Category Archives: Preventing PPD

Release the hounds!

It's time to buy your copies of the T-Tapp book, Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes. After you buy it, you're eligible for your free DVD and 30% off anything in the T-Tapp store. Details here. I'm off to buy 3. One to replace the one someone borrowed from me and didn't return, one to lend out, and one for my future SIL. (But don't tell her.)

The book, plus the Step Away the Inches DVD, would make a great baby shower gift, or baby's first birthday gift, for someone you know and care about. Hooray for hormone balance and mental health!

Super-special offer from T-Tapp

Yes, I know I'm a broken record about T-Tapp. But I haven't ever seen anything that can make you feel so good and help so many of your body's systems run better with such a small investment of time. Sleep better, lift depression and anxiety, regulate your periods, have more energy, and lose inches and tone yourself. All from 15 minutes of exercise a day.

Tomorrow is Teresa Tapp's birthday, so she's making a special offer that I wanted to pass on to you guys. If you buy a copy (or two or three or 10) of her book on Amazon.com tomorrow, August 26, you get:

  • "First,
    you’ll get to use the one-time 30% Off On Your Entire Order
    coupon that comes with each book just by showing your proof of purchase
    (forward your receipt confirmation) from Amazon.com (then just call
    our office to redeem your coupon when you’re ready).
  • Second,
    if you decide to give the book away as a gift, then whoever you give
    the book to will also get to use the coupon in the book for their own
    one-time 30% off shopping spree with T-Tapp when they send in the coupon
    to us by mail, fax or email attachment.
  • Third,
    you can have a DVD or VHS of any of the 3 workouts listed below for
    free (you have to pay shipping and handling) for each book you purchase.

Free Workout Choices:

  1. Tempo 2: Includes
    the next two levels of the Total Workout; both the beginning version
    with 8 reps, and the intermediate version with 10 reps all without instruction. 
    Chaptered by exercise and easy to navigate! (Retail value $29.95)
  2. Step Away the Inches:
    Our popular indoor walking workout using T-Tapp techniques – use it
    in your home and also while you walk throughout the day, on a treadmill,
    or any outdoor adventures. This routine is a total head to toe body
    sculpting workout done without any stretchy bands or weights. (Retail
    value $24.95)
  3. TappCore:
    Our Fundamental Fitness program designed for developmental bodies for
    strength, flexibility and a healthy heart. Buddy stars in this DVD as
    America's Furry Fitness Friend to help young people fit fitness in their
    day. In truth, this program works for kids and adults – it's got 9
    "minute moves" that maximize muscle activation so that you
    easily fit exercise into your day rather than scheduling your day around
    exercise. (Retail value $19.95)

Here’s how to
get this Special Free Workout Offer for Book
Buyers:
 

  1. On August 26th,
    purchase Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes
    at www.amazon.com.
  2. By August 29th, register
    your proof of purchase
    with our office by fax, mail, or phone
    by showing us your receipt confirmation.
  3. Select your free*
    DVD or VHS by calling the office
    toll free at 1-877-TAPP-FIT
    (877-827-7348).
  4. Use your one-time 30% book
    coupon whenever you like."

So if you've been on the fence, now is the time to get the book. For yourself, or for  a friend or family member as a holiday present, or as a baby shower gift (T-Tapp helps prevent PPD as well as helping you get back your body, and you can do it from home in 15 minutes a day, so it's perfect for moms).

Remember, don't order it until tomorrow. I'll remind us all tomorrow morning again.

Check yourself

Last night I met a mom of a 7-week-old. We were talking about how things were going for her, and she said that she was wondering when she was going to start enjoying it, and that she woke up every morning with a sense of dread and a feeling of "How am I going to make it through today?" We were talking about her baby, and she seemed not to know what to say about him.

We talked some more, and it became pretty apparent that she either had mild PPD or was on the border of it. We talked about some things she could do that start feeling better immediately (exercise that works your core–so T-Tapp, pilates, or yoga, Omega 3s at 3,000mg a day, and B complex vitamins) and asked her to talk to her doctor in a few days whether or not she was feeling better, just to get a professional helping her.

