Postpartum depression self-help includes social support and relaxation techniques. If breastfeeding, avoid herbal remedies for depression.
Postpartum depression self-help techniques can take the edge off depression symptoms in some circumstances. A wide variety of postpartum home remedies exist, from relaxation techniques and herbal remedies to assist with childcare and exercise.
Postpartum self-help works best for the baby blues, which are the mild depressive symptoms that often follow childbirth. As postpartum depression symptoms worsen, the effectiveness of depression home remedies decreases. Therefore, you should always consult your doctor before trying any postpartum depression alternative treatment or home remedy.
St. John’s Wort and Herbal Remedies
A number of herbal remedies claim to treat depression symptoms. Establishing the veracity of an herbal remedy’s claims is difficult, however. Few have undergone extensive clinical trials, and their effectiveness is mostly anecdotal in nature.
St. John’s Wort is an herbal remedy often prescribed for depression in Europe. Clinical studies on St. John’s Wort vary in their results. However, some evidence does suggest that the herbal remedy can treat mild to moderate depression.
Women who are breastfeeding should avoid St. John’s Wort, as it is unclear whether or not the herbal remedy can pass into breast milk. While herbal remedies are often considered safe because they’re “natural,” remember that many natural substances can have a negative effect on infants or interact with existing medication. Above all, it’s always best to check with a doctor before starting any herbal remedies, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Relaxation Techniques and Postpartum Depression
Relaxation techniques may help reduce stress, which in turn influences postpartum depression symptoms. For example, programs such as progressive muscle relaxation may make it easier for new mothers to sleep in addition to fighting stress.
Childcare and Lifestyle Changes for Postpartum Depression
Lack of sleep, excess weight, and the strain of caring for an infant have all been suggested as contributing factors for postpartum depression. Family support and sharing childcare responsibilities are some of the most effective postpartum depression home remedies. A partner who shares in childcare or a family member who babysits for a few hours can provide much-needed relief for a new mother.
Exercise is often recommended for depression, although it’s difficult for people in the midst of a depressive episode to work up much enthusiasm for exercising. That difficulty is compounded by the demands of infant care.
New mothers are encouraged to find time for exercise. Even a short walk with the baby in a stroller is better than no exercise at all. Exercise helps in losing weight gained during pregnancy. Additionally, it can have a profound effect on mood.
No matter what depression alternative treatment or home remedies you opt for, remember to inform your doctor of any treatments you try. If you aren’t breastfeeding and choose to try St. John’s Wort, check to make sure the herbal remedy doesn’t react with any other medication.
If symptoms of postpartum depression persist or worsen, seek medical help. Antidepressants and therapy offer effective postpartum depression treatment and can improve symptoms, leaving you better able to care for your new baby.