BABIES & NURSING

Beat the Baby Blues

By: Brightest Editors

October 6, 2017

Some women develop depressive symptoms during or after childbirth, but it is unclear why some women do and others do not. Some medical experts suggest the baby blues are associated with a change in hormones. A history of depression and difficult socio-economic conditions increase the risk of developing depression, but other factors, including nutrition may contribute as well.

How can you manage the baby blues?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you can help to relieve the baby blues and support positive feelings by:

  1. Talking to your partner or a good friend about how you feel
  2. Getting plenty of sleep
  3. Asking your partner, friends and family for help
  4. Taking time for yourself
  5. Getting out of the house every day, even if it’s just for a short walk or to eat lunch
  6. Joining a new mother’s group and sharing your feelings with the women you meet there

In addition to these tips, several studies have examined the link between low omega-3 status and depression.

One study found that low DHA and EPA status may be associated with a higher risk of depression in general.[1] Unless you eat lots of fish, take fish oil or DHA/EPA supplements, you may have low concentrations of this fatty acid in your blood and tissues.

Adequate vitamin D intakes during pregnancy and after delivery might also protect against the baby blues[2] – in addition to other benefits mother and infant get from this nutrient!

If your blues last for longer than two weeks or worsen, you should speak with your health care practitioner.

References

1.      Grosso, G., et al., Dietary n-3 PUFA, fish consumption and depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. J Affect Disord, 2016. 205:269-281.

2.      Gur, E. B., et al., The effect of vitamin D level in pregnancy on postpartum depression. Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 2015. 18(2): 263-264.

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