Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Postpartum Depression: Try medicinal cures only as a last resort

It is normal for new mothers to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to get done in a day. Looking after the baby is a full-time job. Add to that household duties, commitment to relationships, looking after the self, managing your aspirations, etc. and anyone could get frustrated. However, postpartum depression is a medical condition brought on by the hormonal changes that accompany childbirth.

Postpartum depression is also referred to as 'baby blues'. It includes feelings of acute depression, irritation, dullness, anger and even thoughts about suicide. New mothers suffering from postpartum depression might also feel a complete lethargy and disinterest in the baby as well. These symptoms are accompanied by disturbances in sleep and diet patterns.

Postpartum depression usually begins within a week of childbirth. It could last for several days, months or – in extreme cases – several years. It could develop into depression psychosis if left untreated.

Most doctors go for medicinal cures. Doctors would tell you that they can suggest muscle-relaxants, anti-depressants, hormonal therapy and sessions with a psychiatrist. But do you have the time, energy and finances for all these medicinal cures? Actually, taking these drugs could do more harm to you and your baby. As a breastfeeding mother you should steer clear of all kinds of drugs as much as possible.

The answer lies in holistic remedies instead of medicinal cures. You can outgrow your postpartum depression in a completely safe and natural way with herbal formulations combined with proper diet and exercise routines. Holistic cures could also include herbs, vitamins and food supplements to handle your problems.

Some common items suggested for postpartum depression include St. John's Wort, Omega-3 fatty acids, Folic Acid, vitamin supplements, etc. New mothers are advised to cut down on sweets, coffee and alcohol. All these things might give a temporary high but you would relapse into depression once the effect wears off. It is always beneficial for new mothers to explore holistic remedies rather than medicinal cures.

Some women tend to have a greater tendency towards depression because of family history of depression, relationship problems, lack of family support particularly from the spouse, financial problems, etc. In such cases drugs might be prescribed because no other alternative would work. But drugs should be taken only as a last resort. Usually postpartum depression is mild but if untreated it could develop into psychosis and a medical emergency.

Several doctors recommend psychiatric therapy sessions whether the patient is trying a holistic cure or drug-based one. Usually, you might not need these sessions if you manage to get family support. Tell yourself that reaching out to family members and friends just to have light conversations is quite okay. You're already stressed out with the physical and mental responsibility of new motherhood and guilt is the last thing you owe to yourself. Do not hesitate to ask your spouse and other family members for help and emotional support. Some men too suffer from postpartum depression though their number is very less. In such cases also, holistic cures are the best as compared to medicinal cures.





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