What Comes Around, Goes Around: Pre-Natal Supplements and Post-Partum Depression

The gift of life is like one of those vouchers with the most inscrutable fine print at the back. Invariably seen as a joyous event, it can nonetheless bring about a sea of physical and mental changes for the mother, both for better and for worse.

Many of us may have heard of post-partum depression, but the court of public opinion is still heavily prejudiced against the disorder. It seems to contradict everything we hold about maternity. Granted, taking care of a newborn baby is a strenuous task. But surely all that toil is more than justly compensated by that inviolate bond of love?

Even the most scientifically-minded amongst us are sometimes loath to recognise the undeniable role of neurochemistry in our lives. After all, it seems to negate our heart-felt feelings, perhaps even the pangs of love, to a serotonin imbalance in the brain. This position, however, becomes untenable the moment we cease theorizing and approach the actual sufferers. It is a very dangerous thing to dismiss post-partum depression as stress or deny its pathological nature or, precisely because motherhood is too stressful for us to risk anything. Besides, new evidence has just emerged, both reinforcing our understanding of the disease and providing new insight into potential preventative measures.

For some time, scientists and national regulatory bodies have been coaxing pregnant women into supplementing their diets with DHA, the most active member in the class of omega-3 fatty acids. With the possible exception of young males, these fish oils have taken the health market by storm: cardiovascular risks for the elderly, neural development for expectant mothers and children, and skincare for women of all ages. The first category is both theoretically and empirically proven, while the second group has shown statistically significant results in controlled trials. As for cosmetic benefits, it’s invariably a self-reported thing, but then most cosmetics are placebos anyway.

Of course, researchers aren’t going to let young men the slip. There’s just about one ailment predominantly found in this demographic, suicide as a result of severe depression, which is https://www.madampartum.com/ about as hardcore as ailments get. But as with David and Goliath, it turns out that the innocuous lipid does reduce the incidence of suicidal tendencies further when administered in conjunction with other medication over an extended period of time.

Given the widespread omega-3 deficiency amongst pregnant women in the 21st century, we might very well uncover a link between post-partum depression and our dietary habits in the future. The irony is that there used to be many fewer cases in the past: partly it is due to a lack of public awareness, but our diminished intake of fish might also be to blame.

In any case, we would advise both expectant mothers and women planning for pregnancy to begin supplementing their diets with omega-3 right away as a precaution. In virtually every studied related to omega-3, the effects only become apparent over months, because it takes time for our bodies to restore the precarious balance of chemicals from its previous deficits.

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