Battling Postpartum – A New Hope
It was November of 2018 when I conducted an initial phone consultation with Maggie, a 28- year-old, stay-at-home mother of 3, from Arizona; whose struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety were keeping her from being present in her life, and the recurring feelings that she was failing to be the Mom she dreamed of being.
Childbirth and motherhood is supposed to be a special time for a new mother. Some of life’s greatest moments are gained with motherhood, but for some new moms, holding onto that happiness is hard when there is a fog that seems to linger over you each day.
This time, the anxiety and foreboding were intensified with postpartum depression. Feelings of sadness and guilt for not feeling like a “glowing new mother,” weighed heavy on Maggie. Scared of the stigma that postpartum depression has on new mothers, Maggie suffered in silence.
Her depression and anxiety weren’t the textbook symptoms. She didn’t feel like lying in bed all day, she felt as though every moment of the day she was failing. That no matter how happy her family was she still wasn’t doing enough.
After the birth of her first child, Maggie miscarried, had her second child which was followed immediately by those same overwhelming anxious foggy feelings she had had after her firstborn. With the support of her husband Maggie sought help and got on medication for a short time before they were ready to expand their family. Sadly, Maggie miscarried again. With each event, postpartum depression and anxiety hit harder than before. She was blessed with her third child and knowing that postpartum can get worse with each child Maggie made the decision to start treatment right after the delivery.
Maggie was grateful for the decision she made, and she knew the medication had helped those first few crucial months after her third child was born. However, knowing that the prescribed medication she was on shouldn’t be taken longer than the recommended 6 months and while feeling the side effects becoming intensified with time, Maggie accepted that the only thing that could be done for her was to adjust her dose.
At the time of our initial phone consultation, she had been on prescription medication going on a year. Maggie’s family kept a close eye on her and could see how she was struggling to keep her head above water. Her sister, Timaree had not experienced postpartum depression but had spent years battling mental health herself. Living the heartache, hopelessness and pain that comes with depression and anxiety, she saw herself in her little sister. Employed by Fusion Pharmacy, Timaree knew about help that she wished had been available to her years prior and suggested that Maggie get a consultation and explore natural alternatives to help her. In Maggie’s words, she threw her a lifeline. Maggie admitted she was skeptical but willing to give it a try.
The First Phone Consultation, KEEP IT SIMPLE!
Six years ago, when Maggie’s first child was born, the anxious feelings she used to experience as a teenager started to come back. But, this time it felt a little different.
Creating a starting point for her, we agreed that we needed to focus on her emotional distress first. After all, she had been struggling with postpartum depression for just about 5 years at the time I spoke to her.
Maggie’s Protocol and Maintenance
Maggie’s initial protocol included a small variety of essential and nonessential amino acids, and a high quality fish oil supplement. Once she started feeling a shift mentally and emotionally, we introduced a few more supplements. Because she is missing her gallbladder, she began using a comprehensive blend of enzymes for digestion and absorption, as well as an iron supplement to address her bouts with anemia.
With my guidance and Maggie’s determination to make a lasting change, she learned to self- regulate her amino acid dosages and frequencies according to her needs.
Getting Back to Life and JOY!
It took about 3 months before Maggie really noticed the improvements in her mental health and wellbeing. She described the change as a blanket being lifted off of her, and she was ready to start tapering off the prescription medication.
Slowly, her family noticed the changes in her, too.
She began participating in her life again. She started to remember that young woman who likes to be active and happy. Hope returned to her and she was once again a driven woman ready to be successful but also was now capable of handling failure, without feeling like one.
A year has passed now and Maggie feels like not only has she gotten herself back, but an improved self! During a follow-up, Maggie explained that for the first time in her life, she feels like she’s finally in control of her health.
She now has more tools to cope with the anxiety that has been with her since her teen years, and she now knows how to help her own children, should they begin to show signs of anxiety.
She also said that this experience, both with the depression medications, and now with the amino acids and supplements, has given her a new understanding of health and wellness.
Maggie has also lost 57 pounds! She attributes her weight loss to simply just feeling good enough to be active again!
Once we had a handle on the anxiety, and the depression started to lift, we took a look at her physical needs, which included an iron deficiency and the effects of a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal).
There are many parents who needlessly suffer in silence through postpartum depression and anxiety, perhaps unaware of the many avenues of healing that may be available to them, or possibly frustrated by the seemingly limited or ineffective options they have been provided for help.
Please come in or call us to see how Fusion Pharmacy can improve your wellbeing
According to postpartumdepression.org, In the United States alone: Approximately 70% to 80% of women will experience, at a minimum, the ‘baby blues’. Many of these women will experience the more severe condition of postpartum depression or a related condition. It’s important to understand that these numbers only account for live births. Many women who miscarry or have stillbirths experience postpartum depression symptoms as well. When including women who have miscarried or had a stillbirth, around 900,000 women suffer from postpartum depression annually in the US.
According to Women’s Health, 1 in 9 women experiences some degree of postpartum depression and/or anxiety.
The Mayo Clinic states that men also experience some form of “paternal” postpartum depression as well as generalized depression and/or anxiety, regardless of whether their partners are experiencing similar symptoms. Studies also show that children raised by parents struggling with postpartum depression have bouts of excessive crying, experience delays in speech development and are prone to develop emotional and behavioral problems.
Awareness About Amino Acids
This past few years, my team and I have been doing a lot of writing, and I’ve been lecturing in public forums about amino acid therapy. It is important for every reader to know that amino acid therapy is unique to every person. Therefore, I don’t go into a lot of detail about specific amino acids or amino acid combinations. They are as unique in the way they work as you are unique as an individual person. If you are curious about an amino acid therapy regimen for yourself or a loved one, please come in and see us! The amino acid therapy test will take you about twenty minutes. My team and I have done our homework to find reputable and trustworthy manufacturers, and we only carry the best pharmaceutical grade supplements available. Amino acids don’t require a prescription from your doctor, but we highly advise you to let your doctor know of any over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and/or supplements that you are taking.
“Fusion Pharmacy is committed to helping parents experiencing postpartum depression to explore natural alternatives and enhancements to prescribed therapies, for both themselves and for their babies.”