As we were leaving, she told me she was glad she’d talked to me, because she’d thought she was just being a cry-baby about it.

That’s the thing about PPD. When you’re sinking into it, you don’t say "Aha! I have this illness called PPD. Let me get some help." You just think things suck and you don’t feel very good. And, yeah, most people aren’t really loving the gig at 7 weeks, so you feel like maybe it’s all normal. But why is it so hard for you? And if you tell your partner and s/he doesn’t know what to do so s/he just tells you "it’ll get better" then you think maybe it really is just weakness or being a whiner.

It’s not. In the first two weeks post-partum, your hormones will be whacked out and you’ll laugh and cry for no reason. Past that point, though, if you feel dread all the time, and don’t feel joy several times during each day, you’re sinking into PPD.

YOU ARE NOT WEAK. Your hormones are out of whack, and you have a treatable illness. You can probably get some relief by making some small changes, you may need meds but you won’t have to stop nursing unless you want to, and there is nothing wrong with you as a person. You are suffering from a physical illness.

Over on the left is a PDF you can download with some suggestions of things you can do to help lift the greyness (to me depression always felt like being rolled in that pink fiberglass insulation–I was still there on the inside but I just couldn’t seem to interface with the rest of the world) and give yourself a little bit of breathing room. Download it, show it to your partner, and tell him or her that you need help. Start with one or two of the things on the list, and get your partner to call your provider. They will help you.

Comments? Support? Requests for support?

Mix-a-lot

1. Do not buy The Wonder Weeks for more than US/Ca$20. It is absolutely not worth more than that.

2. I just wanted to call some attention to the new website PPD Connect, a place for moms with PPD (or who think they might have PPD, or are even just feeling a little crappy) to go and tell their stories and get some support from other women who are going through it, or who have been through it. If you’re a PPD survivor, you might want to stop by to leave some support and light at the end of the tunnel. http://ppdconnect.typepad.com/

Don’t forget you can download my "14 Tips To Prevent Postpartum Depression" PDF over there in the left-hand column for free.

3. And now a question from Tegan:

"Since I’ve become a breast-feeding mother experiencing the occasional painful clogged duct, I’ve had no problem finding problem solving tips, i.e.:  warm compresses, massaging the breast, and nurse nurse nurse on that side to clear the clog.  But I’ve always wondered, does that mean that the baby gets a mouth-full of cloggy coagulated milk at some point?  Just curious."

It does, but they don’t seem to care at all. I think it’s probably more
like yogurt or the skin of vanilla pudding than anything else.

FWIW, you can help prevent plugged ducts by taking flax seed oil or lecithin capsules daily.

Now I’m craving pudding.

4. If anyone’s interested in a T-Tapp challenge for the new year, I just signed up for the "6 weeks to a new you" thread on the T-Tapp.com forums.

Really important study–we need your help

Hi all. This was supposed to post Monday, so I’m attaching Tuesday’s post to the end of it. Please please read through the first part and pass it on.

Leslie Davis, a researcher at Illinois State University (in the U.S.) is doing a study on pre-natal and post-partum depression, and she’s trying to tease out the differences in mood disorders (depression vs. anxiety, etc.) so that they can work on more effective plans for treatment.

She needs women to fill out their online survey. You are eligible if you are pregnant and 26 weeks along or more, or if you are between 6 week and 6 months post-partum.

Please, please please, if you are in this category or know people who are, fill out the survey. Forward on the URL to everyone in your childbirth ed class, new moms’ group, breastfeeding support group, online support group. Ask the moderator of any online boards you post on if you can post the link there.

The more responses the researcher gets, the better info she’ll have and the better prevention/diagnosis/treatment we’ll be able to offer to pregnant women and new mothers. (The results of the study should be available in the summer of 2008, so I’m going to ask Leslie to update us then on what she found.)

