Acupuncture for Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a common condition where women become depressed after giving birth. On average, it affects one in seven moms. This seems like an alarming rate, to suffer from depression after childbirth. A time which is supposed to be filled with joy, instead they feel depressed. What often may make it worse is the guilt and shame some of they may feel as a result of feeling this way. What is the reason for postpartum depression and what can be done to treat it?
Women who suffer from Postpartum depression may suffer from a few different symptoms. They may feel exhausted after delivery, and that exhaustion does not go away. It is common for them to feel overwhelmed with the baby, like they don’t own their life anymore, burdened from responsibility, the stress of having a drastic change in their life and less freedom than before. New mothers are up throughout the night with the baby, so the loss of quality sleep is a factor as well.
East Asian Medicine believes that postpartum depression is often the result of a pre-existing condition of anemia coupled with low energy or excessive loss of blood during delivery. When people lose blood, they also minerals and electrolytes. Blood is like an anchor, which keeps us rooted and helps us to feel stable. If someone is prone to suffer from anemia or have lost a lot of blood, they may also suffer from fatigue and low energy. If this is severe enough, it may lead to depression. For some women, this will also create a “stuck” feeling. This may be tightness around the rib area and will often coincide with anger, outbursts and seemingly random emotional swings.
When considering all the other stresses of being a new mom, it’s easy to see how and why postpartum depression is common. This does not mean that these women are destined to just live a life with misery. Acupuncture is an effective treatment which has long lasting effects.
Acupuncture and East Asian medicine is very helpful to treat this condition in a variety of ways. It will help the body to generate more blood, and to make sure that blood is viable and moving as it should in the vessels. It will also help improve digestion, which means it is helping create nutrient rich blood from food and that all the minerals are being absorbed and waste is being excreted properly. All of these improvements will lead to better mood as well as cognitive and bodily function. This will thereby reduce depression, stress and anxiety, while helping the person to feel happy and full of life again.
If you or someone you know suffers from postpartum depression, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation and together we’ll determine if this is the right therapy at the right time.
Acupuncture Physician, LAc, EAMP