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Postnatal Depression

Depression after childbirth is common, and usually lasts for several days. Many of the reasons for postpartum “blues” are physical—with many changes taking place in the mother’s body during pregnancy, the stress of labor and delivery, as well as hormonal shifts that occur once the baby is born. Emotional stress is also understandable: anxiety, insecurity, lack of confidence, and ambivalence about the sudden responsibility of motherhood can be completely normal. Some women have more serious problems at this time, including despair, delusions, hallucinations, or even destructive impulses toward their babies or themselves. If a woman’s depression is deep, or her problems seem to be serious, it is very important that she have the help of a mental health professional, as well as loving care from family and friends. Homeopathic practitioners who specialize in pregnancy and childbirth may be able to choose a deeply-acting remedy that closely fits the individual.

For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?

Arsenicum album: A woman who needs this remedy feels extremely insecure about her situation, wanting constant help and support. She can be extremely picky and controlling toward others—or seem very restless, yet exhausted and incapable. Women who need Arsenicum sometimes feel despair from insecurity, with thoughts that deeply frighten them.

Aurum metallicum: When this remedy is indicated, depression can be dark and despairing. The woman may feel worthless and see little point in life. Problems may be worse at night, or when weather is dark and days are short. Women troubled by depression in the past (not necessarily related to pregnancy) are often likely to respond to Aurum. Professional help is needed if depression is severe.

Calcarea carbonica: This remedy can be helpful to a woman who is overwhelmed by working too hard and taking on too much responsibility. Weakness and fatigue make her feel depressed. Anxiety, insomnia, and nightmares may develop. A person who needs this remedy often feels sluggish, cold, and easily tired by exercise.

Cimicifuga: This remedy is often useful when a woman is depressed for both emotional and hormonal reasons. She may feel “a dark cloud” has crept over her life and that everything is wrong. Extremely anxious and gloomy, she may start to think herself incapable of caring for the baby—or she may become excitable and talkative, saying and doing irrational things.

Ignatia: This remedy often is helpful if a mother feels tense, upset, or grief-stricken after childbirth. The grief may be based on an actual loss (for instance, the baby may have health problems)— but often occurs if the birth was difficult, and not as beautiful as she imagined. Defensiveness, hysterical behavior, sighing, sudden outbursts of tears or laughter, and insomnia are often seen when this remedy is needed.

Natrum muriaticum: This remedy can be helpful to a woman who feels sad and sensitive, and wants to be alone to cry. She may be brooding and withdrawn, anxious about her mothering abilities, or doubtful and discouraged about her relationship with the baby’s father or other family members. Despite her sadness, she may seem angry or offended if anyone tries to console her. Women who need this remedy may also have headaches or palpitations when depressed.

Phosphorus: A woman who needs this remedy has an active imagination with tremendous fear—thinking of every possible danger or misfortune that might occur. She is very worried that she won’t be able to cope if something happens, and terrified that harm might come to the baby, wanting constant company and feeling afraid to be alone. A woman who needs this remedy may also have a tendency toward easy bleeding and exhaustion, which may have added to her fear and nervousness.

Pulsatilla: This remedy is often indicated for women who are emotional, tearful, and sensitive in situations involving hormonal changes. The woman may feel extremely insecure and needy—wanting constant affection, reassurance, and nurturing. She is likely to feel worse when warm and in a stuffy rooms, improving after crying and from being out in open air.

Sepia: This remedy may be helpful to a mother who feels worn out and indifferent after childbirth, and does not want other people making demands or expecting anything of her. She may have trouble bonding with the baby, and may not even want to have it close to her. Most women who need this remedy feel resentful and overburdened (though some only feel exhausted, irritable, and sad). A feeling that the pelvic floor is weak or that the uterus is sagging are other indications for Sepia.

Single Remedies Remedy Kits
Combination  Remedies Topicals
Pet  Remedies Bach Flower Remedies

Homeopathy Dosage Directions

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

For more information, including references, see What is Homeopathy? and Understanding Homeopathic Potencies.

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The information presented in Healthnotes Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.

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