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[ARTICLE] Postpartum Depression
Filed Under: Massage Therapy | Published: Jun 6, 2017 | Author: Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
Depression could also hinder the ability of mother and child to bond during this crucial period. Mothers may not be able to care for their newborn as well as they should. The child's mental and emotional health could be compromised.This condition comes with several noticeable symptoms. They usually emerge within four weeks following childbirth. Consult a doctor immediately if you suspect PPD. Doctors will diagnose the patient and develop a suitable plan of action. Remember that each case is different and that every individual will respond differently to various treatments. Some patients might reject one and welcome another. It is vital to pursue the right approach for each unique situation.

Among the symptoms you should watch out for are panic attacks. The affected person may become more sensitive to certain stimuli and feel alarmed when confronted with a stressful situation. Individuals can suffer from uncontrollable thoughts that worsen their anxieties. It is difficult to be calm when confronted with unceasing negative thoughts. Many are unable to sleep because of this. Their worries are often grounded in reality such as financial difficulties and family problems. Others may deal with it the opposite way, withdrawing from everything and simply sleeping throughout the day.

A lot of the people with PPD say they fear being alone with the newborn baby. This can stem from deep-seated insecurities. They may be worried that they will be bad mothers to their children. Others exhibit a lack of interest in their family, in their friends, or even in their newborn. There are a few who admit to having disturbing thoughts such as wanting to hurt themselves or their baby. All these can lead to a tremendous amount of guilt. They may be disappointed that they can't measure up to their perceived standard.

Different methods of treatment are being explored to help individuals recover from the depression. These address the possible causes like hormonal changes, socio-economic issues, birth-related trauma, unhealthy habits, life stresses, and so on. Appropriate drugs may be prescribed by doctors to restore hormone balance. The family may be encouraged to provide a higher level of emotional and financial support to the mother. The patient may also be induced to relax through ample rest, behavioral therapy, and even massage therapy.  It is no wonder then that 15.4 million US adults have used massage therapy for various ailments.

In a 12-week study, a number of pregnant women underwent massage therapy and joined short yoga sessions. They reported notable reductions in leg and back pain. They also observed decreased feelings of anxiety and depression. In terms of quantitative results, the researchers measured their cortisol levels and found that there was a significant drop after 12 weeks. There was also a reduction in premature birth rates and excessive fetal activity. The therapy was clearly having a positive effect on both mothers and babies. Massage alone may not cure PPD but science seems to confirm that it can be an effective tool in managing the symptoms.

Massage can be used in conjunction with other proven treatment options depending on the situation. Doctors may suggest it along with antidepressant drugs, estrogen therapy, psychotherapy, group therapy, and nurse home visits. This potent combination can help those suffering from postpartum depression to recover quickly and feel much better than before. Mothers are not the only ones who can receive this therapy.

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