Motherhood comes with tons of questions and a myriad of complications. One such major issue is postpartum depression. A study by the US National Library of Medicine reports that approximately 15% of mothers encounter postpartum depression. The actual number might be higher, as many cases go unaccounted. Many new parents are turning to CBD for help instead of relying entirely on prescriptions and psychotherapy. Is it fruitful? Let us find out.
Postpartum Depression: How is it Different from Baby Blues?
Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a severe long-term postnatal complication where the mother is unable to bond with her child, is guilt-ridden about accidentally hurting the child or not being able to be a good mother, and has suicidal thoughts. A much rare form of postpartum depression involves hallucinations, delusions, and other psychotic symptoms. It is postpartum psychosis.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that there is no particular cause of postpartum depression. It is a combination of both physical and emotional factors. Lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, chronic pain, and other physical changes along with the sudden lifestyle shift and surge in responsibilities severely affects a new mother’s mental health. While it resembles baby blues in many ways, do not confuse the symptoms of postpartum depression with the other one and leave it untreated. Baby blues go away after the initial few weeks but, PPD lingers longer and requires a psychiatrist’s help.
Symptoms of Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression:
The characteristics of baby blues are a numb sensation, uncontrolled crying, fatigue, impatience, insomnia, headaches, drastic mood swings, anger issues, sadness, irritability, panic attacks, etc. In postpartum depression, these symptoms appear in an aggravated state. There’s also loneliness, loss of appetite, lack of energy, cognitive disabilities, loss of interest in hobbies or any other activities, development of pessimistic attitude in all aspects of life, chronic pain, blurred vision, and even suicidal attempts.
What does Research say about CBD and Depression?
CBD or cannabidiol improves the functioning of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a human system responsible for maintaining homeostasis and regulating emotions in humans. A 2014 review states that CBD can act as an effective antidepressant and anti-anxiety drug in animal models.
The authors of a 2018 review found that both long-term and short-term use of CBD products showed promising progress in anxiety and stress management. The compound works without directly stimulating the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. So, chances of CBD addiction are quite low. It can even minimize cravings in people experiencing opioid use disorder.
Treating Postpartum Depression: Can CBD Help?
With studies providing evidence of health benefits, today, CBD is becoming increasingly popular in the treatment of postpartum depression. As such, breastfeeding is one of the significant aspects of CBD’s effectiveness in treating PPD. Several studies show that breast milk naturally contains endocannabinoids. Intake of CBD in any form adds to cannabinoid content of breast milk. Mothers, who felt disconnected from their child as an outcome of PPD, claimed that CBD potentially flared up their confidence to breastfeed their children.
Additionally, CBD can also
- a) Reduce Pangs of Anxiety in PPD
Women with postpartum depression often feel stressed and anxious and experience sudden pangs of a panic attack. While it is not unusual in women during the first few weeks after delivery, it becomes a matter of concern if it lasts longer and takes the form of postpartum anxiety disorder. Around 4 – 11% of women experience postpartum anxiety, however, so many more cases go unreported.
As children are receptive to their parent’s emotions, seeing an anxious or stressed out mother might develop anxiety in the child too. Accompanied by excessive crying and lack of sleep, anxiety may hamper the child’s overall growth.
CBD has shown promise in the treatment of anxiety-related symptoms. When you start moving very fast at the onset of a panic attack, a neurotransmitter called GABA serves as a brake pedal for the nervous system and helps you relax. CBD interacts with this neurotransmitter and enhances its binding capacity. So, you can buy weed online to treat anxiety symptoms during the postpartum period.
- b) Help you get a Sound Sleep
A usual condition and symptom of postpartum depression is lack of sleep. The large scale neurological changes and hormonal imbalances occurring inside a woman’s body in the changing context of new motherhood cause postpartum insomnia.
Negative amounts of sleep may heighten the challenges of parenting, interrupt life, and impair the mother’s ability to care for the baby and herself. Celia Bahar, a therapist in Ithaca, New York, recalls insomnia worsening the symptoms of her postpartum depression such as numb detachment, hysterical tears, feelings of unworthiness and self-hatred following the birth of her first and second daughter. Only when she had started using homegrown marijuana, she found her insomnia vanishing.
Like Celia Bahar, many other moms worldwide have spoken about the significant improvements they witnessed in PPD with the administration of CBD, thanks to its relaxing and sedating effects. Studies show that doses larger than 200 mg help insomniacs fall asleep faster, remain asleep longer, and wake up with a refreshing feeling the next day.
CBD v/s Prescribed Antidepressants for PPD
Talk about postpartum depression to doctors and most of them are likely to prescribe antidepressants like Lexapro, Prozac, or Zyban. While they make you active and may cure the depression with prolonged use, they herald negative effects like weight loss, increased lack of sleep, migraine, shaky hands, dizziness, and nausea. To avoid these drawbacks and deal with PPD more effectively, many mothers resort to CBD products from Sabaidee CBD company. Unlike anti-anxiety medicines, in no way does CBD impair her childcare capabilities, says Jo Highland, mother of two in Ohio and part of the growing community of CBD consumers.
How much CBD should you take?
The key to leveraging the therapeutic benefits of CBD is using it in moderation, especially during breastfeeding. For mothers who wish to start smoking medical marijuana or take CBD supplements, doctors recommend starting intake with small quantities, preferably 25 – 50 mg per day, at a consistent hour of the day. Gradually, you can increase the amount.
Like Dr. Kevin Gilliland, the executive director of Innovation 360, an outpatient treatment facility, most medical professionals suggest a multi-faceted approach in the treatment of postpartum depression. Since PPD demands quick relief, CBD fills in the drawback of slow responses from regular medication and counselling. With CBD, you need not fear about getting high as the psychoactive compound THC is absent in it. Consult your psychiatrist and invest in budget buds to remain happy and connect with your child during one of the most challenging periods in life.