Please contact your healthcare provider before using any herbs during your pregnancy or in your postpartum period, especially if breastfeeding or if you’re on any medications!
Common herbs used during postpartum recovery:
- St. John’s Wort
- Hibiscus flower
- Rose Hips
- Lemon Balm Leaf
Iron rich foods such as spinach, chicken and fish, and nuts and beans have long been encouraged for moms fighting postpartum mood issues. Zinc, vitamin C, folic acid and omega 3 fatty acids are also believed to have some really good standing in fighting depression with nutrition!
Whether it be through a supplement or a purposeful, meaningful diet there’s certainly plenty you can do to actively combat these issues with the food you eat.
3. Essential Oils
Some oils that have been associated with postpartum healing and recovery from depression are:
Wild Orange oil
Ylang Ylang oil
Roman Chamomile oil
I personally like to diffuse my oils subtly into my environment.
Please though, do speak to your healthcare provider about the use of these during pregnancy, breastfeeding and around baby and pets, especially if you’re on any kind of medication. Essential oils do need to be used with caution!
“I find that sharing the gory details with a trained professional to be so effective in alleviating guilt and fear, rather that just spreading it to my spouse or worrying how I’m being perceived by those around me I’m having to lean so heavily on.”
4. Prenatal and Postpartum Counseling
I found this to be a great help to me when I was in recovery from postpartum anxiety after my son, and so have decided to be proactive and undertake a few prenatal counseling sessions to mentally prepare myself for motherhood part deux.
I find that sharing all the gory details with a trained professional to be so effective in alleviating guilt and fear, rather that just spreading it to my spouse, or worrying how I’m being perceived by those around me that I’m having to lean so heavily on.
5. Build a Support System
Whether it be researching and finding a breastfeeding group, mom group, or postpartum group before your birth, or simply communicating your worries to your healthcare provider and close family and friends, build yourself a ready and waiting support system.
Ideally this network should be made up of people (or a person!) who knows you fairly well and is ready to watch out for the signs of postpartum mood disorders. They should also be prepared to assist you in actively seeking help to combat them if the need arises.
6. Placenta Encapsulation
So. Not for everyone. But I plan to do this and take the supplements for as long as possible after baby number 2 is born (in an effort to stave off the return of postpartum anxiety).
Sure, there’s not a lot of evidence to support or disclaim this practice, but if you’re interested it sure is worth a read!
7. Find Some Mom Friends
My new little circle of mama buddies may have taken me a while to build (my son is 21 months and I only just feel now like I belong again), but they were so worth the wait and the effort.
True, it can be tough to extend yourself into unknown social circles, but I suggest that if you’re struggling through the changes and challenges of motherhood, other moms can really be a saving grace.
“Whether you obtain a little extra of these through a purpose-driven diet or from taking supplements, there importance in preventing or relieving postpartum mood issues has been appreciated for a great while now.”
8. Keep a Low Pressure Environment
The best new mom advice I ever got?
“Forgive yourself, trust yourself, and let the rest of it go.”
Truthfully it took me a good, long while to really allow myself to prioritize me over all the over stuff. Oh, of course the baby is the most important thing, but after them there really is nothing more necessary than caring for yourself and resting without guilt.
“take up those well meaning family members and friends, when they offer to let you nap. Try and let go of the chores just a little bit more in favor of sleeping when baby sleeps. Apparently it could help you be a better mom and a happier person!”
As soon as I lowered my expectations (temporarily) for my home’s appearance, my postpartum weight loss plan, entertaining lots of different visitors, and getting ‘back to normal’ (erm, let’s just be honest here, the old normal is gone for good. There’s a new normal after kids and it’s just plum weird), I became so much happier in myself. I started to enjoy the little moments.
Consider taking a few moments for quiet time each day if you can. Meditation can be so valuable for mental health and there are plenty of guided relaxations to lose yourself in on YouTube! Perfect.
9. Get More Zzzzzz’s
Studies, like the one by author Bobbie Posmontier of Drexel University, have suggested that there may actually be a significant link between new mothers who suffer severe sleep deprivation and their chances of dealing with postpartum depression.
So basically being tired makes us really sad and a little bit less useful. Yup, I can confirm that one myself, at least anecdotally.
Postmontier compared the sleep patterns of 46 postpartum women, half that were displaying symptoms of PPD and half that were not. Their sleep patterns were monitored for seven days and the results showed that the mothers suffering from PPD took longer to fall asleep and slept for shorter periods of time. Overall it would seems that the worse an individual mothers’s sleep quality, the worse her depression was.
So, take up those well meaning family members and friends when they offer to let you nap. Try and let go of the chores just a little bit more in favor of sleeping when baby sleeps. Apparently it could help you be a better mom and a happier person!
10. Up Your Iron
Whether you obtain a little extra of these through a purpose-driven diet or from taking supplements, there importance in preventing or relieving postpartum mood issues has been appreciated for a great while now.
“True it can be tough to extend yourself into unknown social circles, but I suggest that if you’re struggling through the changes and challenges of motherhood, other moms can really be a saving grace.”
The daily allowance recommendation of iron ranges from 9 to 18mg, with an upper limit of 45mg. Useful foods for building up iron are chicken, salmon and tuna, nuts, seeds and beans, spinach, and cereals (fortified is a good option here).
Always chat to your healthcare provider about proper dose and supplement options.