My Personal and Professional Experience of Postpartum Depression

In the summer of 1993 I was treated for a postpartum depression that fifteen years later I can say changed my life completely. This went way beyond the “baby blues” that I experienced on the 4th or 5th day post-partum. The baby, my second, was three months old at the time. My husband suggested I go see the homeopath I’d consulted a few years before for a skin complaint.

The homeopath listened to my list of complaints – “I feel like staying in bed.” “I hate everything.” “I have no patience for my husband or toddler.” “I don’t understand why I feel this way.” “I would feel better if I could exercise but have no energy for anything.” For over an hour, I cried while listing my symptoms. The homeopath gave me a remedy and told me to put it in water and sip as needed. Within a week I never needed it again. The depression symptoms never returned. Within a year of my experience of this cure, I was enrolled in homeopathy school myself.

Over and over I have seen homeopathy help women, not only in labour, but also postpartum. Homeopathy can help heal shock, bruising, episiotomies, tears, haemorrhoids, and nursing problems including mastitis. For many women, these problems and others are minor and they can move on with little difficulty. For some, however, more serious emotional problems can emerge. These can include an unexplained malaise, feelings of being overwhelmed, grief, anger, and unresolved feelings from pregnancy or delivery can take her over and she becomes distressed. Time passes and she feels that she must just “get on with it.” People may not understand how a person can be so “fortunate” and yet feel so terrible.

Fortunately help is available. I have seen it be as quick and effective as it was in my case.

Kate, a 30 year-old woman came to see me six months after the birth of her first baby. She was miserable and had been depressed for about three months. She didn’t feel any warmth towards her baby and was having difficulty bonding with her. Unhappy and irritable, she came to me as a last resort on the advice of a friend. I listened to her for an hour and a half and then gave her the remedy that most closely matched the symptoms she described. She phoned me when she got home exclaiming that the sun came out on her drive home and her feelings of post-natal depression never returned. She repeated the remedy after the birth of her second child and managed to make it through the second birth without incident.

Niamh, consulted me as a home visit following the homebirth of her second baby. The baby was about 4 weeks old and the mother was on enforced bed rest having suffered a prolapsed uterus. She felt isolated and depressed and had no energy to do anything. She felt deserted by her friends and thrown back into feelings from her childhood. A very cheerful and social person by nature, these feelings were driving her deeper and deeper into postnatal depression. I gave her remedies both for her prolapsed uterus and her emotional state and departed. She phone me for a few days after the visit and we made a few adjustments to the remedy but by a week later see was much better and was up and around and socializing and feeling like her old self again.

Sometimes its hard for a new mother to realise they have a problem. In order to ascertain whether there’s a problem with post-natal depression the following questions might help as a guideline. If you answer no to questions one and two and yes to any of the other questions, seek professional help as soon as possible.

In the past week:

  1. I have been able to laugh and see the funny side of things
  2. I have looked forward with enjoyment to things
  3. I have blamed myself unnecessarily when things when wrong
  4. I have been anxious and worried for no good reason
  5. I have felt scared or panicky for no good reason
  6. Things have been getting on top of me
  7. I have been so unhappy that I have had difficulty sleeping
  8. I have felt sad or miserable
  9. I have been so unhappy that I have been crying
  10. The thought of harming myself has occurred to me

(Adapted from the Edinburgh Assessment for Post Natal Depression Scale; not a clinical assessment but a guideline)

Homeopathy offers a safe and gentle alternative for treating postnatal depression. Its also safe for nursing mothers – obviously an important factor when choosing a treatment.
To make an appointment with Sue Anello please email or call 646 522 6842.