Now, for Tuesday’s post, I’m cleaning up holiday gift requests.

A grandmother is looking for good toy suggestions for 2 1/2 year-old twins (boy/girl, if that affects your response any).

Following up on the post last week about asking friends and relatives for nicer quality toys, Kristen wants to make things as easy as possible for her relatives:

"So I need some help…I have a 6 month old son and I’m trying to buy
him toys that are made in the US or Europe.  Any good websites or
stores that you can suggest?  I’m trying to encourage my family and
friends to buy him the more expensive toys that are of better quality
than the cheap plastic ones and I know that options are important."

Melissa writes:

"My son will be 4 in mid-December.  As one would expect he is full of
questions about the world and everything in it.  We have gone to the
library with some questions and done some research on the internet, but
I thought we might also want to look at having a good children’s
illustrated (we are not quite reading just yet, but trying
hard) dictionary or a set of encyclopedias at home for some old
fashioned look it up exploration.  Do you are your readers have any
recommendations?"

My 5 1/2-year-old is loving the Scholastic Children’s Dictionary I listed over there on the left in the sidebar. I’m not sure about encyclopedias, but I’m sure someone will have suggestions. I just discovered Simple Wikipedia, which is just Wikipedia, but using simple language and without some of the content that makes regular Wikipedia so much fun but also too wild for kids.

Then Liz writes:

"I am looking for a good book that might have some good suggestions for
fun and developmentally-beneficial activities I can do with my 5 month
old.  A kind of "Daring Book for Girls" for babies.  I consider myself
a creative person, but I’m running out of things to do with my baby.
I’m not sure I can play on that playmat and simply pass toys back and
forth with her for too much longer.

Any good ideas?"

I, personally, think you should just do your normal activities with the baby in a sling and narrate what you’re doing and that will help her development more than anything. But that’s also because I’m not a "down on the floor playing kids games" kind of mom. Which may explain why my kids are great at baking and cooking and doing laundry with me, but good at playing Legos with each other and not me. 😉

I know someone out there will have suggestions of books or of activities to do. And toys for the other questioners.

But first please pass on the survey info to any interested parties you know.

Save Women’s Lives and Hearts

"A beautiful young mother of two has been missing in Rhode Island now for more than a month.

Her name is Katie Corcoran and she is suffering from
postpartum psychosis.  She was supposed to be released from the
hospital to her family, but on September 5th, in some kind of mix-up,
she was sent off in a taxi instead.  Her husband, small children,
family and friends haven’t seen or heard from her since."

This is a quote from the blog Postpartum Progress, a blog by Katherine Stone that collects information and support for women suffering from postpartum mood disorders. Katherine, along with BlogHer and Postpartum Support International are asking bloggers to spread the word today about the MOTHERS Act:

What is the MOTHERS Act?  The Moms Opportunity to
Access Help, Education, Research and Support for Postpartum Depression
Act, or MOTHERS Act (S. 3529),
will ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about
postpartum depression, screened for symptoms and provided with
essential services.  In addition, it will increase research into the
causes, diagnoses and treatments for postpartum depression.  The bill
is sponsored by Senators Menendez and Durbin.

This is important. Really important. AS many as 800,000 American women every year get PPD or another postpartum mood disorder, and only 15% of them will be assessed or treated. That’s tragic, and we shouldn’t fall through the cracks.

I’m going to ask you to do three things:

1. If you’re an American or live in the US, call your senators’ office today to ask them to support the MOTHERS Act (S. 3529). Find your senators’ contact info by going to www.senate.gov and using the drop-down box in the top right corner to find your state.

2. Start talking about PPD. If you experienced it, share your experience. When you see other new moms out and about, ask how they are, and really look at them when they answer. You might be a vital part of the safety net we should have in place.

