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It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious about the many responsibilities of having a newborn. Feelings of fatigue, crying, insomnia, anger, feelings of being alone, and the inability to concentrate are all typical of the “Baby Blues.” They’re usually short-lived, lasting for a few weeks.
But if these or other bad feelings continue, or are more severe at any point after having a baby, you may have a postpartum mood or anxiety disorder, and it’s important to seek help from your health care provider.
There are many ways to treat postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, including therapy, support groups, medications (see our podcast on anti-depressants and breastfeeding), rest, acupuncture, nutrition, help with domestic responsibilities, socializing with family and friends, and exercise. In this post, we’ll focus on herbals and supplements to combat these disorders.
Herbs: Note: If you are taking an anti-depressant or other prescription medications, be sure to discuss herbal use with your physician to prevent interactions.
Aromatherapy: The smell of clary sage, sandalwood, and citrus uplift the spirits, so use these essences in a massage oil, bath, or sleep pillow. Put drops on a handkerchief to sniff throughout the day. Aromatherapy inhalers and spritzers are available at natural food stores.
Additional Resources: Please see Postpartum Support International’s resource page for a list of additional sources of support, and this handout from Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett for a list of non-medication treatments.