings of rage or anger
- Feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope
- Fear of being alone
What non-allopathic remedies can you recommend in response to PPD?
Prenatally, especially if we identify risk factors for postpartum depression, we discuss placenta encapsulation. Many of our clients who have had horrible postpartum depression in previous pregnancies who have turned to encapsulation to help with PPD in later pregnancies. They have all reported significant reduction or complete absence of PPD symptoms when they have taken placenta capsules during the postpartum period.
One of our favorite resources for dealing with depression is a book called “The Mood Cure.” Many people find the suggestions in that book helpful for dealing with mood disorders.
How do herbal remedies help with postpartum blues or depression?
The action depends upon which herb is used. St. John’s wort helps to promote serotonin production, motherwort has a calming effect, gingko increases mental clarity, etc. So, it is important to choose the correct herb for the problem you are experiencing. Herbalists and homeopaths look at treating PPD as a cluster of different symptoms and treating each one of those symptoms with the appropriate product. Allopathic treatments keep serotonin circulating through the body instead of increasing serotonin. Basically, they draw from your serotonin reserves.
What are the signs of postpartum psychosis?
From Mothering Magazine’s “Postpartum Mood Disorders Guide,” symptoms of postpartum psychosis include “rapid speech; visual or auditory hallucinations, delusions, delirium, mania, extreme agitation, inability to sleep, irrational speech or behavior; paranoia.”
Our Service Area: NOVA Natural Birth Center midwives serve families throughout the entire Northern Virginia area and about 50 + miles surrounding our Chantilly location. We are near the Dulles International Airport and serve the following communities, Aldie, South Riding, Centreville, Dulles, Fairfax, Falls Church, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Leesburg, Arlington, Alexandria, Annandale, Burke, Springfield, Manassas, Woodbridge, Gainesville, Haymarket, Bristow, and beyond. We also attend home births in these areas. Some couples come to the birth center from Washington DC, Maryland and beyond. If you live near the border of our service area, we may, depending upon your exact location, still be able to help you or refer you to a midwife who lives closer to you.