3. I’ve posted a PDF of "14 Tips to Prevent Postpartum Depression" over there on the left-hand side of this page. Please download it and print it out, and give it to the pregnant women and new moms you know. (If you want more than five copies or to reprint it, please email me about rights.) It’s better to prevent PPD than to try to battle it, so let’s make sure women know there are things they can do to lessen their likelihood of getting serious PPD.

Q&A: fighting the new-mom boredom

Deanna writes:

"My sister is expecting her first child at the end of January.  Due to my husband’s transfer to a VERY faraway state (think pineapples) around the same time, he and I worked it out so that I could move back to Maine for about two months when my nephew is born to help my sister take care of her baby and then will go on to meet up with my husband later.  She and I are both excited about this and I can’t wait to be an auntie, but we do have a big concern.  The problem is twofold, and we have already discussed the first aspect with our doctors: we both suffer from various forms of adult ADHD and depression.  The second is money–cash will be tight for her family and for me, and my sister lives in a very small basement-level apartment with low windows in an isolated complex.  We know that after the first three weeks or so, we will be experiencing massive cabin fever.  But how can we find things to do during the day for brief (maybe an hour and a half) outings that are a) free or cheap, and b) safe to take a small baby to?  We are confident that we can both manage the depression aspect–she is very comfortable discussing her fears about postpartum depression with her doctor and developing coping strategies, but we think we’re going to drive each other bonkers sitting around the house all day.  If any of your readers have suggestions for national programs that would provide a reason to leave the house for a short period of time, or if any of them are from the Portland, ME area and have suggestions specific to the city.  I have no children of my own, so please feel free to tell me if the baby is just too young for quick trips out of the house in such chilly weather!"

I think you two are in great shape, and your being there will be the best thing that can happen to her. I say that because the number one factor in developing postpartum depression is lack of support. I think the researchers think that means that you’re not getting any emotional support from your partner and family and friends, but I think it also just means being physically isolated. Talking on the phone and being on the internet are wonderful things that have probably prevented PPD for some women, but there’s really nothing like being able to carry on a real-life conversation with another adult who’s in the same room you are.

I wouldn’t necessarily worry about the ADHD, since young babies do things in such short spurts anyway that it may actually be an asset! By the time you found the remote control to watch that 2-hour DVD, the baby would need to be fed again and you’d have another load of laundry to throw in. (I’m not trying to be facetious, but you really don’t need to have any attention span to tend a young baby. And any attention span you do have will atrophy in those first few months anyway.)

My first couple of suggestion are pretty winter-specific and location-independent. You can always go out and walk around at the mall (assuming the baby’s born full-term and doesn’t have any respiratory issues). Your sister should wear him close to her body and not let anyone else touch him, poke at him, cough on him, etc. That’s why you should go to m place like the mall with plenty of room so you’re not all packed in together.

My other suggestions are your local bookstores and coffee shops. They tend to be gathering places for moms and caregivers and little kids, and you can sit and pretend to be adults for an hour or so while the baby sleeps on one of you. If your sister is nursing, they tend to be pretty safe places to nurse without worrying about the coats and diaper bags and stuff so that she can get him latched on without flashing the whole place, and if she does flash a little inadvertently, people tend not to notice.

I know someone out three’s got to have Portland, ME-specific suggestions. Anyone with those, and also other winter-based ideas?

Book Review: Understanding Your Moods When You’re Expecting

This is a review of Understanding Your Moods When You’re Expecting, by Lucy J,. Puryear, M.D.

Puryear is a psychiatrist specializing in women’s reproductive mental health at Baylor in Texas, and she’s seen tons and tons of women at all stages in pre-conception, pregnancy, and postpartum problems. She says she initially thought she was going to be an ob-gyn, but found that she’d have no ability to help women with their moods and emotions during the pregnancy because of the limitations of the system, so she switched to psychiatry. Now she works with women before, during, and after pregnancy.

