As many as 1 out of 7 mothers (generally new moms) develop postpartum depression (PPD) after delivery. It is a form of depression in which you become mentally, physically, and emotionally weak. You often cry for no good reason, have mood swings, struggle to fall asleep, and have anxiety issues. There are ways to prevent postpartum depression which we’ll discuss in this article.
Mothers go through hormonal and psychological changes after giving birth and these changes can cause postpartum depression. It generally starts right after the delivery of your baby when you experience a significant drop in hormones. If you notice the following symptoms in yourself and these symptoms remain for more than 2 weeks then it is recommended to consult a doctor to get proper treatment.
- Failure to fall asleep.
- Losing interest in spending time with friends and family.
- Mood changes more frequently.
- Feel exhausted most of the time.
- No or less interest in your newborn.
- Feel helpless.
Natural Remedies to Treat Postpartum Depression
The following are the natural remedies that have a positive effect on postpartum depression.
Take More Vitamins
Vitamin D plays many crucial roles in your body. Its deficiency can cause many problems. Some studies have found that a woman deficient in vitamin D has more chances of developing postpartum depression in her life.
So if you think you have PPD, you can increase your intake of vitamin D. Spend more time in the sun to boost its production in the body. You can also try vitamin D supplements or certain foods that are rich in vitamin D such as egg yolk, dairy products, fatty fish, etc.
Vitamin B, especially vitamin B2, helps in decreasing your postpartum depression. Its low level in the body can make you feel depressed after delivery. So make sure you are providing enough vitamin B to your body through your diet (milk, eggs, meat, green vegetables, etc.) or vitamin B supplements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important and healthy fats that must get into your body through daily diet as they play many essential roles. It has been found that the lack of these fats in the body can cause postpartum depression in women. It is equally important for your baby’s brain development.
Its normal concentration in the blood can be restored through fish oil supplements or through a diet rich in omega-3. Foods that have a high concentration of omega-3 are seeds (such as chia seeds, flaxseed), fish (such as salmon, tuna, sardine), and many plant oils (such as flaxseed oil).
Zinc and Magnesium
Zinc is an essential micronutrient that plays an important role in various brain functions. Studies show that deficiency of zinc may lead to depression. It is recommended to take 25 mg zinc for 12 weeks to see its effect in reducing depression.
Magnesium plays a similar role in decreasing the symptoms of depression. The recommended dose for women is 310 mg per day.
There are good and harmful kinds of germs present in your body. An imbalance in these can lead to several issues such as depression, anxiety, etc. Probiotics are the good bacteria already present in your body. Bringing their number back to normal can reduce the symptoms of depression.
Probiotics can either be achieved through certain foods such as yogurt, kimchi, etc. or you can take probiotic supplements.
Effective Ways to Prevent Postpartum Depression
The following ways will help you avoid postpartum depression even before it happens.
Sleep 6 to 10 Hours a Day
For a mother, sleeping at least 8 hours a day is highly essential to enjoy a healthy mind and body. Sleep gives your body time to heal from the day and get energy for the next day.
No doubt, your little one will demand a lot of attention but try to sleep whenever you get time. Your health is as important as the health of your baby.
Doing proper and regular exercise not only makes you strong but it also brings freshness to your mind and body. Research shows that mothers who did exercise before and after delivery had better mental health as compared to those who did not exercise.
Meet New Moms
Isolating yourself will give depression a chance to grow so join various support groups. Meet other new moms and learn how they cope with the changing feelings, emotions, and everything related to being a new mom.
Talk to Your Family
Being a new mother can be a very tiresome job. So do not overburden yourself by taking every responsibility on your shoulders. Rather talk to your partner, parents, and siblings if you feel overwhelmed and tired. Let them provide a helping hand.