Connect With Other Moms
Many moms with baby blues feel lonelyeven if they are not alone! Although your partner may be physically present, they dont always know what its like to go through childbirth. Whether its a or an in-person support group, its nice to know that other women share your highs and your lows. Were all in this together!
Complications Of Depression During Pregnancy
Depressed pregnant women are more likely to develop pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia than pregnant women who are not depressed.
Women with antepartum depression are also at higher risk for developing postpartum depression.
Left untreated, antepartum depression poses a health risk to the pregnant woman as well as the infant by increasing the risk of:
- Complications with pregnancy or delivery
- Delivering a low-birth-weight baby
- Prematurely giving birth
In a study of more than 7,000 pregnant women, published in the May 2016 issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, the odds of having a premature baby was 1.82 times higher in those with antepartum depression than those without it, and the odds of having a baby with a low birth weight was 1.28 times higher in those with antepartum depression than those without it.
When To Switch From Prenatal Vitamins To Postnatal Vitamins
A good prenatal vitamin has the nutrients you need for support before and during pregnancy. However, after delivery your health and needs change. Once baby is born, its a good time to consider switching from a prenatal to a postnatal vitamin. Unlike prenatal vitamins, which are crafted with ingredients to support you throughout your pregnancy, postnatal vitamins are formulated specifically for early motherhood, with nutrients to aid your recovery and nourish your nursing newborn. Ask your healthcare professional if you have any questions about switching or when to switch.
You certainly could continue to take prenatal vitamins after birth. Your womens health specialist or other healthcare provider may recommend you continue taking your prenatal multivitamin as a part of your postpartum regimen. This may be because its generally recommended that women of reproductive age regularly take a prenatal vitamin.
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Why Your Prenatal Vitamin Matters
Did you know that your nutritional needs and needs of baby will change from trimester to trimester? YES, its true!
As you move from that first trimester and beyond youll experience different pregnancy symptoms that coincide with the very real adjustments taking place within to grow a new baby!
What your body needs to sustain growth and remain healthy will vary at EVERY stage. This process even matters from preconception to conception.
And most women dont get the required nutrients from their diet alonemaking your prenatal vitamin more important than ever.
But the majority of women take just ONE prenatal vitamin throughout their entire pregnancy. And then after birth, many women stop taking multivitamins altogether.
Self Care For New Moms
It is hard to take care of yourself when you are sleep deprived, learning to be a mom, and feeling the symptoms of postpartum.
For those reasons alone you should start a self-care routine. It can be as simple or as complex as youd like. Here are some ideas:
- Shower Daily
- Go To The Grocery Store Alone
- Take A Bath
- Ask Your Partner To Watch Baby While You Read A Book
It really can be as simple as getting a few minutes every day for you to do one thing you love. Taking care of your body and mind is critical for success to recover from postpartum depression.
Critical Nutrients For Postpartum Mothers
Top 5 Nutrients For Postpartum Recovery
Registered Dietitian Melissa Mitri discusses the importance of good nutrition after giving birth and the five most important nutrients for a new mom and her baby
Moms who have just given birth need good nutrition to support their healing and recovery. And for mothers who are breast-feeding, their diet also has a direct impact on their baby’s health and growth.
Registered Dietitian Melissa Mitri specializes in nutrition counseling for busy moms, helping them move away from restrictive, fad diets and find more sustainable ways of meeting their health goals. Today, she joins me to talk specifically about special nutritional needs during the postpartum period. In this interview, Melissa shares why nutrition is so important after childbirth and details the five most important nutrients for postpartum mothers. Below are highlights from our discussion. Click on the audio player to hear the entire interview.
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Postpartum Depression Nutrition Connection
The role of nutrition in maternal mental health may not be as well understood as other facets of wellness, but more research is highlighting the importance of an optimal diet, especially during the critical months and years after pregnancy and childbirth.
Studies have found a connection between nutrition and perinatal depression, or maternal depression that can occur during pregnancy and up to 1 year postpartum.
Specific nutrients are needed in greater quantities during pregnancy and postpartum, and deficiencies in these nutrients may increase the risk of postpartum depression. Nutrition plays an important role with hormonal regulation, gut health, immunity, and neuroendocrine functioning.
Some of the nutrients that may be connected with postpartum depression include:
Trace Minerals, including Selenium, Zinc, and Iron
B-Vitamins, including B-6, B-12 and folate
Essentially fatty-acids, including EPA/DHA
When these nutrient stores are depleted during pregnancy and not adequately replenished in the postpartum period, this can be a trigger for poor functioning of many systems in the body and increase risk of mood disorders, like postpartum depression.
While postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders cant necessarily be prevented, there are many things that can be done to help decrease your overall risk of experiencing these conditions.
Introducing Perelel: A Multivitamin Made To Support Each Stage Of Motherhood
Perelel, the first and only OB/GYN-founded womens vitamin takes the guesswork out of choosing the best prenatal vitamin. No need to search up and down the aisle, hoping one will meet all your specific needs. Perelel bundles together all of the daily vitamins a woman needs into one packet based on where she is in her motherhood journey.
And they dont cut corners by going cheap or using fewer ingredients either. While you might prefer to just take one vitamin each day, Perelel offers the cleanest formulation on the market and high-quality ingredients in the most bioavailable formats to ensure optimal absorption. Plus, their formulation and dosing are meticulously informed by the latest research meaning it is evidence-based and updated to meet a mothers health needs.
And beyond that, Perelel is currently the only brand that offers targeted prenatals for each individual trimester to better support those changing nutritional needs of mom and baby this is a major benefit for mothers and a step up from other vitamins on the market.
The vitamins are conveniently packaged by trimester with a 30-day supply shipped and available via subscription so you dont miss a dose.
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Support Is Key To New Mothers
It is important to have a support network established, such as family, that can help you change diapers, cook meals, and get laundry folded so that the body can heal, the uterus can contract and the mother can begin to adjust to her new routine with baby. If a woman already has children, perhaps a friend or relative can take the kids out for ice cream and a movie or maybe to the park for a couple hours so that mom can sneak a well-deserved nap and a hot shower. If there is no support network already built in, joining a local mom group or support group to discuss concerns and frustrations and build friendship networks can be beneficial. Studies show that when women have postpartum support, they are better able to cope with the dynamic emotions associated with postpartum depression.
Prenatal Vitamins & Omega 3 Fatty Acids + B12
Do not stop taking your prenatal vitamins now. I know you hated taking them during pregnancy but during this fourth trimester known as postpartum you should continue to take your prenatal vitamins.
They will give you essential vitamins that you may be lacking and help boost your system. They also help in keeping your pregnancy hair .
Did you know that vitamin B12 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids help with brain function? If youre suffering from postpartum depression, chances are you are not getting enough of these vitamins.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Antepartum Depression
Depression during pregnancy can have the same symptoms that define major depression in the general population. These can include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable
- Feeling hopeless, worthless, helpless, or guilty
- Frequently feeling irritated, anxious, frustrated, or angry
However, its important to note that a number of symptoms of major depression are similar to the changes that many pregnant women typically experience:
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Changes in appetite and eating habits
This overlap can make it very difficult to identify pregnant women who need help.
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Dont Throw Out The Bottle
Taking a prenatal vitamin is one of the easiest ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy and infant. But after those goals are achieved, don’t discard that bottle! Continuing a high quality prenatal vitamin or starting a postnatal vitamin can help reduce postpartum depression, boost the immune system, and correct nutritional deficiencies seen with improper or restrictive diets.
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Best Vitamins For The First Trimester
The first trimester is a very critical period in development as baby grows from zygote and embryo to fetus. During those early weeks, many organs and systems are beginning to take form theres babys neural development and blood cell formation to the very early stages of reproductive organs and facial features developing.
And of course, moms body is changing to accommodate all these developments and needs of baby. The pregnant body produces more blood volume to provide extra blood flow to the uterus and other organs.
With all these internal changes, its no wonder many women experience morning sickness during the first trimester.
Perelels 1st trimester pack is specifically formulated by top obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine doctors to support these crucial early development needs from weeks 0-13.
