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Coping With Baby Blues and Post Natal Depression
In this article I would like to offer you some tips to help with Baby Blues and Post Natal Depression (PND).
Back in the days when homeopathy was official, depression was mostly referred to as ‘sadness’. These days we all know that depression can be a lot more than ‘feeling sad’ .. and we also have the biochemical evidence to back our observation that all kinds of life events can cause mental symptoms that are not only felt really. bad, make us feel uncomfortable and are often downright scary.
I think of Baby Blues as a natural hormonal response after the incredible event that is ‘giving birth’. Think how hard the body has worked during the previous nine months, growing a new being, copying DNA, putting together the colossal task of reproducing the blue print of a human being. The birth itself is a shock for mum and Bub, and then his body must make such enormous adjustments – does he not understand that some weapiness and anxiety will be there? It lasts a few days. Keep an eye on blood sugar levels during this time. Regular small meals are an important key.
But if your feelings of sadness and overwhelm have continued.. or appeared a few months later then you must take some action and seek help.
Do you feel tired all the time?
Do you feel guilty about feeling tired?
Do you feel stressed, angry or cry easily?
Are you no longer interested in sex?
Do you have any emotions.. maybe you feel numb?
COMMON PROBLEM FOR MANY NEW MOMS
Disappointed with the birth?
Did your birth experience go as planned? We prepare for the event with exercises and negotiation of the best possible situation for the safety of the baby, but if things do not go according to plan – maybe you had to do an epidural or forceps delivery, or a caesarean section … then it’s natural. that feelings of disappointment, resentment or even anger can build up and these can be a factor in triggering depression.
Did they tell you the truth?
Has anyone really told you – I mean sit you down and really tell you the TRUTH.. about how very demanding and tiring it is to have a baby and then take care of him or her, day after day, night after night? Chances are – NO.. and if this was your second child, did they tell you that the second child is NOT like having just ANOTHER BABY.. no, no, no.. a second child is more work than this!!
Babies get sick!
Then there are the possible problems, colic, skin problems, colds and small infections, coughs that will not clear.
Your support network
And support – how much support are you getting? Is everyone’s attention on the new baby and none on you?
Sleep and time
Lie down and sleep whenever the baby does this.. I know you feel like you have to ‘deal with things’.. but sleep and rest are more important than washing..
You need to have some time off, time for yourself.. families can be so helpful. When my babies were small, I found a local school girl who came at 3.15 every weekday and looked after both children in another room, or took them for a walk in the stroller.. for two hours while I cook dinner.
Routine Routine Routine.. a life saver!!
Find a routine that works for everyone. If you know that the rest time is coming then you can do it in those hours. We used to have tea at five, bath at six and bed at seven and my husband and I alternated days to bathe, wash the dishes and put the babies to sleep and then have tea in bed the next morning. It worked a treat and we did it for years and years..! So every other day I knew that I could bathe with the children, relax while putting them to bed and take my tea in bed.
Just do what you can manage
Keep up with the housework and the shopping? It’s a HUGE lifestyle change to go from a regular job where you have support and boundaries – to being at home with a new bub. Just do what you can manage each day. If you can’t breastfeed for some reason, never forget.. the baby will benefit from your love and will grow strong and healthy in your care. So these are all perfectly normal situations and needs and I often thought that it was a miracle if a new MUM did not show any signs of mild depression!
SYMPTOMS OF SEVERE DEPRESSION
Feeling overwhelmed, tired and a bit irritable during the first months of motherhood are quite common and to be expected. However, it can feel much more than this on occasion.
Do you have temper tantrums or even violent anger?
Do you want to shake the baby to stop crying?
Do you have suicidal thoughts?
Do you feel like you just walk out and disappear?
These are some of the symptoms that may indicate more major postpartum depression
Please seek help from your doctor, local support groups and family. Anti-depressant medications can be helpful, but give natural remedies a good try. And, if you have a history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder you MUST seek help as soon as you notice any symptoms of postpartum depression.
Homeopathy can really help and you also need daily support and companionship, exercise, good sleep, good food, hugs and treats and lots of smiles and laughter.