The wonderful thing about this book is that Puryear continues to emphasize that it’s normal and acceptable to feel depressed, scared, angry, and even hopeless during pregnancy. That, to me, is a huge step, that a mass-market publisher has published an entire book talking about women’s negative feelings in a way that validates us. Those of us who have been depressed during pregnancy know that it’s such a turbulent mix of mega-hormones, life changes, and emotional vulnerability that depression is a reasonable response from our bodies. But it’s still so important to hear that it’s normal from the medical establishment (which for years told us we should be happy and glowing, that serious nausea was "only morning sickness," and made us feel like we were going to be bad mothers if we didn’t absolutely love pregnancy). So I’m thrilled that this book is out there.

Puryear writes with an easy, authoritative tone. The book is full of anecdotes about her patients, most of whom she treats with talk therapy, some of whom she treats with anti-depressants. She emphasizes the need for family support, which could be critical for a reader who was trying to hide her depression from family and friends because she was scared of their reaction to it. She also covers some interesting topics, like how to process pregnancy body changes if you have a history of eating disorders and body dysmorphia. The section on telling postpartum psychosis (having persistent thoughts of harming your children) vs. postpartum OCD (having persistent thoughts that something bad is going to happen to your children and trying to prevent it) is extremely important and will probably result in hundreds of women getting treatment for PPOCD who otherwise would have thought they would be seen as monsters.

There are a few things I wish were different about the book, though. The most glaring things for me are that she doesn’t talk enough about alternate treatments for mood disorders and her section on breastfeeding is a big cop-out.

She does have a very brief section on St. John’s Wort and Omega-3s during pregnancy, but not postpartum. She also doesn’t mention any other treatment options for pregnancy or postpartum, even things that we know about–massage, B-complex vitamins, exercise, etc. It doesn’t really surprise me, since she’s an MD so her focus is on talk therapy and medical treatments, but it would have been nice to have this be a big book of what-to-do as well as a big book of you’re-normal-and-you-can-get-through-his.

My real beef is with the section on breastfeeding, which I just think wasn’t completely researched. There is evidence from all over the world that both mothers and babies do better when they are supported in their efforts to breastfeed. It should be treated as a normal part of the process, and we should be giving women all the tools and support we possibly can to help them have successful breastfeeding experiences. But Puryear seems to approach nursing as an expendable option, the first thing to go when a woman feel stressed postpartum. The anecdote she uses tells of a woman who comes in with a 6-week-old who isn’t breastfeeding very well, and she’s afraid she isn’t making enough milk. She’s tired and stressed out and her husband’s at work all the time. (Sound familiar? Growth spurt at 6 weeks, fear of low supply, worst phase of baby crying and fussiness?)

Instead of saying a) we need to get you to see a great, IBCLC lactation consultant right now to figure out why the baby’s not nursing well and whether you’re actually having supply issues, b) we need to get you some help at home, and c) your husband is going to have to take a night shift or two with pumped milk or formula so you can get some sleep, Puryear tells her to stop breastfeeding. Now of course it’s OK not to nurse your baby. But to me this sounds like a patient coming in with a broken toe and the doctor saying "Let’s amputate the foot." Why not deal with the core issue, which is lack of support, to help the mother get some rest and either get the nursing straightened out or know she had all the support she could have before stopping?

So. In general I think this book is great, and is a vitally-important step in having the medical establishment and society at large treat women’s mood disorders during pregnancy seriously. But if you’re entertaining any thoughts at all of nursing, skip that section in this book. Make sure you’ve done some research before you give birth and have the phone number of an IBCLC lactation consultant on your refrigerator and don’t hesitate to call if you’re having any nursing issues at all. It doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to nurse successfully, but at least you’ll have a fighting chance. 

Link here to my series on Preventing PPD.

More on PPD and Q&A on breastfeeding in front of a 3-year-old

Jillian wrote me to add to Friday’s post on PPD after weaning:

"I wanted to add to your "trifecta" of massage, omega-3 and exercise.Add: High potency B vitamin pill, like a B100 or Stress B. Consider
adding 500-1000 mg of magnesium citrate pills per day as well.

