Natural Childbirth — postpartum depression

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Homebirth in the News 11/2008 2

Generally speaking, when homebirth is covered in the media, it is usually with a condescending attitude or outright horror at the "risks" that women take for a homebirth. As many of us now know, that is nonsense and it appears that the trend of homebirth for well screened, low risk women is on the rise. Not just on the rise with the fringe either. Homebirthers are a highly educated, professional bunch. Homebirth in the News Yesterday's issue of the NY Times had a great piece on the rising trend of homebirths in the NY area with credit given to "The Business of Being Born" for bringing much needed attention to the ridiculous state of hospital births in America today. (Go Ricky! Go Ricky!) There was another very positive article on homebirthing in today's issue of TheLedger.com. In other news... Why do we (in N America) feel such righteous indignation toward those who practice genital mutilation on girls, yet we continue to look the other way when baby boys are routinely mutilated for religious, cultural or worse yet, cosmetic reasons?? A quote from the article: "The term “female circumcision” is synonymous with female genital mutilation, and acts as a blanket term for a variety of disfiguring surgical alterations. The World Health Organization firmly opposes female circumcision and considers the removal of the clitoral hood to be a prevailing form of genital mutilation. Male circumcision, however, is a term applied only to a single, familiar cultural practice, and is not considered mutilation. Male foreskin and the clitoral hood are biologically homologous and so mutilation of these body parts should be treated with similar concern. The acceptance of male genital mutilation is an outdated social construct that needs to be looked at from a less dichotomous perspective. It’s almost the same thing, so why treat it differently?" www.cordweekly.com Also see how high copper levels may have an influence on postpartum depression at wellpostpartum.com. Apparently blood copper levels rise in pregnancy and fail to go back down post partum in a number of PPD cases. Risk factors from the article: "Copper excess risk factors: Pregnancy Presently taking estrogen containing medication (e.g. OCP, HRT) Currently take multivitamin containing copper Regularly use copper tea kettles or pans Blue-green stains in bathtub, toilet or sink (suggestive of elevated copper content of water) Family history of: Postpartum depression ADD/ADHD/Autism Wilson’s Disease" www.wellpostpartum.com Last, check out these great tips from Gloria Lemay's wonderful blog about very specific ways you can really help out someone who just had a baby. Funny reading for someone who just had a baby and had to entertain tons of visitors and very useful information for someone who genuinely wants to help out.

Parenting, Postnatal and Postpartum Tips 1

Parenting tipsby Julian Hall Shortly after your baby is born, you may be somewhat focused on what you experienced during labor and delivery and less on your baby. This is perfectly normal. It was a monumental event in your life, and there is a transition period. Don't be afraid to share your feelings with others or write about your experience in a journal. As you adapt to your role as a mother, you may find yourself feeling stressed or anxious. You might question whether or not you will be a good mother, and you are probably feeling a bit exhausted and overwhelmed. You might even feel a little let down or blue. If you understand whats happening to your body and emotions, you will be much more likely to face the challenging first few months of motherhood. The following postpartum tips may help. Taking good care of your physical health is vital right now. Schedule time to eat meals, exercise (even if its just a walk around the block), and rest. Your body has worked hard through the pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and it will take another 40 weeks or more for things to return to normal. Immediately after delivery, your uterus will begin rapidly decreasing in size. Within several weeks, it will have returned to normal size. As well, you can expect to have vaginal bleeding, called lochia, for a couple of weeks while your uterus sheds its lining. If you are not breastfeeding, you will probably have a menstrual period within 6 to 8 weeks after giving birth. If you are breastfeeding, it may be many months or even years before menstruation returns. You can expect that you will be experiencing some postpartum pains and discomforts for a few days and possibly weeks, especially if you had a cesarean birth or an episiotomy. Don't try to overexert yourself until you are feeling, for the most part, pain-free. Other common complaints of women after giving birth include:
  • Constipation
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Sweating
  • Swollen, painful breasts (from breastfeeding)
  • Overall fatigue
Try to keep in mind that the aches, pains, and fatigue of being a new mother will go away on their own quickly. If, however, you feel that there may be a complication or problem, such as excessive bleeding, unexplained pain, or fever, don't hesitate to call your doctor. It is also very important to take care of your emotional wellbeing during this transition period. Many new mothers are surprised by how drained, sad or fragile they feel after giving birth. These feelings are normal, and it is frequently referred to as the baby blues. It is estimated that about 7 in 10 women develop some degree of the baby blues, and it is thought to be caused by both a drop in hormone levels and dealing with the stresses of taking care of a newborn. While these feelings may be confusing or even scary, they will fade quickly. When you are feeling down, remind yourself that you have taken on a huge responsibility being a mother. Feeling sad, angry or anxious occasionally does not mean that you are a failure as a mother, and it does not mean that you are mentally ill. What it does mean is that your body is adjusting to the changes that follow giving birth. For a small percentage of women, new motherhood brings feelings of despair, hopelessness, or severe anxiety. This is referred to as postpartum depression. Women who have mood disorders prior to pregnancy or who have a family history of mood disorders are more likely to develop this condition. If you are prone to depression, you may want to discuss this with your doctor or midwife before the baby arrives. There are many good treatments and counselors who can help relieve postpartum depression. Make sure to talk to a medical professional right away if you experience any of the following signs of postpartum depression:
  • Baby blues that last for more than a couple of weeks
  • Unexplained anger or depression that develops one or two months after delivery
  • Feelings of hopelessness or sadness that seem to be getting worse each day
  • Inability to sleep, even when tired
  • Sleeping most of the time, even when the baby is awake
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Lack of feelings for your baby
  • Panic attacks
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
About the Author: Julian Hall of GiftBabies.co.uk - The Baby Gifts Company - The Most Unique, Innovative Gift Ideas for Babies, Christening Gifts, Newborn Gifts, Personalized Gifts, Organic Clothing, Nappies, Blankets and New Baby Gifts Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/spiritual_marketplace/2294615400/