The postpartum period can be difficult for mothers, dealing with sleepless nights, colicky babies, judgment from outsiders, and the anxiety of parenthood. To top it off, they also have to recover from giving birth physically. While most women return to work within six weeks of giving birth, experts suggest that the recovery takes much longer than that. This can lead up to postpartum depression.
According to this study, one out of five women experiences postpartum depression, with 70-80% of women report mild sadness after giving birth. This article will understand more about what postpartum depression is, how it is caused, and how CBD can help deal with this condition.
What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a state of depression that can start during pregnancy or up to one year from giving birth. Depression, in general terms, is a mental illness that harms the way you feel, act or think. Although, it is normal to feel anxious, stressed, sad, or exhausted during or after pregnancy. Due to this, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between postpartum depression and the familiar feeling of stress and exhaustion that comes with new parenthood. However, if these feelings prevent you from doing your daily tasks, it may be a sign of postpartum depression.
What are the causes of postpartum depression?
Postpartum Depression is caused due to several factors in new mothers. If someone has a history of mental illnesses or depression, they may be at a higher risk of going through this condition. Listed below are some of the most common reasons that increase the possibility of postpartum depression:
- Emotional fatigue may be caused due to stress from pregnancy, financial constraints, other physical illnesses, social isolation, or health problems in the newborn baby.
- Hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy or after giving birth can also lead up to postpartum depression. At the time of pregnancy, hormones (progesterone and estrogen) are higher than usual. These levels generally fall back to normal after the delivery. This abrupt change may lead to depression.
- Physical factors, such as sleep deprivation, inadequate diet, alcohol or drug abuse, and low thyroid hormone levels can also cause postpartum depression.
- A history of mental health illness in the family is another important reason for this condition.
Given below are the symptoms of postpartum depression:
- Irritability and mood swings
- Crying all the time
- Insomnia, tiredness, and other forms of sleep deprivation
- Eating habits that have been thrown off (overeating, loss of appetite)
- Bonding with the infant is difficult.
- Feelings of despair and insignificance
- Inadequately looking after the child
- Panic attacks, anxiety
- Suicidal ideation or self-harm
- Therapy or counseling is a therapy option that entails consulting with a mental health expert to discuss PPD. A therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or another sort of counselor can be used. Support groups for new mothers are advised.
- Antidepressants assist to correct chemical imbalances in the brain, which can lead to depression. Many of these drugs are thought to be safe to take while nursing. Nonetheless, they’re frequently linked to a slew of negative side effects. A doctor should be consulted before starting any drug.
- Organic food, sunshine, exercise, and monitoring vitamin D levels are all examples of complementary medicine. Treatments such as omega-3 fatty acids, St. John’s wort, yoga, and acupuncture are often suggested, although there is little or inconsistent evidence that they work. Supplemental iron, folic acid, and vitamin C may be needed after birth. It is preferable to obtain nutrients from food.
How can CBD help with postpartum depression?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating extract of hemp or cannabis plants. It is well-known for its medicinal properties and has gained tremendous popularity worldwide over the last decade.
Research suggests that CBD can be used to deal with several physical and psychological conditions like inflammation, chronic pain, insomnia, stress and anxiety, and much more. Although CBD may not directly cure postpartum depression, experts believe it can be used to reduce various symptoms linked with the condition.
Here are five benefits of CBD in the postpartum period:
- Easing parental anxiety: For new mothers, stress and anxiety is almost inevitable. Flip through any parenting magazine, and there will be tons of things to worry about – right from sudden infant death syndrome to antibiotic-resistant infections. Although you can never completely escape the anxiety, you can use CBD to manage it well. Many animal studies suggest that CBD has anti-anxiety properties that may be comparable to other anxiety medications. However, unlike popular anxiety medication, CBD won’t leave you drowsy or sleepy. Research also shows that CBD is a potential treatment for social anxiety.
- Recovering from trauma: Experiencing trauma is very common, especially in women after giving birth. This study suggests that more than a quarter of women describe childbirth as a traumatizing experience, with over 9% of women experiencing PTSD after the delivery. Research indicates that CBD can be highly beneficial to treat PTSD. CBD helps modulate the fear memory, changing how your mind and body react to the memory of traumatizing experiences. Furthermore, CBD works as a safe, entry-level medication option for those who want to avoid traditional remedies or pharmaceutical medication for the condition.
- Increased attentiveness: The challenges that come with being a parent can be terrifying. Feeding them and keeping them alive is just the first challenge of parenting. Next, you also have to play with them, teach things to them, and be mindful of the present without worrying about the future. CBD can help parents cultivate mindfulness. According to this research, CBD helps people stay awake and alert, even when they are sleep-deprived.
- Higher quality sleep: As a new parent, insomnia, and fatigue are not very uncommon. The baby might stay up half of the night crying and nursing, and when they finally go to sleep, you may not feel sleepy anymore. Furthermore, the little quality sleep you may get might be interrupted by the screaming or crying voices of the child. This is where CBD comes into the picture. This study shows that CBD offers various sleep benefits. It can help you fall asleep faster, and get a better sound sleep. For parents whose babies wake them up every time they drift into a dream, a little CBD oil may be all it takes for the brain to recover from disrupted sleep.
- Pain relief: For a lot of women, the postpartum period is extremely painful. Pain from giving birth, cracked nipples during breastfeeding, cramps and muscle spasms from a weak pelvic floor, headaches, and fatigue are just some of the reasons that can make an otherwise happy period extremely painful and depressing. Researchers have found that CBD contains anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful for both short-term and long-term pain. Several other studies also found that CBD can be used to decrease various other kinds of pain.
If you are facing postpartum depression or know someone who is, we highly recommend CBD. You can check out the ThoughtCloud website for high-quality products.