DAILY LAUGH EXTENSION EXERCISES
A tip I used a lot for my depressed clients was to prescribe a good laugh at least once a day. The disclosure of laughter, of a joke or watching a funny movie … even in you do not feel like laughing when you put the movie on.. will release the flood of those necessary chemicals in the brain.
It really works.. please try it! Our bodies have the power to heal themselves, but sometimes not in the way we think they will.
There are some fantastic remedies to reduce many of the symptoms of baby blues and postpartum depression. Read through these snapshots of remedies and see if you find one that fits some of your symptoms.
This great remedy has helped thousands of women around the world. You feel a bit numb, no feelings, very tired and irritable and no libido at all. You have this dragging down feeling in the stomach, your period is heavy and painful. Take a look in the mirror. Do you have a seal mark on your check and nose, either a yellow color or a bit darker, maybe some freckles? This is a classic Sepia symptom.
2. NAT MUR
Famous for treating depression, Nat Mur is basically the only common compound made into a powerful medicine. Do you feel crying and as if you are not coping, but you don’t want to show it or tell anyone about it. In fact to anyone who offers some sympathy that will really annoy you! You notice that you feel cold a lot of the time, with a physical weakness and lack of stamina. Other symptoms may include headache, more thirst than usual, lips feeling dry and maybe even cracked.
This is a remedy that seems full of contradictory states. Do you feel anxious, always checking that the baby is okay? Find your mood changes often? You sigh a lot! People will notice it and maybe wonder what you are sighing about. How about coffee and tobacco … Ignatia can not stand either smell or taste .. So this should be quite a strong symptom after baby. Are you worried about your weight? Look at the weight loss diet you were on while you were pregnant? These are all good indications that Ignatia would be useful to you.
We give this remedy after a caesarean section, to help heal quickly and in case the woman felt upset or angry during any aspect of the whole birth procedure. Do you find that you need to talk to people about your birth experience and especially if there are aspects of it that upset you emotionally. A couple of doses of Staph will release all those feelings and let you continue in a positive frame of mind.
5. KALI PHOS
I put all my new moms on this remedy as one tissue, twice a day for at least a couple of months after the baby is born. It helps bring your energy levels back up slowly, and can make sleep deeper and more restful.
6. ARS ALB
Now Ars Alb friends.. don’t be offended by these questions! Are you feeling really anxious and fearful about the whole business of being a mum? Ever worried the baby will catch some disease? Need to have everything clean and in its place? The house must be clean and all washing done; shopping and food prepared and on the table; baby should be clean and tidy in case any visitors come? Do you really need to have someone else nearby who you can count on if the worst happens?
It’s good!! This is your nature and there is nothing wrong with that, at all..
Well, your natural worries may cause you a higher level of stress than you need right now.. and a dose of Ars Alb every now and again will really help you deal better with your own inner drive. A couple of other physical symptoms that Ars Alb people usually experience are .. feeling cold a lot of the time, can’t sleep easily, feel generally better in hot dry weather, like acidic foods and drinks and especially coffee.
This remedy has quite different symptoms during this time. You feel worse when you first wake up in the morning – kind of sluggish and unable to think clearly. You desperately need a nap in the afternoon but know that you will feel bad again when you wake up from your nap. You feel better if you can have a good chat with a friend or family, get all your worries out. Talking makes you feel better!
You don’t like hot places, you can’t bear to wear anything tight around your waist, and you tend to have physical problems like sore throat more on the left side of your body.
Imagine the tiny pulsatilla flower, alone in the vast steppes of Russia. It blows this way and that way in the wind! It sits in sandy soil, and closes its petals when it gets hot and at night. SO – the pulsatilla woman loves the fresh air and finds her mood very changeable. He can be cold and cry very easily.. sometimes just cry for no particular reason. You like sympathy and support and rely on your partner for comfort. Not thirsty? that’s very pulsatilla.. you have to remind yourself to drink. (If you’re breastfeeding, your body will signal that you’re more thirsty than usual.)
Also you a bit clumsy and uncoordinated? Swollen ankles and wrists? You don’t like fatty food? These are just a selection of the remedies I have prescribed with great success over the last 20 years for baby blues and postpartum depression.
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