The 1st trimester daily pack bundles several vitamins to make it easy for mom to take care of both herself and baby, and includes:
2 full-spectrum multivitamins core vitamins with activated folate, significant choline for fetal neurodevelopment and DHA metabolism, vitamin D for normal immune function
1 omega with both DHA and EPA capsule to support brain development and mood NOTE: DHA + EPA is vital because the EPA allows the DHA to cross the placenta and reach baby
1 additional folate capsule to support early-stage pregnancy needs
1 B6 + ginger capsule as an anti-nausea support
Genetic And Epigenetic Studies
It is generally hoped that investment of possible genetic causes of a psychiatric disorder may help to reveal the underlying pathophysiological mechanism, which can help to find cures or improved treatments. Studies revealed that there may exist an underlying genetic cause for PPD . Viktorin et al. found that the heritability of perinatal depression was estimated at 54 and 44%, respectively, in twin and sibling samples, which means that about half of the variability in perinatal depression can be explained by genetic factors. This is substantially higher than the heritability of non-perinatal depression at 32%. Forty et al. and Murphy-Eberenz et al. reported that PPD with onset within 4 weeks post-parturm exhibits familiality in families with MDD. These studies suggest that, while it also has its own unique features, the genetic basis for PPD may partially overlap with that for other mood disorders.
Catechol-Omethyltransferase and monoamine oxidase-A are allelic gene variations in the monoaminergic system. They have been shown to be related to MDD. The former is involved in dopamine and noradrenalin metabolism, while the latter plays a role in the degradation of serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain . A few studies revealed that MAO-A and COMT may be associated with PPDs that have an onset within 8 weeks postpartum . Sacher et al. found an association between PPD and greater MAO-A VT in the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex, compared to healthy controls.
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Nature Made Prenatal Multi + Dha
Made with key vitamins and minerals to support you and your baby, these soft gels from Nature Made are a good choice. The once-daily formula offers nutritional support without the use of gluten or artificial fillers. However, many reviewers report a strong fishy taste, so keep that in mind if you have a sensitive palate. Additionally, this formula does not include choline.
Getting Adequate Fluids Staying Hydrated
Hydration is crucial for promoting digestive regulation, as well as maintaining and replenishing electrolytes.
Many women experience postpartum night sweats in the days and weeks after delivering their babies, which is often the bodys way of releasing extra fluid that helped support your body and baby during pregnancy. With sweating and extra fluid loss during childbirth, adequate hydration is necessary for replenishing fluid and electrolyte levels.
Drinking to thirst can help support adequate hydration. Try keeping a water bottle next to places you frequently sit for easy access, especially next to places where you might hold and/or nurse your baby.
Remember that you can incorporate other fluids to support hydration, including herbal tea, milk, juices, and coconut water.
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Selenium And Risk Of Postpartum Depression
Women are strongly encouraged to take prenatal vitamins, and there is significant data to indicate multiple benefits to the child, including decreased risk of various congenital defects and certain types of childhood cancers. Less understood is the impact of these supplements on the mothers mental status and her risk for mood disorder during the perinatal period. A group of researchers from Alberta, Canada has recently examined the risk for postpartum depressive symptoms in women enrolled in the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition study, specifically examining the nutrients ingested through supplements to determine whether any individual supplementary nutrients may modulate the risk of postpartum depressive symptoms.
In this study, 475 women completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale at least twice in pregnancy and at 12 weeks postpartum. 59 scored greater than or equal to 10 on the EPDS, where a score of greater than or equal to 10 is considered to be at least probable minor depression. Almost all of the women took some type of micronutrient supplement during the prenatal period.
It was observed that mean nutrient intakes from supplements were higher in women with lower EPDS scores. Looking at individual nutrients, the researchers noted that the mean intake of selenium and omega-3 differed significantly between women with EPDS < 10 and those with EPDS greater than or equal to 10.
Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD
Signs And Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression
According to the Government of Canadas Healthy Canadians website, 7.5 per cent of women report depressive symptoms in the postpartum period.
The Canadian Mental Health Association describes the following as possible symptoms of postpartum depression:
- Feeling sad, worthless, hopeless, guilty or anxious a lot of the time
- Irritability or anger
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What Are The Baby Blues
Baby blues, or postpartum blues, are feelings of sadness that many new mamas experience after the birth of a baby. In addition to feeling sad or blue, many new mamas say they have mood swings and feel lonely.
A new moms feelings are so often lumped into two polarizing categories: shes either doing fine or struggling with postpartum depression. But so often in life, things arent just black or white. Sometimes theres a gray area, and thats where the baby blues come in.
In fact, up to 80 percent of new mamas experience the baby blues, according to the National Institute of Health.
Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal Chewable
This supplement from Seeking Health is gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, tree-nut-free, egg-free, and vegetarian, so its a great option for people with food allergies. Additionally it offers all the recommended nutrients for pregnant and lactating people, including a unique blend of amino acids. With ginger in the mix, Seeking Health aims to make this supplement easy on the stomach.
Always check with your doctor before beginning any supplement.
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