Beat the Baby Blues: Herbs May Help Manage Postpartum Depression
BY SANDRA GUY
One in seven women — or about 15 percent — of new moms suffer from postpartum depression, known as the Baby Blues.
The condition, which usually starts within a week to three weeks after childbirth, is characterized by feeling sad, anxious, worried and tired. It can also include withdrawing from friends and social situations and, in its more serious iteration, thoughts of harming oneself or the baby.
Though research isn’t definitive, one study showed that Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) may help ward off the baby blues.
Key sources of Omega-3 include not only salmon, but sardines, flax seeds, chia seeds and oily fish such as mackerel, oysters and herring. Sources of B-2 include eggs, milk, tuna, trout, beef, clams and fortified cereal.
Another potential help is lemon balm, which contains plant chemicals including antioxidants and natural oils. Lemon balm may help with relaxation, a healthy sleep cycle and an immune system boost.
You can try lemon balm in aromatherapy by diluting the oil in water before putting it in a diffuser.
A second option is to use essential oils topically, such as during a massage, but remember that you should dilute it first in a carrier oil.
You can also mix and match herbs with lemon balm in your tea.
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