New mothers that struggle with postpartum depression know how it feels to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. More severe than the fairly common "baby blues," PPD touches every corner of life, and that includes caring for and bonding with your newborn.
If you think you may be one of the 10 to 15 percent of new mothers who need postpartum depression treatment, talk to your doctor right away about your symptoms and concerns. If you know you are struggling with postpartum depression, and are worried about how symptoms and postpartum depression treatment could affect your baby's development, learn some coping mechanisms that can help you weather the storm while you work with your doctor to treat your PPD.
Depending on the severity of your case, your doctor might recommend that
you take medication as treatment of postpartum depression to combat the
symptoms and restore a sense of contentment.
What about breastfeeding and postpartum depression?
The big question for many new mothers is, are these postpartum depression medications safe to take while breastfeeding?
The answer is not an easy one. There have been studies on various anti-depressants and how they affect breast milk, and it turns out that certain medications are believed to be safe to use while you nurse.
Remember that breastfeeding also helps in preventing postpartum depression to a certain extent, this is because of the feel-good hormones that are released during nursing.
There are justifiable reasons to avoid taking medication while you continue to breastfeed. If you cannot live with the possibility that any amount of the drug could pass to your infant, or your doctor feels that your symptoms can be managed without medication, you may decide to control your PPD with proper self-care, while you continue to nurse.
One option is to combine natural remedies that could bring some relief with appropriate lifestyle changes.
Certain approaches to overcoming depression make good sense: eat well and avoid alcohol (which is a depressant), reduce your expectations of yourself and try to stay around the people you love for happy energy and support. And sleep, although notoriously scarce for new mothers, is a significant factor in mood and stress level.
Find a way to get as much help as you can. Calling on friends and family to watch the baby while you grab a nap, or taking advantage of baby's naptime.
As for natural supplements, you'll need to be careful to avoid anything that could have any adverse effects, but some women report that fish oil, B-complex vitamins, and vitamin D will lead to noticeable improvement in mood and well-being relatively quickly.
There are also some mild herbs that may bring some improvement. However, they can be more powerful than you imagine, and it's crucial that you consult your healthcare provider before taking any herb or other natural remedy especially while breastfeeding.
Sometimes your best efforts are just not enough, and you need to
turn to medication for your own health and for the good of your growing
baby. After all, this is an important time for development, both
physical and emotional: your baby needs your attention and interaction
as much as your physical care.
The best way to overcome PPD and continue to reap the benefits of breastfeeding is with a varied approach. Staying proactive, healthy and open-minded will lead to a quicker recovery and a healthier start to your relationship with your newborn.
Learn more about the signs of PPD.
Article by Julie Wright / Assistant Editor www.surebaby.com
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