For those who may be experiencing Postpartum Depression in Calgary and area - Wellness on 1st (a local wellness center) provides holistic solutions to our clients.
Dr. Susan Newman, the clinics resident expert in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), utilizes her skills in effectively treating postpartum depression naturally and to alleviate the symptoms.
Susan provides a Free 15 Minute Acupuncture Consultation to assess her clients needs.
What is Postpartum (postnatal) Depression?
Postnatal Depression is clinical depression that can affect 10-15% of women after the birth of a baby. It is most commonly experienced during the first 6 weeks after the birth but may manifest up to a year postpartum.
It is associated with depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, crying episodes, palpitations, lack of bonding with baby, feelings of guilt, poor memory, and at its worst, women can experience delusions, hallucinations, suicidal and destructive thoughts.
Postpartum depression often goes untreated as the new mothers are in denial about their state of health but know that something is not quite right. They can be ashamed of their feelings (or lack there of) and often hide the depression from those close by. If the depression is left untreated, it can last for months or continue on to become a chronic depressive disorder. It increases the risk of future depression for their children and themselves.
Since the bonding of child and mother is so important to development, the lasting affects of untreated depression are a serious risk to the child. Children of depressive mothers can have emotional and behavior problems.
Western medicine categorizes 3 different degrees of severity
Depending on the severity of the depression, Western medical treatment options include antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. If medications are not effective then Electroconvulsive Therapy or psychotherapy is indicated.
Natural Treatment for Postpartum depression
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture have been effective treatments for Postpartum Depression for Centuries with Acupuncture needles and herbal medicines, which are plant based.
Traditional Chinese Medicine also categorizes post natal depression into 3 different degrees of severity.
All patterns of postpartum depression in TCM revolve around the heart, more specifically heart blood. The functions of the heart in TCM are to house the mind and govern the blood. After the birth of a child, this ability can be impaired. The exertion and loss of blood that occurs during the course of labour and delivery leads to blood and qi deficiency of various degrees. Blood deficiency causes the mind to become restless and unanchored causing symptoms of depression. Qi deficiency impaired our ability to make or move blood. Interestingly enough, postpartum depression affects both men and women of biological childbirth and adoption.
The birth or adoption of a baby can be a very emotional time. Most new parents are full of all sorts of extreme joy, fear, worry and anxiety about becoming a parent. TCM recognizes that there are physical and emotional causes of postpartum depression. The hearts fear, anxiety and pensiveness injure the mind. Strong emotions which stagnate, also stagnate qi. When qi stagnates it can lead to blood stasis. Blood stasis affects the heart, liver and uterus. Qi stasis long term creates heat; heat harasses the mind and causes anxiety and agitation. Qi deficiency also causes a build up of phlegm, which can obstruct the minds orifices and cause further emotional disturbances.
Treating Postpartum Depression in Calgary
A Free 15 min Consultation with a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor and Acupuncturist can help determine how severe the Postpartum Depression is and if Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine might be right for you!
Or visit our Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine Section for more info on these services.
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