Post Partum Depression
In this podcast, we hear from former Mama on Bedrest, Rebecca Buscemi. Rebecca has a remarkable story of incidental injury that lead to 10 weeks of bed rest, depression, manic spending, bankruptcy and now a successful business. Rebecca shares with us her “cover ups” and how deeply she hurt while on bed rest and yet no one suspected and she never divulged the truth. She shares the pain of depression so deep that she has no recollection of the early months of her daughter’s life. Her pain and “spending to soothe” resulted in bankruptcy for her family and $47,000 in debt that extended to her parents. Rebecca pulled herself back from the brink, started a business and now, nearly 5 years later, is once again financially solvent.
Hello Mamas, Here’s a question from Mama on Bedrest Josh asking,
“Doesn’t placental encapsulation help with Post Partum Depression symptoms?”
After doing a bit of checking, I found that there is not medical evidence that Placental Encapsulation has any medical benefit. That said, ingestion of the placenta in any form has been practiced for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in other tribal customs. Because it is high in hormones, it is porported that ingesting the placenta,
- Helps balance a woman’s hormones post partum
- Helps mitigate “the baby blues” a syndrome reportedly faced by up to 80% of women in the immediate post partum
- Helps ward off post partum depression (this has not been proven)
- Enhances milk production
- May help balance hormones during perimenopause
The additional benefit touted is that because the placenta is actually an organ the woman herself produces, there is no toxicity or risk of adverse reaction. It’s is seen as similar to donating blood to oneself prior to surgery. And because the placent comes from the woman herself, it provides the ultimate “bio-identical hormones”.
While I don’t endorse or refute the practice, I recommend that women interested in placental encapsulation thoroughly research the process and find a trained, certified placental encapsulation specialist; someone trained in the proper preparation according to Traditional Chinese Medicine practices and OSHA trained so that the organ is properly handled and prepared. There are resources listed below.
If you have done placental encapsulation, know something about placental encapsulation or have an opinion, please share your comments in the comments section below. Thanks!!
If you have a question, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll answer it on an upcoming Wednesday Vlog.
Resources for further study:
While Today is April Fool’s Day, the news below is certainly no joke. Yet another study has reported that low levels of Vitamin D in pregnant women is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Fariba Aghajafari, MD, CCFP, and colleagues from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, published their findings after performing a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available data online March 26 in in the British Medical Journal. Reviewing data from studies published on MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the Cochrane database of registered clinical trials, the researchers reviewed 31 studies and found the following results:
- Low levels of 25-OHD Vitamin D (the best indicator of Vitamin D status in Humans) is associated with increased risk of Gestational Diabetes
- Low levels of 25-OHD Vitamin D is associated with increased risk of pre-eclampsia
- Low levels of 25-OHD Vitamin D is associated with small for gestational age infants.
And these findings are only from this one study! We here at Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond have reported in several of our blog posts the effects of low levels of Vitamin D and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Here is what we have found in the literature to date:
- Low levels of Vitamin D are associated with Post Partum Depression.
- Low levels of Vitamin D are associated with Gestational Diabetes
- Low levels of Vitamin D are associated with Pre-Eclampsia
- Low levels of Vitamin D are associated Low Birth Weight and Asthma in the Baby
We have also found that while current medical recommendations are only 200-400 IU of Vitamin D for daily supplementation, Studies we have seen recommend far more for optimum function (upwards of 2000-4000IU daily).
So what should you do with all of this information? Talk To Your Doctor!! While you may initially experience a bit of push back from your OB, if you bring in these citations, they will take you seriously. Leading medical experts are recognizing the importance of Vitamin D supplementation and noting that the vast majority of individuals in the United States are deficient. Interestingly enough, darker skinned people are at increased risk of Vitamin D Deficiency because Vitamin D is absorbed through the skin from the sun and darker skin protects against penetration from the sun’s rays, so less Vitamin D is absorbed by darker skinned individuals.
Personally, I think that there is a growing body of evidence to support Vitamin D supplementation. The question becomes, at what dose? You will have to discuss this with your doctor. My guess is that optimum dosage may have to be done individually and for that, you may need to have blood levels of Vitamin D assessed in order to figure out how much (if any) supplementation you need.
I warn you now that not all OB’s have jumped on the Vitamin D bandwagon. Many are content to simply prescribe a prenatal vitamin and leave it at that as they, “Don’t believe the hype”. But I suggest to you that if you are at increased risk for any of he aforementioned conditions for which low vitamin D levels increase the risk, then at the very least a discussion with your physician is in order. It may not be the ultimate cure for what ails you, but if it can help you decrease your risk of pregnancy complications and adverse outcomes, a simple pill or 2 a days seems easy enough for your OB to prescribe and for you to take, and there is little to no risk of toxicity or overdose.
Talk with your doctor about your Vitamin D levels and see if you need supplementation. It’s easy, and it may well vastly improve your health, the health of your baby and your ability to have a healthy, full term infant.