Can I do anything to prevent PPD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 11-05-2004, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am due in about 6 weeks and am wondering if there's anythig I can start doing now to help prevent PPD. Are there any herbs that might help, or any mental excercises?

I suffered from it terribly with DD. I had very little support, and really didn't realize what was going on for a LONG time. I wasn't around anyone who knew me before I got pregnant (I had only even known DP for a few months before we conceived) so there wasn't really even anyone who could tell I wasn't acting like myself. I really think it went on until she was over a year old.

So I would really like to do anything I can now to help prevent this from happening again.

Any suggestions?

Deirdre partners.gif partner to Josiah , mama of jumpers.gif, and.... it's a BOY!!!! babyf.gif4/23/2011
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#2 of 11 Old 11-05-2004, 03:22 AM
 
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i've found what helped me this time around was...

* having a completely empowered labor + birth
* having the freedom to be in constant contact w/ my littlest one for as long as i needed / wanted it
* breastfeeding on demand
* carrying her
* having more support from community / family / friends
* getting back Out In The World immediately
* writing down all my feelings + talking about them w/ other mamas
* taking every day 1 day at a time
* eating... no, not eating right per se, just eating. drinking lots of water. taking walks whenever possible w/ my little ones.
* MDC!!!!!

w/ my first, i suffered from prenatal + postpartum depression. i had a not-so-great birth experience, no support, didn't breastfeed, didn't know about AP, and didn't have any other mamas to talk with. after he was born, i didn't take care of myself. i never had enough food to eat. i excercised too much. etc.

this time around, i was hit very hard w/ prenatal depression BUT once she was born, all of the above really helped lift me up. the depression i experienced was very mild in comparison, + mostly situational ~ no money, having to go back to work, etc etc.

hth

/nak
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#3 of 11 Old 11-05-2004, 12:29 PM
 
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Many people swear by the eating of the placenta. Personally I have never done it so I can't be a testament to it. (not that I'm opposed to it, I just never heard about it for my first dc).

I have heard some people eat part of it raw, some cook it in various types of stew-like recipes, and some dry it out grind it up and take it in pill form. I believe the theory is that the placenta being extremely nutrient rich, supplies the body with various vitamins/minerals that tend to be insufficient in those who suffer from PPD.

You can search on it in MDC, I know I've seen threads about it before.

Good Luck and may you have a wonderful Labor and Delivery!
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#4 of 11 Old 11-05-2004, 01:28 PM
 
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There is research that suggests that low DHA levels (which can occur during pregnancy and breastfeeding) can contribute to depression. So trying an Omega Fatty Acid supplement might help.
Here is a website about dietary affects on depression.
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#5 of 11 Old 11-05-2004, 05:48 PM
 
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Nursing and pregnancy tend to leave moms low in B vitamins. Try taking a B complex vitamin to boost your levels. Have you checked out the thread going now on natural things. Exercise is a natural seretonin booster. If you suffer from anxiety, Zinc can help.

Finally, if you are not opposed, most meds are totally safe with breastfeeding. You could either start them shortly before the birth or right after to try to head it off, or just remember that if you start to slide, they are always an option. I opted for the latter option and my ds3 is almost 8 months and I'm still med free. I've never felt better. While it is true that once you have had ppd you are more prone to it again, it isn't a guarantee. You may get lucky.

While I agree that having a the birth you want should be a given for every mom, sometimes, that simply isn't an option. Make your birth plan and do your best to stick with it, but sometimes things happen that don't go your way. If you feel so strongly about a certain birth and you don't get it, that can contribute to ppd. If you go in understanding that you can do your best to have the birth you want, but knowing that sometimes even the best intentions aren't possible, hopefully you won't feel like a failure if things don't go according to how you wanted them. If you can find a doula or someone to support you in your birth and birthplan, that would be awesome.

My third birth sucked. My water broke and the hospital and doctor treated me as if I were an idiot and didn't know what had happened, then when it was proven that it did indeed break, the doctor (not my ob) wanted me to deliver within 12 hours of it breaking. How nuts is that?!? I was treated horribly when I refused pitocin, my concerns were rebuffed and I was made out to be some sort of zealot who didn't know what I was talking about. After a very tense "discussion" with the ob about how my labor would progress, it became clear that if I hoped to have any sort of repetiour (sp?) with the doctor, I needed to give up my fight. I'm leaving out a bunch of the details for time, but suffice it to say that I was very angry when they put in the IV and cranked up the pit. They started the pit and I was screaming in pain within an hour (they really like cranking that stuff up.) I was angry, miserable, sad, disappointed, you name it. I felt like my birth had been taken away from me. The only decision I made was to get the epidural (my first drugs in all three of my births). It was the best decision I made because I felt like it was my birth again. I refused to let her do an episiotomy and I took control of the things that I could from that point. It wasn't my ideal birth, and I was pretty angry for quite a while, but I am so glad that I didn't dwell on it and I took control of what I could in the birth process instead of feeling like I had been violated in some way.

