After the birth of a baby women can experience a lot of powerful emotions like joy and excitement but it can also trigger negative emotions. A common experience is known as the “baby blues” which triggers mood swings, anxiety, crying and sleep issues. The baby blues usually start two or three days after delivery and last for a week or two. However, some women experience a more severe issue known as Postpartum or Postnatal depression.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
The symptoms of Postpartum depression can often be mistaken for the baby blues as there are many similarities, but they are much stronger and last considerably longer. Postpartum depression can hinder the bonding between mother and baby and can also interfere with the mothers ability to care for the baby and cope with everyday tasks.
Common symptoms include:
- Difficulty bonding with the baby
- Depressed mood
- Severe mood swings
- Intense anger or irritability
- Excessive crying
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
- Loss of appetite or eating too much
- Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Fear of not being a good mother
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, shame or guilt
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
- Inability to make decisions or think clearly
What causes Postpartum depression?
There isn’t any one thing that has been shown to trigger Postpartum depression, it is believed that it is a combination of physical changes and emotional issues. Any of the issues or a combination of them can trigger the progression from the ‘Baby Blues’ to Postpartum depression.
After a woman gives birth she swill experience a drop in Estrogen and Progesterone levels, the thyroid gland may also reduce production of other hormones. This can leave her feeling tired and run down which can lead to feelings of depression.
Physical changes aside, just caring for a new baby can leave you feeling tired and overwhelmed due to the lack of sleep you will probably experience. This can make it hard to handle everyday tasks, and could cause anxiety over the ability to care for the new baby. Other common feelings experienced include feeling less attractive and struggles with a loss of identity, going from being your own person to being a mother.
Risk of Developing Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression can effect anyone and can happen after the birth of any child not just the first, but there are women who are more likely to suffer from this condition.
- Women with a history of depression
- Women who suffer from bipolar disorder
- Women with a family history of depression
- Women who have experienced postpartum depression after the birth of a child before
- Women experiencing stressful situations, such as difficulties with finances, partners or employment
- Women without a good support system
- Women whose pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted
- Women who have multiple births, twins, triplets, etc
- Women who have problems breast feeding
- Women whose child has health problems
Improving Postpartum depression with Reiki
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a gentle form of energy healing which originated in Japan in the early 1900’s, today it is practiced all over the world in places such as hospitals and hospices. Reiki helps the body to heal itself by restoring the bodies natural energy flow and promotes feelings of relaxation. It is often used to treat stress and anxiety related issues without medication.
How does Reiki help with Postpartum depression?
Stress is one of the most significant factors contributing to the development of Postpartum depression. Numerous studies have been conducted which prove that Reiki is effective in reducing stress and anxiety. It has also been shown to reduce levels of fatigue, a common issue for new mothers.
Women experiencing Postpartum depression often feel disconnected, alone, and withdrawn. The one-on-one attention received during a Reiki session may help them feel more grounded and connected to the world around them. New mothers often don’t feel as though they have full control of their lives. Scheduling and attending Reiki sessions can make them feel more in control and independent, which may alleviate some of the symptoms of their condition.
Reiki sessions can help new mothers to relax and recharge, leaving them feeling mentally and physically balanced making it easier for them to bond with and care for their child.
If you are struggling with Postpartum depression and are looking for a drug free solution then Reiki could be the answer you are looking for.