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    Postpartum Depression – What You Need to Know

    It seems like it’s an epidemic, and you hear about Postpartum Depression (PPD) more and more often these days.

    Recently, in my Facebook news feed, was a story of a young mother who recently took her own life as a result of postpartum depression (PPD).   I know a lot of new moms, and it doesn’t have to be that way.

    As always, being educated is key.

    And understanding that ALL health conditions have root causes helps us look beyond a label, shrugging our shoulders, accepting the status quo.

    Let’s start with some background.  It seems that more and more women struggle with their health these days.

    The following conditions and symptoms indicate a compromised state of health, secondary to nutrient deficiencies, the presence of pathogens, a burden of heavy metals, an overwhelmed liver, adrenal fatigue, weak digestion, and/or thyroid dysfunction.

    • Susceptibility to getting sick
    • Thinning hair, splitting nails, vertical ridges in nails, white spots in nails, dents in nails, missing moons from nails
    • Weight management issues
    • Food sensitivities, re-flux
    • SIBO – Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth
    • Anxiety and/or Depression
    • PMS
    • Asthma
    • Cold hands and feet and/or temperature fluctuations
    • Eye floaters
    • Heart palpitations
    • Dry skin
    • Restless legs
    • Tingling & numbness
    • Ringing in the ears
    • Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, Graves, Thyroiditis, lumps, nodules
    • Fatigue

    It’s important to acknowledge each and every one of these as a contributing factor in postpartum depression (PPD).

    These are symptoms, and indicate the foundation of health already has some weak spots.  And if you go into a stressful situation already compromised, the end result can only be that the mother is even more depleted as a result.

    ADD to this the incredible resources (adrenaline via the adrenal glands) a woman must use during childbirth.

    AND the disrupted sleep, and lack of sleep (reduced ability to fend off pathogens and do internal housekeeping duties).

    AND then the stress of a new family member.  If it’s the first child, you are nervous and overwhelmed.  If it’s your 2nd or 3rd child, you may be easily overwhelmed.

    It’s an all-to-easy perfect storm for postpartum depression (PPD).

    Postpartum Depression Solutions:

    Optimize health BEFORE conception.  I’ve worked with many a mom who  conceived and delivered, only to find out she passed along her health issues to her children.   This is heartbreaking.

    In all fairness, we can often see the medical issue in generations before her as well.  But then they are perpetuated through the family line.

    But a few months spent IMPROVING health before conception could have prevented a lot of worry, heartbreak, and medical bills down the road.   Not that I mean to incite guilt or regret, but if we know better, we can do better right?

    Rates of autism, asthma, ear infections, and even childhood cancer are all on the rise, and it’s not just genetics.    If you are thinking of conceiving, I highly recommend improving your health before God blesses you with a child.

    Include massive adrenal support in postpartum care.   Symptoms of adrenal fatigue can include weakness, lack of energy, trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, trouble completing basic tasks, a hoarse voice, weak digestion, constipation, imbalanced blood sugar (hypo or hyperglycemia) depression, insomnia, not feeling rested after waking from sleep,  relying on naps during the day, and if you do fall asleep at night and awaken for some reason, find it difficult or nearly impossible to go back to sleep.  If these symptoms are present before a pregnancy, or erupt post-delivery, it is imperative to look after and nurture the adrenal glands.

    Feed a postpartum mom at least every 1- 2 hours.  Here are some adrenal snack combos I learned while in the Medical Medium Practitioner Support and Training Program.  And those snacks/mini meals need to contain 3 ingredients for the perfect balance:

    • Potassium  (date, 1/2 avocado,  sweet potato, banana)
    • A piece of fruit (apple, orange, banana, sweet potato, coconut water, pear, mango, berries)
    • Sodium (fresh raw spinach, most any lettuce, celery sticks, lemon water, lime water, mache greens, parsley)
    • EX:  1-2 dates, 1/2 apple, 2 celery sticks.  Then repeat every 30-90 minutes depending on intensity of symptoms.

