Depression and Pregnancy


10 Ways to Improve Feelings Without Medication

By Dr. Aviva Romm, MD

1. Get Real About How You Feel
The first step toward feeling better is to get real about how you feel. If you’re not happy, if you’re feeling sad, or worse than this – feeling desperate – don’t pretend otherwise.

2. Get a Medical AOK
Have your doctor or midwife run some simple blood tests to check for these and start appropriate treatment as necessary.

3. Seek Support, Stay Connected, and Pay for Help if Needed
This is not a time to be shy asking your partner, other adult family members, your BFF, or other moms you know for support, particularly if you already have young children and are experiencing depression.

4. Optimize your Diet
Gluten and dairy, while we might crave them like crazy during pregnancy, can cause mood problems in those who are sensitive.

5. Get a Move On: Yoga and Exercise Really Help!
30 minutes per day of exercise has been shown to prevent and help with depression in pregnancy.

6. See The Light
Bright light therapy can be helpful in brightening your mood.

7. Sleep Well … and Embrace the “Cat Nap” 
We don’t need to be rocket scientists to know that lack of sleep increases depression and irritability, makes us grab for quick sugary foods that later lead to a blood sugar crash, and generally rocks our boat.

8. Spend Some Time in Nature
It’s so easy to spend most of our time indoors and to forget how uplifting even a little bit of fresh air and sunshine can be.

9. Use these Pregnancy-Safe Herbs and Supplements
(check with your midwife or doctor before using if you are already on a medication or if you have any medical problems related to pregnancy).

10. Call on a Pregnancy Natural Medicine Expert
If after a couple of weeks of incorporating a combination of the above strategies you’re not noticing any improvements, this is a good time to consult with a medical provider who specializes specifically in the functional medicine, naturopathic, integrative, or mental health care of pregnant women.

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