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Can return of cycle trigger PPD?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi mamas-

DS is now 9.5 mos and we are still bfing. He wakes up at least 2 times a night and I work full time…he has never slept through the night . I was able to keep up with all the demands of working full time, keeping the house in order, bfing, pumping, dh, 4 yr old, etc etc while sleep deprived but without feeling like I was treading into the waters of ppd. I knew this because, if given the rare opportunity to take a nap or sleep in an hour or too, I felt refreshed and my mood would pick up.

THEN, at 7.5 mos pp, dear old AF showed up with a vengeance. I have never suffered from PMS in my life until now. The anger, resentment, mood swings, edginess, anxiousness, takes hold of me for 3 weeks out of each month. I feel like a mean spirited, nasty attitude person who can’t find happiness in anything anymore. I get choked up just admitting this.

I took the quiz in the sticky thread and scored a 51.

Is this some sort of awful PMS, and will it ever get better? Or have the hormones from my cycle returning triggered PPD? I don’t want to go on meds due to bfing, so I am going to go pick up some fish oil and evening primrose oil today. Any other suggestions/options?????

TIA
post #2 of 15
Good plan to get the fish and primrose oil! Starting my cycles at 15 months pp brought on depression for me, but I discovered it was cause the bleeding brought on severe anemia. My iron levels were on the verge b4 I started cycling again and the monthly flow just put me over the edge. Could you get a iron test? It would also be a good idea to get a full blood work up for vitamin/mineral stores if at all possible. They test for folate, b6, b12, iron, vitamin a, zinc and more. Getting vitamin D tested would be very beneficial. Not a possiblitly for many, but very good to do if you can. Nursing, stress, sleeplessnes all deplete you of nutritional reserves so you are probably deficient unless you are being very proactive nutritionally.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyjenn View Post
Good plan to get the fish and primrose oil! Starting my cycles at 15 months pp brought on depression for me, but I discovered it was cause the bleeding brought on severe anemia. My iron levels were on the verge b4 I started cycling again and the monthly flow just put me over the edge. Could you get a iron test? It would also be a good idea to get a full blood work up for vitamin/mineral stores if at all possible. They test for folate, b6, b12, iron, vitamin a, zinc and more. Getting vitamin D tested would be very beneficial. Not a possiblitly for many, but very good to do if you can. Nursing, stress, sleeplessnes all deplete you of nutritional reserves so you are probably deficient unless you are being very proactive nutritionally.
Thank you for the advice! I am taking a pre-natal and I am a bit obsessive about vit C and D supplements for immunity purposes. I take 2000-4000mg a day of vit c in addition to eating kiwi daily, plus 6000-12000 IUs of vit D a day.

I started taking an iron supplement a few weeks ago as well because I do not eat red meat, and my iron levels were always borderline, but i have to admit I do not take it daily. So I think you have a great point about my cycle probably depleting what little I had. I thought about asking to have bloodwork done to test my hormone levels (although i am not sure what time of the month to do this) so I may ask for them to do vitamins as well.
post #4 of 15
A couple things...if your digestion is poor then you won't be able to absorb all those wonderful vitamins you are taking! So digestion is the first, diet, the supps. How are your nails? They can be a good indicator of nutrient deficincies and/or digestion. If they are strong and healthy that's a good thing. Dry, brittle, spilting, and ridges and spots are no good. I have had great results with Mega Foods Blood Builder for anemia. It's whole food derived (no lab created vitamins) and got the cofactors vitamins need to be the most absorbable. Check out the reviews at vita cost. You can also look at Amazon, iherb, and lucky vitamin for reviews too.

http://www.vitacost.com/MegaFood-Dai...-Blood-Builder

There are a couple causes of anemia...low iron, folic acid, or b12 are the most common. b12 is a very common deficiency! So many ppl I know felt really, really good on b12 or dessicated liver supplments. The above supplement has all 3 of those vitamins and more and would be a major energy boost. Can take on an empty tummy and will not constipate! Top quality. Again, I prefer natural products. My hubby is almost a Nutritional Therapist and we subscribe to health journals and such so we have some background and are therefore are very opinionated as well. :P I wouldn't take an iron supplent without a confirmed low hemoglobin/red blood cell count.