I go through this whole thing because of my three births (the first two were drug free and wonderful) I felt the best after the worst birth. I find that I need to stay open to change and flexable in everything I do in order to stay sane. I AP, but sometimes I screw up. I have been know to yell at one of my kids sometimes. I apologize and move on. We can't change our mistakes of the past, so dwelling on them is futile. So many moms I know who suffer from ppd find that they can't let go of the things they feel guilty about -- things that they shouldn't feel guilty about. Their child gets an occasional bottle -- is that so horrible, but I have friends who have felt very guilty about that and dwell on it so much that it taints their happiness with their child. Occasionally leaving a child/baby with a trusted caregiver isn't a sin, yet so many of us feel terrible about it. Do the best you can and don't dwell on things.

PPD is a chemical/hormonal imbalance, but sleep deprivation, guilt, fear, etc can make it worse. Be good to yourself and if you find that you need help, get it.
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#6 of 11 Old 11-06-2004, 10:13 PM
 
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ditto placenta eating
:
breastfeeding on call
talking to people about everything
having an older child helps to keep you busy
help around the house
put a list on your fridg that says what people can do to help so they don't have to ask you
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#7 of 11 Old 11-07-2004, 01:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellasmom
There is research that suggests that low DHA levels (which can occur during pregnancy and breastfeeding) can contribute to depression. So trying an Omega Fatty Acid supplement might help.
Here is a website about dietary affects on depression.
Ditto this. I started taking fish oil capsules during my third trimester and continued through the first nine months or so post-partum. I have suffered from major depression throughout my life and I was terrified of getting PPD. It really seems to have helped me. I never even really had the "baby blues" and I'm convinced that the fish oil helped.

Here's another link about this:

Fish Oil in Pregnancy Treats Depression Risks

HTH!

--Kathie

KT : - Smitten mama to J & M : Looking for a local group in SEPA? - See my homepage!
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#8 of 11 Old 11-07-2004, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your suggestions.

I think a lot of it was probably situational. We had NO money, so I was eating like crap. And we went to live in a place we didn't want to be 3 week PP b/c of business, and the business thing didn't workout so we were just kind of stuck there. I was already aware of AP parenting, so I was BFing on command, wearing the baby, etc.

I am a quiet person and feel weird about "burdening" people with my problems IRL. So its really hard for me to talk to people about the way I feel or what I need. I could never imagine having a friend over and asking them to do my dishes for instance, I would feel rediculous! I don't even like getting too into my issues on the MDC, I feel like, "why would anyone want to sit there and read my complaining?"

My biggest concern is probably the getting enough rest part. I have a 3 yr. old and my partner is one of those "I make all the money, so you do all the house and child work" kind of guys. I don't think he'll be very helpful or supportive during the PP period. I want to talk to him about it, but this is already a sensitive issue (him helping me with anything), and I feel like it will turn into a big fight. I was thinking about asking my midwife to talk to him, but she's only even met him a couple times for a few minutes, and that would be kind of awkward. So I really don't know what to do about it. I guess I just have to deal with a big fight if thats what happens. Anyone else had to deal with this? He's self employed and thinks ALL his time and energy has to go into the business, so when I ask him for help with something, he feels like I'm taking him away from making money or something. I don't know what to say to him.

I will be eating the placenta (in capsules) this time, and I will keep in mind your suggestions abou the different supplements and stuff. And I have a much bigger support network this time (outside of DP), so hopefully I won't feel too self concious to ask for help or talk about how I feel. The MDC has really helped me with a lot of other things, so I can see that it will certainly be helpful for this.

Thanks a lot!

Oh, I am opposed to using prescription drugs, so that is out of the question. But I can respect other peoples decisions to go that route. Are there any herbs that may help?

Deirdre partners.gif partner to Josiah , mama of jumpers.gif, and.... it's a BOY!!!! babyf.gif4/23/2011
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#9 of 11 Old 11-14-2004, 09:50 PM
 
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Have you considered a post partum doula?
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#10 of 11 Old 11-18-2004, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A pp doula would be wonderful if she'd work for free!

Deirdre partners.gif partner to Josiah , mama of jumpers.gif, and.... it's a BOY!!!! babyf.gif4/23/2011
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#11 of 11 Old 11-18-2004, 04:57 PM
 
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I know what you mean. I can't afford one either.

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