Many
women who have been pregnant and nursing, and on birth control as well
(!), have become borderline deficient or downright deficienct in B12
and B6, among the Bs, as well as in magnesium. B vitamins are
absolutely required for the body to make serotonin. Low
serotonin=depression. Many women who suffer from PMS are B vitamin
deficient as well. You can google or pubmed this stuff, but I looked
into it extensively. I also found my PMS, cycles and moods to improve
considerably with a B100 (on top of my high potency multivitamin)
daily, plus 500 mg mag citrate.

You can safely take a B100 on
top of a multivitamin that provides tons of B, because B isn’t absorbed
that well. It’s what makes your pee green when you take vitamins,
actually."

Very good to know. Thanks, Jillian.

And now a question from Anon:

"I can’t seem to find any info on the subject of breastfeeding in front of a 3 year old. Do you think it is it healthy to my 3 year old’s psyche to let him see me breastfeed his baby brother?

We are expecting in November and I never thought this would be an issue but my husband thinks it is weird that I still bath with my toddler and now he thinks it is "unhealthy" to let him see me nursing the baby. My son is now noticing that my anatomy is different to his and is starting to be curious about it and it kinda freaks my husband out a little. I weaned my son from the breast at around 13 months so I doubt that he remembers anything about nursing. I just wondered what you thought about it."

I can appreciate that your husband might have some qualms, because our society is so geared to thinking of the breasts as sexual and not functional. But he just hasn’t thought it through logically: If it caused psychological damage to watch a baby being nursed, then every older child of a nursing mother across the world would be psychologically damaged either from having watched it or from being sent into another room every time the baby nursed (talk about a recipe for sibling rivalry!). Moreover, there are tons and tons of kids who were still nursing at the age of 3 and have no psychological problems. So your husband can turn his worries from nursing to all the other stuff that’s going to happen when the new baby comes in November.

(This is the point at which I plug the book Siblings Without Rivalry by Faber and Mazlish. If you’re having another child, if you do absolutely no other prep, read this book. If you already have more than one child, read this book. If you have siblings, reading this book might help you understand your relationship with them better and could help you improve things between you. If you’re an aunt or uncle or interested adult in the life of siblings, read this book.)

On a related topic, it’s very healthy for your son to learn, in a factual way, about the differences between boys and girls. His noticing that you and he have different parts is great, and any factual, age=-appropriate explanations you give him are going to help him. It’s also going to be healthy for him to learn all the normal things about babies–how they’re fed, that they pee and poop, that they cry and need to be soothed, etc. It’s all giving him more information about the way humans work.

It sounds like your husband may be very concerned about the inappropriate sexualization of your son. That’s a really valid concern, especially in our society (Bratz, anyone?). But withholding factual information about basic differences will actually backfire by making him more vulnerable to information coming from other sources. A kid who knows the facts and has all his questions answered honestly to his age level is going to be much better equipped to live in a world that sends some really confusing messages about our bodies.

Comments?

Q&A: PPD after weaning toddler?

And back to something more serious leading into the weekend…

Jeanne writes:

"I really want to know if anyone has dealt with symptoms of postpartum depression after weaning. I’ve tried to do some research and have come up with very little. I definitely didn’t see it coming, and actually assumed things would really get back to "normal" after we weaned, so it’s all a bit confusing.

My daughter turned 2 in May, and she nursed for the last time right around the 4th of July. For the months leading up to and after her birthday, she was only nursing after waking up in the morning and after waking up from her nap in the afternoon. Toward the end, we very slowly went from those two sessions (which were already brief) to only nursing in the morning, to nothing. So we were both ready for this chapter to end, and if anything, she and I are even closer now than we were before we weaned.

