Mother's little helper - Treating Postpartum/Postnatal Depression the Homeopathic way
Postpartum Depression - or the baby blues - as it used to be called. It’s estimated up to 15 percent of mothers experience postpartum depression on some scale within the first six to twelve months of giving birth and 9 percent of women during pregnancy. It can also occur after a miscarriage.
It’s not just the first-time Mothers who suffer from postpartum depression. Some women sail through their first pregnancy and birth, and it is only with subsequent births that these feelings arise.
Symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to depression at other times. They include feeling sad most of the time and losing interest in things that were once enjoyable.
The symptoms might include:
feeling worthless, hopeless, useless
feeling sad, crying a lot
blame and guilt
feeling anxious, panicky, or overwhelmed – especially regarding baby
having thoughts of suicide towards self or baby
not being able to bond with baby, not feeling the love like other mothers do towards their baby
not being able to sleep even if baby is sleeping
overactive mind, constant, unwanted thoughts
changes in eating habits
lack of libido
There is no explanation why some women experience postpartum depression and others don’t. The single biggest risk factor for postnatal depression is experiencing depression previously. But this doesn’t mean that if you have a history of depression you will develop postnatal depression.
Some of the factors that put women at a higher risk of postpartum depression include:
traumatic birth experience, or not having the desired birth outcome
depression or persistent distress in this or a past pregnancy
family history of depression
being young (under 20)
being unmarried or without partner support
limited support from parents as a child
limited support from friends and family
challenging relationship with a partner
These feelings can all be exacerbated by a lack of sleep - being tired normally can affect a person’s mood - but being tired constantly and having a very dependant baby to look after as well, can be extremely challenging.
Postpartum depression is often misunderstood or dismissed by the partner or family members, further adding to the feelings of hopelessness felt by some women, it can make it even harder to reach out and ask for help. Another contributing factor can be a sense of isolation - particularly if the mother was previously working outside the home before having her baby. She may have gone from a career or job she enjoyed, having regular contact with others, conversation, a social component, and camaraderie with her co-workers, to now being only with her baby at home for days at a time. Stopping work to becoming a Mother is a huge transitional leap.
The first step to recovery is for women to recognise they are not alone, and help is available.
Many towns have support groups for Mothers who have postpartum depression. These can help the Mother get the support she needs to see she’s not alone and to connect with others going through the same things.
Homeopathy and PPD
How can Homeopathy help? Firstly, Homeopathy is safe for both mother and breastfeeding baby, with no adverse risk factors. The initial consultation (either in person or online), takes up to 90 minutes and covers all the symptoms the woman is experiencing - mental, emotional, physical, as well as covering previous medical history, food preferences, allergies, fears etc.
The comprehensive consultation is designed to get as much information as possible, to find the appropriate remedy to suit. Homeopathy works on the principle of like-cures-like.
Some key remedies used to treat postpartum depression include:
For the woman who feels she hates her baby and partner, is in floods of tears and despairs of ever loving her baby. Sleeplessness is a major problem, which leads to fatigue and the vicious circle of sleep deprivation and feelings of inadequacy. They feel better in the evening, and better after vigorous movement (dancing, exercise).
These women show symptoms of low self-esteem, weeping when sympathy is shown and feelings of hopelessness and despair. They may also have a fear of failure, particularly in relation to the stress of their new role as a mother and the change in their responsibilities. Often suited to women who have had irritable bowel issues in the past.
These women feel like they’re on an emotional roller-coaster. They can have marked mood swings and impulsiveness may also have had unrealistic or romanticised ideas about childbirth and motherhood. These women often have very high standards and feel they are failing, leading to depression.
Pulsatilla women will be softer in nature, more tearful, and cry when relating how they feel. Sympathy makes them feel better and they often say how crying helps. Pulsatilla mothers are generally more maternal in nature. They have mood swings too, but not as marked as Ignatia. They often love to be by an open window and feel better outdoors in the wind.
If you’re suffering from postpartum depression, remember you are not alone.
Help is available to you from many different sources including talking to a counsellor or therapist, conventional medicine, homeopathic remedies, and supplements. Meditation, walking nature, journalling, and exercise can also help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is there and available for you - just reach out.
All content is copyright and cannot be used without the written permission of the author.