Nutritional Deficiencies May Aggravate Postnatal Depression

Natural remedies can offer immense help for women struggling with depression after childbirth.

Postnatal depression is the type of depression suffered by a woman after she has a baby. It is usually caused by a combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and the significant fatigue common at that time.

New research shows that nutritional deficiencies may play a role. This is not surprising, since vitamins and minerals are required for both hormone production and neurotransmitter production. Being deficient in certain nutrients is more likely to leave a woman vulnerable to depression, but it also may pose risks to the baby because those same nutrients are required for healthy growth and development.

A study published in Nutrition Journal has shown that being low in iron and vitamin B12 are significant risk factors for postnatal depression. In my clinic I have seen that postnatal depression is a serious and relatively common illness that often lingers for years without adequate treatment. Postnatal depression usually responds well to nutritional supplements of B vitamins, essential fatty acids, and minerals, along with natural progesterone.

Magnesium along with vitamin B 6 is required for the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Depression associated with irritability and agitation, may be part of a magnesium deficiency syndrome. Magnesium is often called the “great relaxer” as it helps to reduce muscular and nervous tension and increases energy levelsZinc is another mineral that is commonly deficient in the diet. Zinc deficiency can lead to anorexia, fatigue and reduced libido, all of which are symptoms of depression, and all of which respond to zinc supplementation.

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