Postpartum Mood Swings: Herbs to Support Emotional Health

posted in: Herbalism | 2

Having a baby is an amazing experience, but the postpartum stage can be messy in every sense of the word – including emotionally. Researchers estimate that as many as 50 percent of new mothers suffer from some form of ‘baby blues'. This period is characterized by an overall emotional rollercoaster and is brought on by the wild fluctuations of hormones in the new mother's body, combined with a lack of sleep. It tends to last from a couple of days to a couple of weeks and should not be confused with the more severe postpartum depression or worse, postpartum psychosis.

These first few weeks can be a very trying and scary time for the new family, particularly the new mother. Throw in seemingly uncontrollable emotions and they can be downright terrifying. Many mothers, being mindful of their health, will shy away from taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications. Luckily there are natural remedies that, when combined with rest, can help tame the inner turmoil. (Please research and/or consult your physician before taking any herbs, especially when it comes to underlying health issues and any other meds or herbs you're already taking.)

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum): Known as ‘nature's Prozac', this plant's extract has been shown more powerful than placebos for major depressive disorders.

Maypop: Native Americans use the leaves to make tea for relaxation, insomnia and hysteria.

Lavender Essential Oil: This oil is amazing in so many ways. For a headache or tension relief, place one drop on a cotton ball and inhale every few minutes. Use in a diffuser for a calming effect on the whole house. If you need restful sleep (and what new mother doesn't!) place a couple drops on your pillow.

Natural remedies can help you achieve relief without harmful chemicals, but you must be vigilant in what you buy. Do your research of the company and any supplement, herb or oil to make sure they are reputable and their products are pure. Also, be sure that you get actual essential oil, as scented oil is not the same and will not have the same therapeutic effect.

Perhaps the most important tip of all though is to relax. You are not alone in the way you feel, and it will pass before you know it!


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Kylie Wiser is an herbalist specializing in skincare and women's health. She shares recipes and resources on Everblossom to help others live a more holistic lifestyle. She lives in Fargo, ND with her huge family and lots of houseplants.

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2 Responses

  1. Isabella

    Baby blues can really be crazy. It can be disorienting and annoying even for people around you. I always use lavender oil to help sooth my brain and nerves. Just few drops on my clothes and pillow is enough to do this trick.

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