The other thing...is your prenatal very absorbable? If you don't mind sharing I could critique it for you. I don't only use this company and I am not affiliated with them in any way, but I highly recommend Mega Food's Womens vitamin. I became aware of it and switched when I discovered the Blood Builder. As you can read in the reviews women have had there nutrient blood levels checked with excellent results while taking their multi's. The have a prenatal (Baby and Me) that is comparable to New Chapter or Garden of Life's prenatal whole food vitamins, but I prefer their Womens because it is 2-6 times the vitamins! 60 for a two month supply.

MegaFood DailyFoods Women's -- 180 Tablets
http://www.vitacost.com/MegaFood-DailyFoods-Womens

They also have a 1 a day that is less expensive and less nutrient dense than the above, but if you check out the reviews you will see that women report beautiful nails, great hair, and more energy. It's like 40 for a 3 month supply.

MegaFood Women's One Daily -- 90 Tablets
http://www.vitacost.com/MegaFood-Wom...y/vbnpid-24986

Sorry to sound like a commercial, but when you find something that really helps you want to share it! And sorry for the typos! I should not be on mothering and am really stressed taking the time to write...way to busy to be surfing the web right now, but it's hard to stay away from MDC.
post #5 of 15
Add testing thyroid hormone to the list. It often can go kaputz ~ 6 months after a birth and could be a factor, particularly because it does interact with the endocrine (estrogen) system.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
thank you both

I took a complex B vitamin yesterday (whole foods) and while I noticed my mood picked up, I was very restless in my sleep last night even though I was exhausted. That only happens to me when i take an extra b vitamin in addition to what is in my prenatal

I have a dr. appt on Thursday afternoon and I am going to request a blood draw to test my hormones, vitamins, and thyroid. I had my thryroid checked a few months pp and it came back fine, so frustrating...

mommyjenn, I am not sure which prenatal brand I am on as my bottle is at home and I am at work, I got it from whole foods. I will have to double check...
post #7 of 15
I had a similar experience. I had bad ppd after baby #2 and so I was relieved that my symptoms after baby #3 were not that bad....until my cycle returned. From what I've read, I am guessing that my system is out of whack and probably can't rebalance without some help. I expect that I'll have trouble with hormone changes until I find a way to fix the problem. I'm also rather discouraged that maybe now my body will always be more vulnerable to hormone changes after having depression.

I'm working through the book "The Mood Cure" and am really encouraged by it. It helped me identify that serotonin level and thyroid function are most likely the source of my problems. I haven't tried the "amazing aminos" yet but I'm planning to.

One question--I'm wondering if OP or anyone else has had cyclic depression that is NOT PMS? For some reason, I get my depression symptoms when my estrogen levels are high mid-cycle, before ovulation. Then I seem to be fine during the PMS period.
post #8 of 15
OP, what time of day did you take the b complex? The latest I take them are with lunch or they do the same thing to me. If they are time release, you'd want to take them in the morn. Just a few thoughts...
post #9 of 15
I would highly recommend the book: Women's Moods: What Every Woman Needs to Know about Hormones, the Brain and Emotional Health.

In short, yes, it's possible that the return of your cycle is triggering PPD. More accurately, it's probably PMDD (Premenstural Dysphoric Disorder). I had 'regular' PDD with ds, was treated and then when my cycle returned when we weaned, I was plunged back into it.

One of the reasons I like the book Women's Moods is because she talks about both natural supplements and when it might be time to take meds. I would keep a close eye on your mood and your treatments. If the fish oils and vitamins don't help, please see your doctor. Some of our brains need a little extra help.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Mom3 View Post
One question--I'm wondering if OP or anyone else has had cyclic depression that is NOT PMS? For some reason, I get my depression symptoms when my estrogen levels are high mid-cycle, before ovulation. Then I seem to be fine during the PMS period.
I personally have not, but my mother dealt with depression for a long time so it is in my genes apparently. I was practically euphoric after the birth of DD over 4 years ago and felt the extreme opposite of depression, even with the sleep loss (she did not sleep through either). And I didn't feel moody the first several months with DS or really feel anything "coming on" gradually which is why I was caught off guard these last 3 months. I thought if I hadn't experienced anything by that point, then I was probably free and clear unless I tried to wean abrupty or something similar. AF showed up and it was like I became a different person. I feel I have so much to learn about depression and hormones, like this is just the tip of the iceberg....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyjenn View Post
OP, what time of day did you take the b complex? The latest I take them are with lunch or they do the same thing to me. If they are time release, you'd want to take them in the morn. Just a few thoughts...
I took it at lunch...guess I should try first thing in the morning just to be safe

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Thanks, I will check that out!



Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
In short, yes, it's possible that the return of your cycle is triggering PPD. More accurately, it's probably PMDD (Premenstural Dysphoric Disorder). I had 'regular' PDD with ds, was treated and then when my cycle returned when we weaned, I was plunged back into it.
Since I have started my research, PMDD has definitely caught my attention. Because....what if when we are done bfing and he is sleeping through the night, I am still a mess???

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
One of the reasons I like the book Women's Moods is because she talks about both natural supplements and when it might be time to take meds. I would keep a close eye on your mood and your treatments. If the fish oils and vitamins don't help, please see your doctor. Some of our brains need a little extra help.
Although I do not want to take meds while bfing, if the vitamins and supps do not make a difference and it gets worse, I am going to seriously consider Zoloft. My goal is to make it to 1 year with bfing and start to wean. Little man is a huge fan so it may mean just stopping my pumping sessions during the day while he switches to cows milk at daycare and just keep the nursing sessions to bedtime. I do not want to wean sooner to go on meds.



Also, another question for any other mamas....what about going on hormonal birth control? Does that help PMS/PMDD/PPD or make it worse? Any insight is appreciated

Oh, and I forgot to ask about night sweats...I have been waking up sweating almost every night. Some nights are worse than others, like I can soak through my pjs....yuck! Anyone else have this?? I am 31 years old, I feel like I am going through menopause already!
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by natural4mybabies View Post
Oh, and I forgot to ask about night sweats...I have been waking up sweating almost every night. Some nights are worse than others, like I can soak through my pjs....yuck! Anyone else have this?? I am 31 years old, I feel like I am going through menopause already!
I'm putting this at the top - have you had your thyroid tested? I feel like an idiot not saying it before, but any woman who has major changes in her mood needs a thyroid check.

Excessive sweating can be a sign of hyperthyroidism.

Please go see your doctor. You don't have to take meds if they're offered, but you should rule out a physical cause.


Quote:
Originally Posted by natural4mybabies View Post
I feel I have so much to learn about depression and hormones, like this is just the tip of the iceberg....
That's why I love Women's Moods -- it's the first and only book I've read that really makes the connection clear to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by natural4mybabies View Post
Since I have started my research, PMDD has definitely caught my attention. Because....what if when we are done bfing and he is sleeping through the night, I am still a mess???
who knows? Getting past depression usually takes a lot of good self care and some reassessing/reorganizing life. Sometimes it takes meds too.

For me, my depression (it's anxiety really) is triggered by a combination of things: lack of sleep (that's huge for me), stress in my everyday life, seasons + hormones. As I understand it more, and as time goes by, I'm better able to manage on my own. But for awhile, My brain needed help.

I don't feel bad about taking meds. Is it ideal? No. But like you, depression/anxiety are in my genes. There are a whole lot of people in my mom's family who self medicate with alcohol. There are a fair number of people in my dad's family who were just plain miserable.

It's like being predisposed to heart disease. I've got a colleague who's a marathon runner, fit, and eats well. Guess what? He's got coronary artery disease. His dad died before 50 from heart disease. He does all the right things, and yet he still has to take meds. Even when I did all the right self care, I ended up needing meds.


Quote:
Originally Posted by natural4mybabies View Post
Although I do not want to take meds while bfing, if the vitamins and supps do not make a difference and it gets worse, I am going to seriously consider Zoloft. My goal is to make it to 1 year with bfing and start to wean. Little man is a huge fan so it may mean just stopping my pumping sessions during the day while he switches to cows milk at daycare and just keep the nursing sessions to bedtime. I do not want to wean sooner to go on meds.
Just to clarify: You do not need to wean to go on Zoloft. Babies who breastfeed and have mothers on Zoloft do not have detectable levels of Zoloft in their bloodstream. Little, if any, of the Zoloft passes through the breastmilk.

I understand the reluctance to use meds and breastfeed, and if you can avoid it, fine.

Know too that there is a risk to your children of having a mom who is severely depressed and untreated. There is a risk of cognitive and social delays for children of moms with depression who are untreated. So, the equation isn't as simple as no meds = good; meds = bad.

I feel a bit odd advocating meds on MDC, but I think there is a place for them, especially in the treatment of PPD. (Technically, you'd be diagnosed with PPD because any depression in the first year after birth is PPD.) I'm all for trying natural methods first (as long as your fish oils don't contain heavy metals). But sometimes they're not enough.


