There are many natural depression treatments for postpartum depression available for a struggling mom. Which method you choose depends on what works best for you, as an individual.
Choosing a holistic or natural treatment method to alleviate your postpartum depression is a personal decision in itself. So why would a mother suffering from post partum depression choose a natural depression option over traditional treatments like medication?
Traditional treatment via medication may not be ideal for a new mom who is breastfeeding. A nursing mother may not like the idea that antidepressant medication has not been found totally safe or unsafe for the baby - researchers simply haven’t found conclusive results either way. This is a major factor behind the choice to seek natural depression treatments for postpartum depression.
There are also often side effects with prescription medication for depression, and sometimes these side effects can be severe. Anti depressant medication can cause memory issues, weaken concentration, creativity, and drive. Many anti depressants cause weight gain, dizziness, fatigue, and some contribute to hair loss and loss of libido. Side effects vary in type and severity - some people have none or few, but the majority are affected by negative side effects.
So what options, other than medication, are available for a mother who suffers from postpartum depression? Below is a list of some very common and easy to implement natural depression treatments for postpartum depression.
Therapy - Therapy, also known as psychotherapy is a simple yet powerful natural depression treatment that is widely used for treating postpartum depression. A therapist can guide a new mother through several different types of therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy.
Relaxation Techniques - Relaxation techniques can help alleviate symptoms of depression as well as stress and anxiety. Deep, slow breathing is an easy relaxation technique that helps to release anxiety and allows relaxation of the whole body from head to toe. Other useful relaxation techniques include yoga, meditation and massage.
For your baby, read about the benefits of baby massage here.
Exercise - Exercise and depression relief is known to be connected, along with a number of other health benefits exercising provides. A women suffering from postpartum depression may have difficulty motivating herself to exercise or feeling like she can squeeze in the time, so workouts she can do with baby in tow can help her spend quality time with her baby while getting in shape and feeling better. There are products that help, such as jogging strollers, baby carriers and slings (which promote bonding and can help lower risks of postpartum depression). Select health clubs offer classes you can take with your baby, or if you prefer staying home to exercise, you can do gentle stretching exercises with your baby on the floor next to you.
Good Nutrition - Eating a well balanced diet is important for everyone, but especially for a mom suffering from postpartum depression. One of the most important natural depression treatments for postpartum depression is a well balanced diet. Healthy eating can keep your blood sugar levels steady, as well as keeping your appetite and cravings at bay. Eating healthy meals containing all four food groups is vital to help you meet your daily intake of nutrients. As well as eating well balanced meals, there are also foods and drink that should be avoided, such as alcohol, caffeine and sugar.
Hypnosis - Another one of the best natural depression treatments for postpartum depression is hypnosis. Hypnosis for depression is safe, effective, and enjoyable with no unwanted side effects.
There are a number of different hypnotic techniques that combine relaxation with visualization or imagery. Hypnosis can help combat the symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, low self esteem, and so much more.
Read and download self hypnosis instructions here.
Journaling - Journaling can help improve a new mom's mental and emotional well-being. Journal writing can be a beneficial natural depression treatment method for a mom who is facing emotional struggles like postpartum depression to heal through self expression and self discovery.
Acupuncture - Acupuncture is a Chinese practice dating back thousands of years and is practiced around the world. Acupuncture has gained popularity in western cultures and is often used for recovery of physical as well as emotional issues. An acupuncturist inserts fine, slender needles into the skin at specific locations called acupuncture points. The theory behind acupuncture is that energy flows within the human body and can be stimulated to create balance and health.
Herbal Remedies - Hormonal imbalances as well as the rapid dip in progesterone after giving birth can produce feelings of depression. Herbs are natural, safe and beneficial for a variety of problems. Natural depression treatments for postpartum depression that include herbal remedies are valuable methods to utilize, and can aid in both physical issues as well as emotional issues. Visit Native Remedies for safe herbal remedies.
Bright Light Therapy - Depressive disorders can be worse in the winter months, and some new moms may see an extra challenge with postpartum depression during these dark, cold months. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a temporary form of depression that strikes predominantly during the winter months, and can worsen a mom’s postpartum depression.
Bright light therapy is performed by using a device that provides exposure to bright light, mimicking outdoor light. It is thought to cause biochemical changes in the brain that can alleviate depression. A light therapy box is often effective in treating SAD and/or postpartum depression due to lack of sunlight, either alone, or with other therapies.
Sleep - Being sleep deprived can wreak havoc on a mom's emotions. The effects of sleep deprivation and postpartum depression seem to go hand-in-hand. Sleep is a very important factor when it comes to physical and mental health. It is important for a new mom to try to get as much sleep as she can. While mom would love to get a solid eight hours of sleep every night, her newborn is likely to interfere with this plan.
Natural sleep remedies are available that can be invaluable to new parents suffering from sleep deprivation.
Many women find aromatherapy for sleep to be a great natural and holistic sleep treatment. Not only is it readily available, it's also generally inexpensive.
Routine - Getting into a healthy and steady routine can also do a world of good and is one of the easiest natural depression treatments for postpartum depression. Exercising with the baby, eating a well-balanced diet, and avoiding isolation will help to keep mom’s energy levels up and boost her confidence. If these actions are made a part of her everyday routine, both she and the baby will benefit from good physical and mental stimulation.
Manage Your Stress - It is also important that mom learns to take it slow and resist the urge to fall into a pressure trap. A lot of a new mother’s stresses can be self-inflicted - whether she feels that she must keep the house in top shape or resume a full work schedule while caring for a new baby. Mom needs to remind herself that the health of her baby and herself are of utmost importance - housework, chores, and other activities should be taken in stride. Go to our new mom stress management page to learn fast and effective ways of managing stress.
It is great to know there are a variety of natural depression treatments for postpartum depression that a mom can implement rather than turning to pharmaceuticals, if she so chooses.
Do you have an effective natural or holistic treatment that helped with your postpartum depression that is not listed here? We would love to have you share with us!
Click this link for a directory of Alternative Health Care Medicine Online Resources.
The health information in this website is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.
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"No mother has to suffer from PPD needlessly. This is a fact. But until you know what you're up against, you'll still be trapped - without knowing why! A typical example is the common misconception that depression is "all just in the mind." Your first step is to keep an open mind; and allow Laura to take you by the hand and guide you step by step through the PPD universe. Using a "wellness" approach, and with her usual friendly and informative style, trust me, she can help you help yourself getting out of the rut - naturally - in no time."
- Naturopath Alex Leong, B.A.S.M.
“Laura realizes the interconnections between mind, body, and spirit and offers down-to-earth, practical guidelines in harmonizing them.”
- Karen Szillat, Early Childhood Educator and Peace Advocate Author of Empowering The Children: 12 Universal Values Your Child Must Learn to Succeed In Life
“I wish I had had this valuable book after my baby was born. Fantastic information!”
- Gigi Murfitt, Author of Caregiver’s Devotions To Go and My Message is C.L.E.A.R.
Sydney Z. Spiesel, Ph DMD Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine
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