Becoming a new mum can be an exciting and nervous time. There are so many new skills to learn and challenges to overcome looking after your new bundle of joy. During pregnancy and after giving birth your body goes through many physical and hormonal changes and it can feel like the body you once knew so well now changes from day to day. Although you have a new baby to look after, it’s now more important than ever to look after your physical, emotional and mental health to provide you and your baby the right foundations for a healthy and happy future.
It’s not uncommon to feel anxious and weepy after the birth of your child. Your body is undergoing many hormonal changes and this may result in a condition referred to as the ‘baby blues’. During this time you may experience mood swings, fatigue, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. These feelings may occur in the week following your child’s birth, reaching their peak on day four to five postpartum. Experts are unsure of the exact reason behind these changes, but believe that fluctuations in hormone levels are the main cause. If these feelings continue one month after the birth of your baby, it’s important to seek help from your doctor, midwife or healthcare professional to ensure you’re receiving the right support.
Herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years to help lift mood, increase energy levels and tonify the nervous system during times of stress and convalescence. Today, modern science has linked vitamin and mineral deficiencies including selenium, vitamin D and zinc to an increased incidence of low mood.
Herbal stress support
- Siberian Ginseng is an adaptogenic and restorative herb that supports mental and physical performance during periods of stress. Adaptogenic herbs help the body adapt to stress by normalising body functions and increasing resistance to stress. Siberian Ginseng has traditionally been used during times of fatigue and debility to increase energy levels and restore vitality.
- Oats seed is traditionally used as a nerve tonic for the relief of nervous exhaustion and tension. Specifically, the seed part of the herb is considered more stimulating, helping to improve energy levels in those who have an overly stressed nervous system.
Both Siberian Ginseng and Oats seed can be used while breastfeeding your baby.
Make sure you have a good foundation
After pregnancy, it’s important to be consuming a wide variety of foods to receive adequate amounts of nutrients to support the health of you and your baby. If you feel like you’re not achieving this you can supplement your diet with a good pregnancy multivitamin.
Lifestyle changes to create positive mood
- Make sure you have a close friend or family member around that you can talk to about your feelings.
- Get outside and exercise! This can help to break up your day and increase endorphins (the ‘good feeling’ hormones).
- As a new mother you’re experiencing new challenges every day and nobody expects perfection. Give yourself time to adjust by asking for help from your partner, family or friends.
Some recommended products:
Pasco, J. A. et al. (2012). Dietary selenium and major depression; a nested case-control study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2011212.008
Mills, S. & Bone, K. (2005). The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. Missouri, Churchill Livingstone.
DiGirolamo, A.M. & Ramirez-Zea, M. (2009). Role of zinc in maternal and child mental health. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89:940S-5S.
Wojcik, J. et al. (2006). Antepartum/postpartum depressive symptoms and serum zinc and magnesium levels. Pharmacological Reports, 58: 571-576.
Postpartum depression. Retrieved on 23/9/2015 at:
The baby blues. Retrieved on 23/9/2015 at:
Natural Standard: Oats. Retrieved on 23/9/2015 at: