Postpartum Depression

What is the time frame that postpartum depression occurs?
Baby blues usually happen in the first few days after birth, but postpartum depression usually starts after 2-3 weeks postpartum. However, postpartum depression can occur anytime within the first year after birth.
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?
Estrogen and progesterone levels drop to pre-pregnant levels. Levels of thyroid hormone may drop after birth, which can trigger depression symptoms. Life-changing events like birth, death of a family member, moving to a new town, etc. can all lead to depression. The combination of hormone changes and the life-changing experience of having a baby can all contribute to postpartum depression.
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.

23 hours ago

NOVA Natural Birth Center

Did you know the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends mothers with influenza STOP breastfeeding❓

Dr.Jack Newman says this is the opposite of what you should do, and here are some key reasons why:

👉"Breastfeeding mothers and babies share their environment and thus, wherever the mother picked up the infection, it is also likely the baby did as well."

👉"The stress of separation may actually increase the risk of illness in the infant/toddler."

👉"It is well known that babies who are breastfed remain healthy even when the mother falls ill with an infectious illness and if they do get sick, breastfeeding helps them get better faster."The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation that mothers with influenza be separated from their babies and not breastfeed makes no sense.

Mothers with influenza should continue to breastfeed. Here is why:

Influenza is infectious, as are most viral infections, BEFORE the person even realizes they are sick. The incubation period of influenza is said to be 1 to 4 days. Therefore, a person can be infectious 1 to 4 days before even realizing they have been infected. Breastfeeding mothers and babies share their environment and thus, wherever the mother picked up the infection, it is also likely the baby did as well.

Furthermore, just because you develop a fever, or cough, does not automatically mean you have influenza since winter is the season of many viral upper respiratory infections which are not always easy to distinguish one from another. Furthermore, not all people will rush down to get tested for influenza with the first time they cough and so the diagnosis will be delayed in most people once they do realize they are sick.

To separate a mother from her baby and ban breastfeeding has serious possible consequences. For babies as well as for toddlers, being refused the breast can be very emotionally traumatic, without necessarily preventing the illness in the baby/toddler, who might already have been infected. Furthermore, the stress of separation may actually increase the risk of illness in the infant/toddler. Not being able to breastfeed is likewise traumatic for the mother and may mean that at the time she is ill, engorgement increases her suffering and the task of having to maintain her supply and diminished milk supply from not breastfeeding.

Has the CDC forgotten the immunological protection that breastfeeding provides for the breastfeeding baby/toddler? Why is influenza different from most other infections? It's not. In fact, it is well known that babies who are breastfed remain healthy even when the mother falls ill with an infectious illness and if they do get sick, breastfeeding helps them get better faster. No other organization, including the WHO, has ever included influenza in the list of illness requiring stopping breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding mothers who have contracted influenza should get appropriate treatment and continue breastfeeding. In case their treatment includes antiviral medications such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or others, they are not a contraindication to breastfeeding.

Not only does the recommendation not make sense for protecting the baby from the infection, but as the family is living together, they almost always have been exposed and infected with the influenza virus. So who will be designated to take care of this baby?

Additionally, “interrupting” breastfeeding is term that takes for granted that it is simple to stop breastfeeding and subsequently to resume which is not the case.

Read more about how breastfeeding protects babies when a mother is sick: ibconline.ca/maternal-illness1/
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Did you know the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends mothers with influenza STOP breastfeeding❓

Dr.Jack Newman says this is the opposite of what you should do, and here are some key reasons why:

👉Breastfeeding mothers and babies share their environment and thus, wherever the mother picked up the infection, it is also likely the baby did as well.

👉The stress of separation may actually increase the risk of illness in the infant/toddler.

👉It is well known that babies who are breastfed remain healthy even when the mother falls ill with an infectious illness and if they do get sick, breastfeeding helps them get better faster.

 

Comment on Facebook

Say whaaa?! Even not knowing this, my mama instincts would scream at me to keep my baby close.

It says on the CDC website that they recommend the mother express breast milk - so at least there's that.

The CDC recommendation is regarding newborns only. Now the science leaning one way or the other, I can't say and I know it would probably take special circumstances to convince me to isolate myself from my newborn, but he needs to be honest in his posting and stop making it sound like it's all children who are breastfeeding.

This is so wrong as a Certified Lactation Consultant it is known that the anti bodies being created inside of the body of the mother are passed through her milk to the child . If the baby gets it too , the virus is passed through the saliva to the mother's body thus also having anti bodies and also fabricating it . Baby will ingest those at each feeding for a second boost of it . Breast works like a natural vaccine besides calming down with our oxytocin release relieving any anxiety provoked by secretion and discomfort helping the body to heal itself . In the case of newborns even more vital since they are not colonized by digestive enzymes nor digestive bacterial intrinsically connected to the immune system and mainly present in breastmilk . This recommendation to stop is so wrong !

I kept breastfeeding while I had the flu. My baby did end up getting it but hopefully the antibodies helped. The doctor prescribed me Tamiflu and advised me to pump and dump. I didn't take the meds or the advice. Such a shame medical professionals are not better informed in this area!

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location 4200A Technology Court, Chantilly, VA 20151
phone 703-357-3808
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fax 888-770-0243
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