Post partum depression. I didn’t have it after my first pregnancy, so I had no idea why I felt the way I did after my miscarriage. Sure, I was teary eyed and emotional after my first live birth, but that passed after a few weeks. It felt like rite of passage…very natural and healing.
But when I got pregnant again while still nursing my 9 month old daughter, my hormones and emotions went wild! Then, I miscarried at 14 weeks. Of course, there’s a grieving process. But rather than my sadness improving, I started to feel worse and worse. I thought there was something wrong with me and I felt ashamed and stopped reaching out to my friends for support. Luckily, I had people in my life who recognized that I was not acting myself and told me to research postpartum depression.
When I finally got online and looked up the symptoms of PPD, I was shocked…and then, relieved. I finally understood that there wasn’t anything wrong with me. This hormonal imbalance could be healed.
I weaned my daughter that week from the breast. I had nursed her during the second pregnancy and miscarriage, which really didn’t allow my body the energy it needed to heal. Within 48 hours, just this step alone made me feel better. And because it was what I needed to heal, it was an easy transition for Fahtima. She moved to raw organic cow’s milk happily and with ease.
After taking herbs I felt better within 3 days…not 100%. But better. After 3 weeks, I woke up one morning, and realized it was the first time I was excited to get out of bed and face the day in 7 months.
What kind of herbs? Well, here’s the thing. Herbs like St. John’s Wort are fantastic, but on it’s own it’s not enough. You really need to support the entire endocrine system to really balance out those hormones with PPD. I don’t think using an anti-depressant drug or herb addresses the root of the issue. You really need to look at the entire neuro-endocrine system to support healing the cause, not just the symptoms. Essential oils and herbal medicine can be hugely helpful at elevating mood. But replenishing the body’s depleted reserves is absolutely necessary for recovery. Acupuncture can really help the body recover post-miscarriage or birth.
And for all those expectant mamas out there who might be reading this I am a HUGE believer in placenta. Saving your placenta and having someone process it and capsule it for you is by far the most powerful medicine to prevent PPD. I say this as a clinician, but also as a mom with other mom friends—we all agree this helped us all so much.