But ever since then, I’ve felt so down. The kind of down that I can’t control, where I know I can’t just give myself a pep talk or go out and be active and it’ll be okay. Looking back, it’s gotten worse as time has gone by. This has all been accompanied by poor sleep, bad headaches at least once a day, bone-tired feeling, lack of appetite…and now it just feels like an accomplishment if I get showered and get us out for a little bit during the day. What I’m grateful for is that I still want to be a mom (definitely didn’t feel that way on my relatively few mild postpartum days) and am having so much fun with my little girl. It’s just everything else – (patient) husband, housework, friends, spirituality – that I’m just not into right now.

In consultation with my midwives, I went back on a regular birth control pill about a year ago, even though I was still nursing when I went back on. The thought at the time was that I’d had really bad breakthrough bleeding on the progesterone-only pill and with depo provera shots, and since my daughter was eating solids very regularly at 15 months, she wasn’t getting a majority of her nutrients from nursing. And I didn’t think at the time that we’d nurse much longer, but we went for almost a whole year beyond that!

I’m sure that with the decrease in hormones from lactation, plus the pill hormones, plus whatever else, is all contributing. I just had never heard anyone talk about such an ordeal and would love to know if others struggled and what they did to help themselves."

I’ve
definitely heard of women suffering from some PPD after weaning, and
whenever I get questions about weaning I make sure to warn the woman
that she may suffer a dip in hormones that could throw her into some
PPD. That combined with the hormonal stuff of being on the pill is undoubtedly what threw you into PPD.

Some of my readers may disagree with me, but it seems
to me that most of the other things in your life are pretty stable
right now, you’re not having any hidden emotional issues, and you’re
dealing well enough to be able to experiment with some ways to get out
of the PPD without having to go on meds. I don’t have anything against
meds for women who really need them to manage, but it does take
anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for them to kick in, and
depending on which one you’re taking you can have truly a nightmarish
time getting off them (Effexor is the worst one I know about). So if
you’re not in crisis mode, I’d see if you can kick your hormones back
into place without the meds first. I’d make sure you’re doing three things:

* In her The Big Book of Birth (my review here),
Erica Lyon cites a study that showed that a 15-minute massage every
day prevented PPD as well as meds did in newly postpartum women. I’d
say it’s worth a try. If your partner doesn’t know how you’re feeling,
definitely ‘fess up, and when he asks what he can do to help, ask him
for a 15-20 minute massage every day. He’ll probably be thrilled to do
it, because it’s something physical and concrete that he can do (many
men love that). It sounds like you’re feeling some distance from him right now, and a short period of nonsexual touch every day from him could help bring you closer together without any real pressure on either of you to "do something about it."

* Make sure you’re forcing yourself to do 15-20
minutes of exercise a day. If you’ve got a T-Tapp DVD, put it in and
actually press "play" and just do the Basic Workout Plus. T-Tapp is
definitely a mood enhancer. (If you want to start with T-Tapp, read Summer’s great summary of how to start and what video to start with here.) If you’re not a T-Tapper, climb stairs for
15 minutes, or dance around the living room for 15 minutes, or (if it’s
cool enough where you live) go for a brisk walk for 15 minutes.

* And make sure you’re taking Omega 3 supplements, either fish oil or flax seed oil, every day. At least 1200 mg a day if you can.

If
you’re hitting your hormonal mood problem with the trifecta of massage,
exercise, and Omega 3s, you should start to feel better in a week. If
you’re not feeling better after two weeks, ask your midwives for help,
because you might need to have your thyroid tested or look for other
physical explanations for your mood.

In the long run, you might consider non-hormonal birth control. It’s not for everyone, but the fertility awareness method/natural family planning method has a high reliability rate when all the rules are followed by a motivated couple. For the basics on FAM, read Toni Weschler’s Taking Charge of Your Fertility. (Yeah, I know those of you who’ve gone through infertility are rolling your eyes, but for people without fertility problems, TCOYF is a revelation about how your cycle works and how you can use your cycle to prevent or achieve pregnancy.) Giving your body a break from the hormones might help it regulate itself and get you back into a better frame of mind.

Did anyone else suffer from PPD after weaning? How long did it last? Did you treat it or did it just pass?