I am not referring to the colour of their babies eyes either. I was amazed to read a new survey from the charity 4Children that produced that figure, and that a horrifying 25% of mothers still suffered from PND up to a year after giving birth.
Worse, 70% of those who sought help were given antidepressant medication, predominantly SSRI’s, and thus far the safety of using SSRIs for the babies of nursing mothers is unknown. Some studies have linked the use of Prozac to colic in nursing infants and while a depressed Mum needs all the help she can get, the idea that she may choose not to breastfeed in order to take antidepressants really depresses me. This not only compromises the baby’s early nutrition, but deprives the mother and child of bonding which can worsen the depression.
There are alternatives but they may need pointing out: the first is that progesterone levels drop dramatically after birth and it is not known as the feel good hormone for nothing. Simple supplementation can make a great difference and Dr Tony Coope here has written a couple of good articles that explain why it is so necessary – particularly for women who have experienced depression during the pregnancy itself.
For a new mum everything can seem too much and her own nutrition can be one of the first things to go, and that is another contributory factor to depression. If she has not got a good diet, a low GL one is ideal, then she is more prone to blood sugar imbalances, and a serious lack of chromium, amino acids, B vitamins and essential fats. Low levels of omega 3 fats, magnesium and zinc, have all been linked to PND
Tiredness and exhaustion don’t encourage the time and effort to have a healthy diet so partners and family need to keep an eye out and make sure she is getting all the nutrients she needs.
If you are looking for a pre and post-pregnancy present forget the aromatherapy oils and baby bootees and get her a copy of Patrick Holford’s book Optimum Nutrition Before, During and After Pregnancy to help avoid PND and what to do if you already have it. There is also a section on how hormone imbalances can lead to PND in my new book Balance Your Hormones.
To read more from AnnA visit her website on women’s health at http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/