Kinesiology for babies

Understanding Postpartum Depression: Causes, Symptoms, and Holistic Approaches to Care

Sitting home in the dark, phone in hand, baby on the breast, all the happy hormones feel like they have long gone, and you may feel empty when, this time, a month ago, you thought you would be bursting with joy… Googling:

  • What is postpartum depression?
  • How long can postpartum depression last?
  • What causes postpartum depression?
  • When does postpartum depression start?
  • Is postpartum depression common, normally preventable? 

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioural changes that occur after giving birth. It is a type of major depression that begins within four weeks after delivery and can vary in severity. 

The exact cause of postpartum depression is not entirely understood within Western Medicine. Still, several factors are believed to contribute to its development and can be explained differently within the Eastern wellness modalities, especially kinesiology, which works with TCM, ayurvedic care and bodywork.  

Emotional Factors are normally the triggers that result in us researching for answers and the desire to create change. The emotional adjustment to motherhood is massive, coupled with sleep deprivation and feelings of being overwhelmed, which can contribute to or justify the feeling of postpartum depression. Emotions can both be the cause and the solution in postpartum depression, and understanding how they impact the following triggers will help you understand how much Kinesiology can help shift and restore wellbeing within this stage of life. Like all Kinesiology sessions, it understands the root emotion, the meaning or purpose the body and the mind have attached to it, and how it is held within the physical body.

Hormonal changes are the biggest catalyst for change. After childbirth, there is a significant drop in hormones (Estrogen and Progesterone) in a woman’s body, which can trigger mood swings and depressive symptoms. Plus, don’t forget the surges in oxytocin during and after the birthing period, physically helping the uterus contract and prevent excessive postpartum bleeding, as well as that endorphin release to assist in maternal-baby bonding. Another hormonal change that is/has happened is that prolactin—the hormone responsible for lactation—increases. It is completely understandable that hormones could be the cause of postpartum depression. Clinically, healing doesn’t occur from changing the hormonal response within the body; it is just the effect they have on our organs, meridians, and energy centres.

Physical changes within the body include changes in shape, weight, and volume, activation of deep primate muscles, and physical healing within the layers of the body, muscles, fascia, and even skin. The physical and emotional muscle memory within the pelvis and energetic muscle memory have passed down from generational birthing experiences, cranial sacral misalignment, and changes in your jaw (TMJ pain) during birthing. Here, it is the direct connection of muscles to their corresponding meridians, chi energy, the need to reconnect energetic pathways, respect the emotional load and/or release the control patterns within the TCM skeleton system.  

new mum and bub

Lifestyle Influences feel more likely to be gaslighted through a mainstream response, but a little more depth can also be found there. Historically and culturally, postpartum care has been of great importance. An example known as “sitting the month” in Chinese culture, new mothers traditionally rest for 30-40 days after childbirth. They are advised to avoid physical strain, cold foods, and even bathing to prevent future health issues. In Japan, postpartum meals often include fish, rice, and seaweed, which are considered easy to digest and beneficial for the mother’s recovery. The postpartum period in Islam is known as “Nifas.” This period typically lasts 40 days, during which the mother is encouraged to rest and recover from childbirth. During Nifas, the mother is exempt from certain religious duties like daily prayers and fasting. After the bleeding of Nifas stops, the mother performs Ghusl, a full-body ritual purification, to cleanse herself. In today’s society, it can be both the absence of this or the sitting within it. Changing relationships, social connections, and feelings of isolation can just as easily feel as heavy as feminine expectations, partnerships, independence and the masks we can wear to look like we have it all under control.  

Personal and Family History would be another typical response. Still, women with a personal or family history of depression or other mental health conditions are at a higher risk of developing PPD only due to unresolved imbalances within their physical and environmental energy systems. This could also go that other way and would depend greatly on any medication or treatment plan they currently have. 

Emotional release, balancing yin and yang meridians, transpersonal meridians, balancing the chakra, auras, somatic healing, cord cutting, healing the divine feminine, inner child work and healing your energetic hologram are all possibilities on the kinesiology clinical table. Your body will express its needs to healing needs through the right modality for you and prioritise shifts to maximise results and well-being.