    Diet for postpartum depression.  Food is medicine!

    • EAT MORE of these:  wild blueberries, fresh & frozen unsweetened fruit of all kinds (glucose is the primary fuel of the human body no matter what you read), raw spinach greens, fresh avocado, fresh or frozen banana’s (smoothies!), dulse flakes, kelp, sprouts, steamed asparagus, and raw hemp seeds.
    • DO NOT EAT:  gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, canola oil, & soy as they are all inflammatory for various reasons.  They just add fuel to that simmering fire.
    • I’d also advise to NOT eat a high fat diet.  Fat burdens the body when it already has a lot to do.  I would especially limit animal fat consumption, which just further strains the digestive system, with secondary effects on the adrenal glands.


    Monitor thyroid health.
     
    Be aware that postpartum moms are high risk for thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism, nodules, cysts, tumors, thyroiditis, as well as Graves & Hashimoto’s disease post partum.  Much of this is due to the heavy demands of childbirth.  Again, if you go into a situation already depleted, it’s easy to see how other fragile systems can be drained in the process.

    Our thyroid gland is responsible for producing T4 which is converted to T3 – the active thyroid hormone.  Our thyroid gland is our commander in chief and plays a large role in energy production.  All of the cells in our body need T3 and without it, things don’t work as well.  Think of T3 like gas for your car.

    While conventional and alternative medicine both treat thyroid disorders with thyroid support (or ablation in the case of Graves Disease), it typically has not addressed the real root cause for thyroid conditions.

    What has really happened in most any thyroid disorder is that a pathogen has invaded the thyroid organ.  Pathogens are opportunistic and seized a moment when mom was compromised.

    The most common pathogen to rally postpartum is the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), but there are other players, especially when it comes to Graves Disease.

    There is research in the National Institute of Health (NIH) PubMed library, yet it still is not considered mainstream medicine.

    (By the way, getting a diagnosis of hypothyroid and going on meds does NOT fix the root cause which is the opportunistic pathogen.)

    Get the postpartum mom support!  Another great solution for a postpartum mom is to have a community of friends and relatives around to help.  There’s a reason people live(d) in villages and it’s because many hands make light work.  Having a baby is a big ordeal and mom’s need help.

    If you’re the mom, ask for and accept help.   If you’re a friend or family, volunteer!   Make her healthy produce-heavy low-fat meals.  Bring her fresh green juices.  Go to the market for her.  Cut up fruit so it’s easy for her to grab.  Take a turn with the baby so she can get a few hours of extra sleep.

    Postpartum Depression Summary

    My suggestion for any postpartum mom is to make the above diet changes, and get some help, but if you are struggling emotionally, know there ARE solutions.

    There IS an underlying root cause – or causes – and it can be addressed.  You can heal.  You don’t have to feel this way. Frazzled, depressed, hopeless, and unhealthy is not the way God intended it to be for new moms!

    If your provider is not able to offer solutions, please consider doing an Ask Tracy session or a bundle of sessions.   I can help you connect the dots and initiate a unique treatment plan that will address root causes.  We don’t need costly labs.  After 18 years in business, intuition, and God’s help…I have faith we can get you feeling better again.

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    If you are frustrated or feeling hopeless about your health, and you can’t continue like this, learn how to take charge of your body, and ultimately the quality of your life. Learn the foundations of health so that you can do the things that are important to you! Even if it feels like you’ve tried everything, or made things, worse, the good news is that your body CAN heal if you do the right things (and stop doing the things that are holding you back)! I will guide you and lead you along the healing path so that you can feel like YOU again! Learn more about the NUTRITION FOUNDATIONS PROGRAM.

    Here to support you every step of the way!

    Tracy Konoske MS RDN
    Americas Virtual and Integrative Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist
    Food & Health Expert
    Helping YOU restore and optimize your health!
    Specializing in Immune Dysfunction, Gastrointestinal Conditions, Toxicity Issues, and Neurological Damage
    CEO & Founder of Healthy Lifestyles, Inc (since 1999)


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