Since the 1950s all forms of depression have increased from 8-12% to over 22%. Of particular concern is depression following pregnancy and childbirth, aka postpartum. Women have historically been ignored, criticized, or simply given drugs and told to be quiet and be good little girls. The problem with these approaches is that it ignores the very real need for breastfeeding and attachment.
We know that for millennia the majority of mammals have consumed their own placenta as a way of re-energizing their systems to care for their newborn offspring following a pregnancy. For instance, if you ever had a cat that gave birth to kittens, then usually by the time you find them the placenta has already been eaten.
Recently endocrinology has discovered that human placenta takes over the majority of hormone function during pregnancy from the thyroid and pituitary glands. After childbirth the thyroid and pituitary need to turn back on. In order to support the mom’s system until that time, which can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks, she would need to consume her own placenta. And its content is perfect for her.
Because the idea of cooking up your own placenta and eating it isn’t very appetizing, many are using what is called placental encapsulation. How it works is a trained professional comes into your home, dries your placenta and puts the placenta powder into little capsules for you to consume as needed. This encapsulated placenta provides your body with every hormone it needs to sustain your physical and emotional health, including preventing depression, following pregnancy and childbirth.
In addition, the mom needs support, help around the house, and encouragement during the 6-12 week adjustment period following pregnancy and childbirth. I strongly recommend that family and friends come up with a schedule to help that will span this 6-12 weeks after childbirth. Very often, everyone rushes over to see the baby in the first couple of weeks and then leaves mom stranded for the rest of the time.
Should further emotional and psychological help be needed, because pregnancy and childbirth can trigger past hurts and family wounds, then having a good physical foundation through placental encapsulation support and a good diet will lay a foundation for mom to participate in depression related counseling that will be swift and effective.
For more information about postpartum mood concerns, and symptoms of trauma and depression, check out Postpartum Mood Concerns.
The Dunamas Center provides Christian pre marriage and marriage counseling, as well as Christian childbirth education and support. For more information visit our website at www.dunamascenter.com.