Christian Doulas

Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?

Almost all women have a day or two of crashing after the excitement of having a new baby begins to wane.  Sometime between days four and seven, most of the immediate celebration ceases, your primary help returns home, and your husband goes back to the office. 

Unfortunately, these are also the days when there is a tremendous hormone flux, and you more often than not will end up in a puddle of tears.  During these days, be sure to reach out and ask for help, call friends, request prayer, eat well, get lots of rest, and find time to be outside.  If the crying episodes and feelings of helplessness continue for more than a couple of days, you may be experiencing postpartum depression, rather than the typical case of the baby blues. Here's a link to a page describing more distinctions between the baby blues and PPD, and here's a NYT article about the condition.For a page full of articles, support, resources, and information, go here.

If you find yourself needing resources and support, please contact the good people at Postpartum Support International (call them at 1-800-944-4PPD).  

A postpartum doula can be immeasurably beneficial for Mamas who are suffering from PPD (as well as those who aren't!) Even if you can't afford to hire a doula for the first month or two of your baby's life, consider making your condition humiliatingly public at your place of worship, and then asking for lots and lots of help.  When we are very needy and try to hide it, God is glorified little, but when we are very needy and let His people know about our state, God is glorified much, by providing help for us and providing opportunity for the body of Christ to lay down their lives for others.  Don't get in the way of the sanctification of the church by being prideful and secretive about your misery.

Be sure you are eating well, exercising, and getting outside a lot with your baby.  In addition, you may want to ask your doctor or midwife about the following herbs:

Evening Primrose Oil capsules are reported to be quite helpful for postpartum depression, and are considered to be safe for breastfeeding moms. I haven't seen an exact dosage of Evening Primrose Oil quoted for PPD. Three capsules per day have been suggested for breastfeeding moms with fibrocystic breasts; one capsule per day has been suggested for breastfeeding moms with sore nipples during ovulation.

Other herbs that can be helpful for postpartum depression are motherwort and blessed thistle.

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susun Weed includes a recipe for "Postpartum Depression Brew" that includes Licorice root, Raspberry leaf, Rosemary leaves and Skullcap.

Do not be shy about seeing a medical professional who specializes in postpartum health.  If you continue to feel the damp blanket of despair enveloping you, please take it seriously and get help.

(with thanks to Kelly Mom for original list of herbal treatments)


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       Christian Doula

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