Quote:
Originally Posted by natural4mybabies View Post
Also, another question for any other mamas....what about going on hormonal birth control? Does that help PMS/PMDD/PPD or make it worse? Any insight is appreciated
I can't do hormonal birth control.
post #12 of 15
If you really want to give nutritional therapy a fair shot I recommend the book mentioned in the two posts below. Don't know much about meds as that is not my area of study.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...62&postcount=7

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...42&postcount=3


Also, if you do show up b12 deficient, I recommend this product and only this. Most b12 supplements or complexes with b12 are a waste of time and money and little absorbed. Some can only take the below supplement every other day or once a week, etc. or they can't sleep. You may want to play around with your b complex in that regard as well. Reviews:

Natural Factors, B12 Methylcobalamin, 1000 mcg, 90 Sublingual Tablets
http://www.iherb.com/Natural-Factors...lets/2521?at=1

http://www.vitacost.com/Natural-Fact...F-068958012421

HTH someone!
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
I'm putting this at the top - have you had your thyroid tested? I feel like an idiot not saying it before, but any woman who has major changes in her mood needs a thyroid check.

Excessive sweating can be a sign of hyperthyroidism.

Please go see your doctor. You don't have to take meds if they're offered, but you should rule out a physical cause.
I did have it tested a few months pp and it was fine, but I have an appt on Thursday and I am going to request another one. I would be surprised if I am hyper, though, because most of the time during the day my hands and feet are freezing. Also, with hyper, isn't there a difficultly in keeping weight on? I cannot seem to shake the last 15-20 lbs no matter what I do...so confused.




That's why I love Women's Moods -- it's the first and only book I've read that really makes the connection clear to me.[/QUOTE]


I read the sneak preview on Amazon.com and I am really intrigued. I wonder if I can find this at my local bookstore, if so...I might just have to spend my lunch hour reading Otherwise I will just bite the bullet and order




Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
who knows? Getting past depression usually takes a lot of good self care and some reassessing/reorganizing life. Sometimes it takes meds too.

For me, my depression (it's anxiety really) is triggered by a combination of things: lack of sleep (that's huge for me), stress in my everyday life, seasons + hormones. As I understand it more, and as time goes by, I'm better able to manage on my own. But for awhile, My brain needed help.

I don't feel bad about taking meds. Is it ideal? No. But like you, depression/anxiety are in my genes. There are a whole lot of people in my mom's family who self medicate with alcohol. There are a fair number of people in my dad's family who were just plain miserable.

It's like being predisposed to heart disease. I've got a colleague who's a marathon runner, fit, and eats well. Guess what? He's got coronary artery disease. His dad died before 50 from heart disease. He does all the right things, and yet he still has to take meds. Even when I did all the right self care, I ended up needing meds.

I understand what you are saying and where you are coming from. When my mother dealt with depression she was a very mean person and I can recall her taking a lot out on me even though I did everything I could to please her. Nothing ever seemed good enough. The last thing I want to do is repeat this cycle with my children It is just so hard to go from the mindset of anti-Big Pharma to accepting that nothing else can be done. I'll get there though...

Thanks for all your help
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyjenn View Post
If you really want to give nutritional therapy a fair shot I recommend the book mentioned in the two posts below. Don't know much about meds as that is not my area of study.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...62&postcount=7

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...42&postcount=3!
Thanks, I will check that one out as well
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by natural4mybabies View Post

Also, another question for any other mamas....what about going on hormonal birth control? Does that help PMS/PMDD/PPD or make it worse? Any insight is appreciated
I did fine with bcp before ppd but they make me depressed now.

When I was getting the prescription, I even asked my midwife about any connection between mood problems caused by bcp and ppd and she didn't think there was a link at all. But if you go to the fertility forum, you'll find plenty of people who have issues with hormal birth control. And some who connect it to ppd. I think that maybe it just hasn't been studied yet.

The book "Women's Moods" does a good job describing how your brain changes when you have big hormonal changes and depression. For some people, this means that they become more and more vulnerable to mood problems and at the same time, it becomes harder to attribute the mood problems to one or two obvious things. I have seen this happening to me--becoming more and more vulnerable to depression.

The authors' answer--keep up with self care to make you less vulnerable, make sure you get treated for mood problems that do occur and be ready to have further treatment if things go wrong again. Some people can get all the way better after one episode and have no problems after that, some people will need long term treatment.
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