A quick re-cap about me– I’m 36 and I’ve had four pregnancies and four births. I did not have any PPD with the first three babies, but it hit me hard with my last!
My first 3 weeks were blissful, and then all of a sudden, like a light switch, I was afraid to leave my room. I had crippling anxiety that left me crying and unable to care for myself or my baby. I truly had thoughts that everyone, including my baby, would be better off without me.
While I am not opposed to medication (my midwife was aware of the situation and keeping tabs on it), we decided to go the holistic supplement route first. These are the products that helped me, but please, consult with your healthcare provider first and foremost! Everyone is different and needs different support.
The first place I recommend starting is at fixing any lingering anemia from pregnancy. I struggled with this a ton in the third trimester, despite my supplements and eating meat several times a day.
I learned that the key is to pair a REAL FOOD based Vitamin C supplement (ascorbic acid does not mean real!!! Check out this article for more) at the same time as my desiccated spleen capsules. I took them on an empty stomach twice a day. I felt a difference within the first week!
The second thing I did was triple my current intake of Ningxia wolf berry juice (if you’re not familiar with wolf berry, it’s similar to goji!). I took 3 ounces in the morning and 3 ounces in the afternoon. I knew that I was super depleted after pregnancy and knew that Ningxia was the quickest way to get my body systems and energy levels back on the right track. I often took my Ningxia at the same time as my spleen and Vitamin C, since they all work together to increase absorption and bio-availability.
At first when I received this flower tincture from my friend, I thought, “Flowers. How cute.” without really thinking it would provide much emotional support for me. Boy was I wrong! I went through that thing in a month. I always felt a wave of peace wash over me about 10 minutes after taking it sub-lingually.
My friend also sent me this zen roller. I thought it smelled nice, but it wasn’t until Week 3 postpartum that I really began to lean on it for support. Not only are flowers proven to improve mood, but I was able to amplify the affects by repeating positive affirmations (words I didn’t even believe, in the moment) while smelling the oils. After a while, the smells became directly associated with those words and I started to believe them. This is a process called “anchoring” and it was so helpful! You can find the exact blend oils my friend used here.
This picture also includes Claraderm. I didn’t use this for my emotions, but it was SO KEY for healing after the birth!! No one should have to do a birth without it.
I knew my hormones are at least partly to blame. They were completely whacky and all over the place. I had one brief break through period at three months (this never happened with my other 3 kids!), and then haven’t had one since.
Just two drops of this natural progesterone (from wild yams!) a day rolled onto my wrists has made a huge difference. Before, it felt like I was on a rowboat and someone was dancing and rocking the whole thing side to side. Now, it feels like someone is actually rowing the oars and steering steadily forward. Such a night and day different feeling.
This is where my crunchy factor comes out, haha. But it’s far from gross, in reality. If it tells you anything, I never ever saw any of my four placentas in person (I have photos I can barely stand to look at, if that tells you anything!). I simply checked “YES” on a form, and my midwife took it and delivered it to be dehydrated and encapsulated. She dropped the pills on my front porch. They have NO odor or aftertaste. I hardly even have to think about what’s inside 😉
The moment I started taking the maximum dose recommended, I felt an immediate difference. Even my husband is super on board with “Team Placenta” now, because he saw the difference too! If you’re at all worried, I would definitely recommend at least having them stashed. If you don’t end up using them all (I did), I’ve heard you can also freeze them and use them someday for menopause!
My last recommendation isn’t something you can buy. Before giving birth, PLEASE brief your support team on what PPD looks like, and ask for their help watching for the signs. You need to trust them completely, because once PPD kicks in, all sense of up or down is lost. You won’t be able to know that’s what is happening to you, and lies will seem like truth. Make sure you are surrounded by people who can tell you when to shower, when to eat, when to hand off the baby, etc., and will essentially, force these things to happen. You won’t want what’s best for you, in the moment, and spiraling will be sure to ensue without the proper support.