Postpartum Blues: A Neurochemical Song
Mood changes due to chemical imbalances can add to the considerable stress often experienced by mothers after giving birth.
In light of a mother’s natural worries for her newborn, increased responsibilities, unrelenting busyness, biological adjustments, and lack of sleep, this unrepeatable season of a baby’s life can sometimes bring on anxiety, frustration, disappointment, discouragement and even anger. Furthermore, the abrupt hormonal transitions can quickly throw neurochemicals out of balance. Welcome, postpartum blues.
If a mother experienced postpartum blues after a previous pregnancy, the risk of its recurrence is greater. Because it’s a mood disorder, a healthy lifestyle program of exercise and other stress reduction strategies can go a long way in resolving postpartum physical and emotional issues. Some of the typical psychological challenges a woman faces after pregnancy include:
- Little opportunity to be alone or have time for herself
- Frustration with a metabolism that has slowed down, making it difficult to slim down to pre-pregnancy weight. For some, recovering their “normal” metabolism is not easy. We also want to be aware of the possibility that a weight control problem may indicate a mood shift that the mother self-medicates with comfort food.
- The inability to commit to a healthy exercise program because of fatigue
- Feelings of guilt related to wishing they were as happy and carefree now as they were before they had a baby.
When used appropriately, psychotropic medications can be very helpful to mothers in dealing with these issues by controlling cravings, raising metabolic rate and gently increasing energy.
It’s important for us to be aware of the neurotransmitters that are affected by various medications and how they are generally affected by increased dosages or augmentation.
If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, please contact me for an initial discussion. Just complete this Appointment form to get started.