Serious post-natal depression is thought to affect up to 15% of new mothers. Although there’s a psychological component from feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of a new baby, post-natal depression is usually triggered by hormonal and chemical changes, and these can be supported with good nutrition.
While pregnant, you transfer a large supply of zinc to your baby, and the chances are you’re now deficient. Depression is a common side effect of zinc deficiency. You may need to up your supplementary zinc intake to 15mg twice a day until your mood improves. As zinc works with the B vitamin family, particularly B6, also take a B complex supplement.
The other common deficiency in post-natal depression is in essential fats. Women who consume oily fish two or three times a week were half as likely to suffer from depression as women with the lower intakes. So eat more oily fish (organic salmon, sardines and mackerel, although go easy on fresh tuna, as it can contain mercury) and some fresh pumpkin and sunflower seeds each day to boost essential fats in your diet. Also take an all-round essential fat supplement containing 600mg of EPA, 400mg DHA and 200mg GLA. Solgar brand have a good one that you can buy from Life pharmacy outlets.
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