Hormonal imbalance arises often after pregnancy and delivery which creates a rise in postpartum depression. After delivery there is a drastic decrease in the hormone balance. Estrogen plummets by 90-95% and progesterone drops to nearly zero 48 hours after delivery . This low hormonal state can result in “baby blues”- crying, moodiness, irritability, or impatience for the first few days postpartum. If this persists or worsens for a longer period of time (months to years) after delivery then, postpartum depression may be the culprit.
Thyroid problems often show up 1-5 months after delivery. During early pregnancy, the thyroid takes a large burden of activity and undergoes significant changes. Consequently, pregnancy and postpartum period often influences the course of pre-existing thyroid imbalances.
The combination of lack of sleep due to the baby’s feed schedule, the postpartum recovery time, and lack of emotional support may stimulate prolonged depression. Women with high risk factors for Postpartum depression (PPD) or mood disorders include history of depression, lack of partner, marital problems, abusive relationships, substance abuse problems, lack of social support, poverty, increased life stress, history of previous abortions, unplanned pregnancy, ambivalence toward the pregnancy and anxiety about the fetus. To be diagnosed with PPD, there needs to be 4 or more of the following symptoms that would be debilitating to the woman:
Changes in appetite, sleep patterns, mood
Feelings of inadequacy of being a mother, doubting ability to mother or feelings of guilt or worthlessness
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide of self or of baby
One way to combat post baby blues is to talk to a friend, mother or group of women who have been through it. Be gentle with yourself, knowing that this is a normal recovery process. It may be necessary to have a hormonal panel completed. Many women experience endocrine imbalances after having a baby. If you are having issues with breastfeeding then a lactation consultant, joining Le Leche League or other new mom’s group may be helpful.
THERE IS A CURE!!!
Dr. Kovalik can offer you assistance during postpartum phase thru acupuncture, herbs, nutrition and emotional support by :
- Preventing Post partum depression/anxiety
- Promote healthy lactation
- Aide in recovery and correct hormone balance
- Reducing stress and improve quality sleep