Mood and anxiety issues during pregnancy and the postpartum period are

 the most common complications of pregnancy.  But it does not have to be that way.

The use of clinical nutrition offers hope for those suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety issues (PPD). Nutrients are precursors of the brain’s neurotransmitters, and every other biological function of the human body.  Nutritional supplementation is being used to successfully prevent and treat PPD.  It is vitally important to address one’s nutrient status during the reproductive season.

Nearly 90% of depressed patients are nutritionally deficient.  Pregnancy is the biggest nutrient drain known to human beings.  When this fact is coupled with nutrient status and the poor quality of most prenatal vitamins it is easy to see why so many women suffer with PPD and depression during pregnancy.

Many non-pharmacological approaches exist that are as effective as medications, but without side effects that medications come with.  Many times, these approaches address the underlying etiology of illness; not just the symptoms. Women should always see their health care provider for assessment and discussion of which treatment is best for their specific case.

WellPostpartum E-News exists to support women who are at risk of developing PPD; helping them learn more about prevention and treatment.  Our goal is to support women in lifestyle changes that will provide them with hormonal balance and a healthy energy supply.



 Why is it important to study non-pharmacological treatments for
perinatal mood and anxiety disorders?

According to University of Toronto’s Cindy Lee-Dennis, up to 50% of mothers are often reluctant to take antidepressant medication due to concerns about breast milk transmission or potential side-effects.

The Australian researcher Anne Buist says women are often reluctant to admit how they are feeling to doctors who they fear will give them an antidepressant.

Marlene P. Freeman, M.D. shows that doctors can sometimes have difficulty explaining the risks of untreated perinatal mood disorders and the use of medications versus the benefits of treatment to their patients. Some women will remain fearful or unconvinced of the need for medication.

Indeed, some women are so concerned about the safety of medications that they will refuse to seek help altogether. One study shows that only 10 percent of women think it is safe for women to take medication for depression while they are pregnant, compared to 68 percent of doctors.

This reluctance and fear, added to cases of women who do not find prompt relief from standard medical treatment, speak to the need for well-researched alternative or integrative approaches to maternal wellness.

Researchers are calling for more studies to be conducted on integrative approaches for the prevention and treatment of various psychiatric disorders.
Well Postpartum E-News provides a place for mothers to learn more about preventing and treating PPD without using medications.


8 Responses to “Home”
  1. AlexM says:

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  2. ml says:

    I would love to see some research on placental encapsulation/ingestion and the effect on rates of postpartum depression. I had my placenta encapsulated after the birth of my daughter several months ago and I experienced almost no depression whatsoever, after a pregnancy filled with mood swings. There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence of the benefits of placental encapsulation, but no formal studies that I am aware of.

  3. cheryljazzar says:

    Hi ML,

    Many areas need more study. I’ve heard many anecdotal stories, as well. It would be interesting to hear about some of the experineces you had in pregnancy. A “pregnancy filled with mood swings” sound like a risk factor for postpartum mood issues, for sure. How wonderful you did not experience a postpartum reaction. Did you decide to ingest the placenta because of these mood swings? Do you have other children?

  4. When I was researching my book A Nautural Guide to Pregnancy and Postpartum Health Avery-2003 I found an article that stated what nutrients and hormones placentas contain. As one might suspect, all the blood building nutrients (iron, B-12, folic acid, B-6) proteins, fatty acids, but also LOTS of hormones…progesterone, cortisol, etc. All the nutrients and hormones that we typically find deficient in postpartum women having physical and psychological health issues are contained in placenta. In the past it was much more common for women to be given their placentas in soup or even pate form soon after giving birth to replenish the nutrients and hormones that their body donated to form their baby’s body and placenta. While ingesting one’s placenta is largely out of vogue these days and there are some potential toxicity issues for some, if we look at this practice from a purely nutritional point of view it makes sense. No wonder our canine and feline friends instinctively eat their placentas immediately postpartum.

  5. Lisa Hardy says:

    Thank you for this resource! It’s not easy to find this information all in one place, and I appreciate being kept informed of the most up-to-date information. New moms need support and attention, as well as the ability to advocate for themselves with evidence-based information. I will definately be referring colleagues and Moms to your site.

