Post-Partum Depression is a real thing.
It's no surprise that women go through massive hormonal shifts that during pregnancy.
Most go into pregnancies with hormonal imbalances, which ultimately sets the stage.
But using a drug to mask the symptoms may not be the most effective course of action; especially at $30K! Yikes!!! (See article)
I experienced depression while in college after my grandmother passed away. But over the years I’ve learned that there are multiple factors involved here.
- Gut imbalance – since the majority of your neurotransmitters are manufactured in the gut, we obviously need to look there. Gut inflammation due to poor diet is the primary cause for gut disturbances. If you don't get your gut right, nothing else will really be that effective. That's the main reason why people "try" things and don't seem to get the results they want. The protocols I layout in Total Gut Restore Course is the foundational approach that we'd use if you were getting treated directly by me.
- Not enough sun – this one is pretty obvious. When I was in Oregon it rained a lot, plus I was cooped up in the classroom all day long. This may be the same issue for most moms postpartum. You’re tired, staying indoors with baby during the day when the sun is out. This has a lot to do with balancing out your circadian rhythms. And having a brand new baby throws that out the window. Unfortunately, you can't shortcut nature. But there are things you can do to try and make ends meet here.
- Make an effort to wake with the sun and then shut down the lights when the sun goes down.
- Make an effort to get midday sun exposure. Doesn't have to be a long time.
- If you live in an area where sun is non-existent (like Oregon), there are full-spectrum light machines out there.
- Get more protein – your body needs the amino acid precursor of SEROTONIN (the feel-good hormone) L-Tryptophan. But remember that to digest and assimilate protein, you need a well-working GUT. The stomach needs to be acidic enough to breakdown the protein, small intestine needs to have the right amount of bicarbonate to allow the proteolytic enzymes to fully break down the protein into amino acids. Best sources would be eggs, fish, grass-fed beef, and if needed…whey protein.
- Movement – gentle exercise will help to increase endorphin production. But be careful not to overdo this!
- Hormones – this is captain obvious, but most women don’t get their hormones balanced before pregnancy. I always counsel my patients to get things all balanced out before pregnancy. The main culprit is STRESS. If you’re under chronic stress your body could care less about these three things: DIGESTION, MAKING A BABY and FIGHTING OFF A COLD. It reallocates the resources for those three and redirects it to your BRAINS and MUSCLES. So you get muscle tension and your brain is going 300mph. These are the patients that tell me “Doc, I can’t sleep, but I’m so tired” So it starts by shutting off that stress response (the fight or flight reaction) through meditation and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Then you can look at things like Progesterone/Estrogen ratios.
In my upcoming course Total Hormonal Harmony, we'll go over the step-by-step protocol that will take you from hormonal imbalance to hormonal balance. Get on the list to be notified!