Depression and emotional distress is often experienced after the delivery of a child by many women, and especially in first time mothers. Though commonly persisting only for several days at a time, the incidence of postnatal depression in all women is most apparent within days of giving birth, and its effects are felt in their most severe forms around that time. Some of the forms in which the emotional distress in the women will be displayed include sudden and uncontrollable bouts of weeping, abrupt temper tantrums and outbursts and an oscillating appetite with extreme hunger or extreme distaste for food. Sleep is disturbed with the occurrence of frequent nightmares and bad dreams. The persistence of these symptoms may be another cause of concern for some women, the depression lasting for several months even after the delivery of the child.
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Psychological and physical withdrawal from life and seclusion from friends and family is the first sign of extreme and debilitating postnatal depression. Suicidal impulses can often be present and the mother often neglects the care of the baby as she loses interest in life. Professional psychiatric supervision and advice is necessary if these conditions are present in the mother. Professional treatment of a latent psychosis may become necessary; this latent psychological problem being brought out by the distress due to postnatal depression this unfortunate condition is often marked by hallucinations and extreme behavior on the part of the mother.
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Postnatal depression as a condition is cause by contributory factors such as the fluctuating levels of female hormones, the sudden need to cope with the new situation and the reality of birth and the exhaustion during the period of labor and the term of pregnancy. While mental and emotional exhaustion can bring about low levels of psychological activity lasting for many days and even running into weeks, sudden mood changes are also a result of the emotional trauma experienced by the mother. Ignoring or underestimating these emotional distress arising in the mother due to the pregnancy and the process of childbirth is a serious mistake. Most women and new mothers especially require sufficient time to get used to the new reality and adapt themselves to the new situation since the event of childbirth may drastically change their lifestyle and emotional state. Feelings of inadequacy, guilt or extreme anger can develop in the woman if the childbirth did not proceed as planned or if the expectations set about the situation of motherhood was unrealistic, a feeling of disappointment and despondency leads quickly to depression in such cases.
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An under active thyroid can be the cause of the low levels of energy experienced by some women, this physical disorder may be a more likely cause of the weakness instead of depression or fatigue. Due to the fact that many other metabolic changes are occurring in the body at the time of the pregnancy, the onset of thyroid trouble often goes unnoticed as it is masked by other conditions, even if energy level in the woman drops precipitously. A lowered energy level in the woman can also be brought on by the presence of low blood-sugar levels and deficiencies in certain essential nutrients, which can come about because of a diet poor in important compounds. The stress felt during the process of labor, the need to feed the baby and the exhaustion during the term of pregnancy can deplete levels of all essential nutrients in the woman, the essential nutrients can be restored through the consumption of a diet rich in whole grains, healthy and wholesome foods including many raw fruits and vegetables.
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Stress and emotional distress during term of pregnancy and exhaustion are connected to the deficiency in essential nutrients particularly if the diet is poor and this leads to the onset of postnatal depression. To reduce and minimize the worst effects of depression and stress, the B vitamins is required in sufficient levels in the diet, though other nutritional supplements and substances are of equal import in this regard. The manufacture and normalization of various hormones in the body requires as a cofactor the use of the vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, a depletion of the essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the body of the woman, leads to conditions of sleeplessness and muscular cramps and the irritability of nerves increases. To boost the levels of energy in the woman, use can be made of the royal jelly and bee pollen as excellent and effective supplements.
All the herbs given below can be used as a soothing herbal treatment to allay stress and emotional distress in the woman caused by the stressful situation of childbirth and induced by the variety of physical and emotional changes that comes along with the addition of a baby in the family.
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Utilize the herbal teas made form the herbs such as the ginseng, the hops, and the sarsaparilla or if it is unavailable the leaves of the blessed thistle to restore the hormonal balance in the body . To prepare the herbal teas, to a boiling cup of water mix a tsp. of the herb or the combined herbs, the resulting liquid can be strained and the tea can be drunk twice a day as a relief measure. To ward of melancholic feeling and signs of depression, use can be made of the leaves of the lemon balm herb, dosages of this herb can be taken over a two week period by drinking a cup of the lemon balm tea once before going to sleep. To promote a soothing and relaxing experience while asleep, prepare the tea using a cup of boiling water to steep a tsp. of the dried lemon balm leaves or alternately use a sprig of fresh lemon balm leaves instead, to this mixture can be added after straining a tsp. of honey for taste. All the herbs such as the leaves of the borage herb, the leaves of the lavender, the St. John's wort herb, the rosemary and the straw of the oat can be made into excellent nervine tonics to cure the depression in the woman. Make it a point at least thrice a day to drink a cup of herbal tea made from these herbs while experiencing postnatal depression. A combination of the herbs can be used or a single herb can also be utilized to prepare the herbal tea. The restoration of bodily function can be achieved through the use of the combination of the of the following herbs, combine two parts of the leaves of the rosemary herb, with two parts of the leaves of the raspberry, to this add two parts of the skullcap herb, and finally add one part of the root of the licorice herb, to this combination the addition of a cup of boiling water will lead to the production of a herbal tea, strain this tea can drink two cups every day for a duration of two months during the postnatal depression. While hormonal balance is promoted by the licorice, a calming effect on the nerves is induced by the skullcap, while the ovaries and the uterus is toned up by the raspberry, and the assimilation of calcium into the body and the promotion of the flow of breast milk are the functions of the rosemary. Utilize bath water with the addition of essential oils to it; these oils can also be used as a rub and in the massage of painful and stressed areas of the body. To the bath water 10 drops of the oil of lavender, the oil of lemon balm or jasmine oil can be added as a topical relief measure.
An effective homeopathic remedy that acts precisely can often be suggested by professional homeopathic practitioners if they are examine the woman well and if they also posses an expertise in dealing with pregnancy and childbirth in women.
The symptoms and the effects of postnatal depression are best and most effectively beaten off by activities of the mother such as breast-feeding her child. In this natural way, the body regains its hormonal balance and recovers its chemical balance as it aids in the normalization of hormonal swings by augmenting the production of happiness chemicals in the brain called endorphins, whose levels rise in the body and changes mood. Bonding is another important role that breast feeding plays between mother and child; this act restores the maternal feelings and the development of trust. To normalize and restore the body to a proper functional level, the importance of regular and mild to moderate exercise cannot be overemphasized, the woman also needs regular and abundant amounts of relaxation and restful sleep and a balance of exercise.
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