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Natural Awakenings Central Florida / Orlando

Navigating Peri- & Post-partum Depression: Tips from The Salt Room Longwood

Postpartum depression painfully eclipses the joy and fulfillment of motherhood. Not every mother faces the depths of a severe case, but many experience the scary fringes of this affliction. Here we present a bit of psychoeducation.

What is Peripartum Depression?

You may have heard the word “postpartum” (after childbirth) but you may not be as familiar with the term “peripartum” which refers to the time before labor and delivery. Peripartum depression is a condition acknowledged by doctors and researchers.  A woman may begin to feel the same symptoms of postpartum depression BEFORE giving birth—symptoms like depression, sadness, anxiety and despair.

A pregnant woman’s hormones spike and dip as her body begins to prepare for life with a newborn. These changes impact other hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin.  Plus, overall discomfort and nighttime baby gymnastics cause sleep deprivation, making—well, everything—even more challenging. Just know that every woman is different, and postpartum-like symptoms may show up earlier. Also know that even if your sonograms look great, amid this physical tumult, you may worry if your baby is healthy. There’s a bit of “holding your breath until you hold your baby.” Some anxiety is completely normal.

Your First Line of Defense Against Postpartum Depression: Your OB-GYN

Not every mother is going to have a therapist, but she will have an OB-GYN.  Her first line of defense is her doctor.  Doctors check in with their patients and ask screening questions to assess a patient’s mental health. Your doctor’s office is not the place to “tough it out” or downplay your symptoms. Tell your doctor how you are really feeling, so you can get the most appropriate care.

As a first line treatment, the American Psychological Association’s guidelines recommend treating mild depression and anxiety with psychotherapy (without medication) for breastfeeding women.  An antidepressant medication may be considered for women with moderate or severe depression or anxiety.

Common Postpartum Symptoms

·         Feelings of sadness or a depressed mood

·         Loss of interest in pleasurable activities

·         Changes in appetite, trouble sleeping or loss of energy

·         Feelings of worthlessness

·         Lack of concentration or inability to make decisions

Then there are the symptoms that women have a hard time opening up about: crying for no reason, feeling guilty about being a bad mother, thoughts of death and suicide, lack of interest in the baby or fear of harming the baby.

Be honest with your doctor and/or therapist. They are there for help and non-judgmental support. This is also much easier when you have a pediatrician and personal doctors who align with your needs—with conventional means, holistic methods or a combination.

Resources for Postpartum Support

Resources for Postpartum Support

There is no need to suffer in isolation; however, reaching out for any kind of support requires you to be honest. Read More » 


Special thanks to Diana Shaw, Ed.S, LMHC for her help with this article. Her practice, Chaos Solutions Counseling, LLC, is a neighbor to The Salt Room Longwood.

The Salt Room Longwood serves all age groups in the Central Florida area with a safe, drug-free therapy proven to be effective for relieving symptoms of many chronic sinus, lung and skin conditions such as allergies, sinus infections, asthma and eczema. Salt therapy is safe!  HEPA/carbon filters and UV light kill 99% of all airborne and surface bacteria and viruses. To schedule a salt therapy session, call 407-862-1163 or visit www.SaltRoomLongwood.com



 

 

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