    Keep up the great work!

    Lisa Hardy, CNM, MSN
    MamaDoula Postpartum Care

  6. Danielle says:

    Hello Cheryl,

    I just wanted to follow up with you regarding the study Kaiser Permanente recently released where they found that women dealing with symptoms before or during pregnancy are more likely to experience a preterm delivery. Kaiser Permanente wanted to provide WellPostPartum Weblog readers with some tips for expecting mothers dealing with depression. Please see the tips below and let me know if I could provide you with more information.

    Thank you,


    Tips for Women Dealing with Depression Symptoms Before and During Pregnancy

     If you are considering getting pregnant and are prone to the blues, talk to your doctor.

     If you are taking anti-depressants and considering pregnancy, work with your doctor on the best approach to managing both your depression and your pregnancy.

     Find a support network of other pregnant women to relieve common worries and feel more connected to others.

     If you are feeling down during your pregnancy, take good care of your body and your self by eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of fluids and getting more rest

     Get exercise everyday (check with your doctor first). Pregnant women who exercise are more accepting of their body changes and less likely to suffer from depression.

     Join a prenatal class to gain learn more about pregnancy, childbirth, and infant care and to connect with other moms-to-be.

     Share your feelings with your partner and nurture your relationship with your partner before the baby arrives. Take a “babymoon”.

     Tell your doctor if you are having negative feelings, angry or feeling.

    – Dr. Tracy Flanagan, OB.GYN / Director of Women’s Health, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

  7. Danielle,

    That’s a good list from Dr. Flanagan. It would be lovely if fish oils and a truly comprehensive, high quality prenatal or postnatal nutrient supplement program were also included. The research is indisputable that these can help many. Present day food supplies in the U.S. contain less than 50% of the nutrients than in the 1940s plus food now sits in storage and then on the shelves in stores for prolonged periods of time further losing nutritional potency. In addition, the body now has to expend more nutrients to try to detoxify pesticides, insecticides, artificial hormones, heavy metals and many other environmental pollutants. The belief that a human being (especially a pregnant woman donating all the nutrients to make another human body and a placenta) can obtain all of the nutrients they need just from food, no matter how good the diet, has not been true for many decades.

    Most commercial prenatal vitamins are hopelessly poor quality and low potency except for excessive levels of poorly absorbed forms of iron. They do not include key ingredients like omega 3 fish oils, CoQ10, and alpha lipoic acid. The RDIs have not changed in over 50 years. A while back I got to teach at a medical symposium on psychiatric care. Dr. Abrahm Hoffer, a Canadian psychiatrist in his 80s specializing in nutriceutical approaches to schizophenia, told me that he sat on the board 50+ years ago that gave the FDA their recommendations for RDAs ( recommended daily allowances) for vitamins and minerals. He told me they guessed at just the right amount of vitamin C to prevent scurvy, the amounts of B-vitamins to prevent other severe deficiency diseases like Beriberi, Kwashiorkor, etc…enough to survive but not enough to really thrive. He also communicated to me that he had petitioned the FDA to update these recommendations many times with no changes yet.

    5th Edition by Sareen Gropper, Jack L. Smith, and James L. Groff for physicians and health professionals who desire the latest in advanced nutritional biochemistry information and research. The University of Bridgeport uses it for their Master of Science in Human Nutrition program as do many other schools. From my point of view ( and 10s of millions of Americans) there is an over emphasis on pharmaceuticals and an under emphasis on well researched nutriceuticals (high potency nutritonal supplements. This is one of the reasons that the American public is now spending billions of “out of pocket” dollars each year on nutritional supplements. A well-informed public is essential when it comes to taking both drugs and nutrients. It is not good to be polarized against all drugs and it also doesn’t serve to ignore the benefits of many wonderful nutritional supplements. With both, quality, purity, and effectiveness is the key.

    Kind regards,

    Dr. Dean Raffelock

  8. Tina Hilbert says:


    I would like to visit with you about being present in our May issue of Natural Awakenings OKC. Our May issue will feature articles on Women’s Wellness.

    Thank you,