medication in the perinatal period part 3 of 3
What are NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS that are available for ANXIETY and DEPRESSION over-the-counter & considerations to make?
Whilst this is not intended to go into the clinical trials of how effective supplements are, if you were to go into a pharmacy you would generally see these as possible natural supplements;
–Bach rescue remedy (homeopathic and plant based)
–Fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids; care is needed with blood thinners)
–Magnesium (muscle relaxant and carminative; care is needed with irritable bowel symptoms (IBS) as it can increase bowel movements)
–St John’s Wort (however, care is needed on prescription medication by reducing the bioavailability of medicines and reduced effectiveness as a result)
–Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
-Gut health is intimately related to the Gut-brain axis; probiotics, prebiotics to encourage a healthy microbiome
MY advice generally here would be that if you are taking any prescription medicines, to speak with your PHARMACIST or the naturopath on site to ascertain how safe it is to use in addition to your medicines. What may seem benign, may cause various interactions.
If you are taking medication for your anxiety, depression or insomnia, then to ask your prescribing physician BEFORE starting any OTC remedies.
Firstly, I would wonder why you needed additional support? Perhaps the dosage of your script item requires adjustment. If, however it is complimentary and your doctor feels it is safe then keep an eye on your symptoms and provide feedback as needed.
If you are dabbling with natural health supplements, it is always advisable to chat with your pharmacist as they can help screen and refer if there are any red flags that require you to investigate further.
I’m always mindful of ‘self-selection’ as there can be so many questions I would go into with patients if I chat with them to work out what is going on;
-What are the symptoms?
-How long have you had them?
-What makes them better or worse?
-What have you tried already?
-How is your sleep? Sleep hygiene?
-What is your diet like? Etc.
BE KIND to yourself throughout the process
In terms of medication for your PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH, being KIND and GENTLE to yourself is so important.
Being harsh, critical, self-deprecating and judgmental about taking medication can help the spiral of negative thoughts, as well as flood the body with constrictive emotions and energy.
If we compare this to be unconditionally loving, supportive, optimistic, hopeful and gentle; this feels more open, relaxed and allowing in nature.
The opposite of fear is love. We want to encourage healing in every possible way.
I love the work of Louise Hay and have followed her since I was a young girl. I also love the work of Masaru Emoto who demonstrated the impact of energy on how rice grows. I use these concepts in the dialogue I have with myself and try to switch my energy when I can.
I find self-talk is addictive; the positive and loving it is, the more I feel I want to. When I focus on how frustrating things are, the more it is.
I want you to be respectful and accepting of the season. Know that it does not have to be your forever. It is just this season right now.
My hope is that you start taking your medication with an abundance of hope, faith and surrender that your journey of recovery will move forward as you deserve.
Write a COMMITMENT STATEMENT to yourself
Part of the ARMER strategy that I wrote in my book; this step is helpful whilst waiting for medication to start working.
Because it allows you to remain ever focused on YOUR WHY. It will help to motivate you, keep you aligned and focused on what this is all for.
Not every day is going to be easy. Sometimes it may feel like you are taking steps backward, as healing is not linear always. However, knowing your WHY will help you get through each day with the greater picture in mind.
What are some STRATEGIES to use ALSO whilst using WESTERN TREATMENTS?
I am firm advocate for utilizing medication IF your health professional feels you require it. However, that alone is not the only way through; whilst you are waiting for it to work, but also because each pillar of health is important in HOW you feel.
In Ayurveda the pillars of health are;
-SLEEPING (sleep hygiene) and
-ELIMINATING (gut health)
I therefore believe in looking at the following aspects are important;
- Nutrition (Ayurvedic nutrition principles)
- Ayurveda (massage, impact of all 5 senses on the system)
- Limit alcohol and caffeine (which are very RAJASIC and stimulating to the mind)
- Movement (increase PRANA)
- Sleep hygiene (require adequate sleep to heal and can precipitate anxiety)
- Meditation (Guided meditations can focus the minds)
- Mindfulness; washing the dishes, ideas to practice it; as a way to steer the mind and thoughts in a calm fashion
- Self-care (journal, baths, walk, haircut, new clothes)
- Grounding strategies
- Boundaries if you need them
- Asking for help; lean into your tribe…find WHO you resonate with and who you can be honest & authentic with (ideas of where to meet people)
- Looking at work/life balance; seeing if there are areas to trim that are troubling you…trouble-shoot/solution-mode what is working and what is not/outsource what you can
- Infant massage; beautiful technique to increase bonding and connection with your baby, whilst assisting the biochemical processes within the body.
What is MATRESCENCE and this IDENTITY SHIFT?
This time period is when a WOMAN becomes a MOTHER…and is a beautiful time, but it is complex with SO many changes, challenges, learnings and growth. In my book I write about ALL of my reflections through the PND journey but also this shift and evolution through matrescence.
It can take time to soar; but when you find your wings; you will fly Mama…higher and more effortlessly than you ever dreamt possible!
My advice is to lean in, introspect what your journey is telling you, what your new needs are.
How can they be met?
Who can help support you?
What will help you soar through this journey?
You’ve got this…you absolutely do. You will be the best, strongest and most dynamic version of yourself sooner than you realise.
Never give up.