Post-natal depression and acupuncture

What is post-natal depression? How can it be prevented and assisted with acupuncture and Chinese medicine?

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In recent years, post-natal depression has affected more and more women. It not only affects the physical and psychological aspects of mothers themselves, but also affects their families and the care of their new-born babies.

In this article, I will discuss how Chinese medicine assists post-natal depression and how to prevent it. This information is very important for future mothers and their families.

1. What are the common symptoms of post-natal depression?

The most commonly seen symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Being emotional, mood swings etc.
  • Problems with sleep (insomnia)

These symptoms can be due to different causes of internal organ disorder from the point of view of Chinese medicine. In severe cases of post-natal depression:

  • Some mothers can over-care for their babies and refuse the help of others even when they cannot cope physically.
  • Some ignore their babies and families, and may even walk away from them.

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2. Causes of post-natal depression

Some of my clients ask me why they suffer from post-natal depression. Most of them are aware of their problems but they cannot control themselves. From my clinical experience, I have realised that most of the causes are associated with Yin and Yang disorders of the Liver, Kidney and Heart organs.

Generally, mothers will have symptoms such as lack of energy, depression, stress, bloating. They may have had difficulties during labour.

In most of the cases, the disorder begins before and during pregnancy and becomes aggravated by labour.

3. How to prevent post-natal depression

Here are eight positive suggestions to follow during pregnancy:

  • Avoid strong emotional stimulation, reduce stress from your job and keep positive and happy.
  • Avoid taking any medications which damages the Liver, Kidney and/or Heart.
  • Enjoy more gentle sunshine, nature, greens and flowers.
  • Avoid contact with violent drama or music, listen to more soft and gentle music.
  • Eat certain foods which benefit the Liver, Kidney and Heart, this includes celery, carrot, tomato, orange, strawberry, lemon, peppermint tea, bean curd, seaweed, beef bone soup, eggs, goji berry and black sesame.
  • Avoid drinking strong coffee, alcohol or tea.
  • Maintain a regular life routine, it is better to go to bed before 10 pm.

If you experience the symptoms mentioned above, you may consider seeing a traditional Chinese practitioner before or during your pregnancy.

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4. How does Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture assist post-natal depression?

There are three common treatment strategies depending on the particular symptoms of the mother and the stage of pregnancy:

  • Balance the Liver, Kidney and Heart. It is better to start balancing before pregnancy especially for women who have the symptoms mentioned above.
  • Strengthen the Liver, Kidney and Heart. It is commonly used during pregnancy especially for women who have weak body constitutions.
  • Nourish Qi and blood, detox and resolve blood clots.

Traditional Chinese medicine pays great attention to the health of the mother and baby especially during the stage after labour. There is also a great range of recommended foods to eat and avoid, especially for the first month after labour.

Our traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners will not only give you treatment but also give you many suggestions to maintain your health and prevent post-natal depression.

I hope this article can help you to enjoy being a mother and delight in the start of a new chapter of life with your babies.

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