15 Natural Treatment Options for Postpartum Depression

Saturday, January 13, 2024 @ 3:59 PM

Welcoming a new life into the world is incredible, but it can also bring about significant mental health challenges. Research shows that about 20% of women experience postpartum depression, otherwise known as, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADS) after childbirth.

While conventional treatments such as therapy and medication are widely available and effective, many new moms are turning to natural remedies to complement these other approaches.

Understanding Postpartum Depression:

Postpartum depression is a form of clinical depression that affects women after childbirth.

It's not a sign of weakness or a character flaw; rather, it's a complex interplay of hormonal, emotional, and environmental factors.

Common symptoms include persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, and fatigue, as well as changes in sleep and appetite.

Recognizing and addressing these symptoms is crucial for the well-being of both mom and baby.

15 Tips: Natural Treatment for Postpartum Depression

1. Nutritional Support:

A well-balanced diet is crucial for mental health, and this holds true for postpartum depression.

Nutrient-rich foods can positively impact mood and energy levels.

Omega-3 fatty acids, have been linked to improved mental health.

Additionally, incorporating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables ensures a diverse range of nutrients necessary for overall well-being.


Incorporate a variety of nutrient-rich foods into your daily meals.

For breakfast, try a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh berries and a handful of walnuts. Include fatty fish like salmon in your lunch or dinner for a dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

Snack on sliced apples and almond butter for a satisfying and nutritious option.

2. Mindful Eating:

Practice mindful eating by savoring each bite and paying attention to hunger and fullness cues.

Eating nutritious meals in a calm environment contributes to overall well-being.


During meals, focus on the flavors and textures of each bite.

Put away your phone, sit in a quiet space, and focus on eating your food slowly.

Pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues, allowing yourself to stop eating when satisfied rather than finishing everything on your plate.

3. Hydration:

Staying hydrated is essential for physical and mental health.

Ensure an adequate intake of water throughout the day to support overall well-being.


Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day.

Flavor water with slices of cucumber or a splash of citrus for a fun twist.

Staying well-hydrated supports overall physical and mental well-being.

4. Mindfulness and Meditation:

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep-breathing exercises, can be powerful tools for managing postpartum depression.

These techniques help moms cultivate awareness of their thoughts and emotions, promoting a sense of calm and centeredness.

Apps and online resources make it easier for new mothers to incorporate mindfulness into their daily routine.


Dedicate 10 minutes each morning to a mindfulness or meditation practice.

Use a guided meditation app or online resource to help you get started.

This daily ritual can create a positive and centered mindset for the day ahead.

5. Physical Activity:

Exercise has been consistently linked to improved mood and reduced symptoms of depression.

Engaging in gentle exercises like yoga or walking can be particularly beneficial for postpartum moms.

Physical activity releases endorphins, the body's natural mood enhancers, providing a natural and accessible way to combat depressive symptoms.


Incorporate a gentle exercise routine into your week, such as prenatal yoga or a daily walk in a nearby park.

Enlist a friend or family member to join you for added support and motivation.

The release of endorphins through physical activity can significantly uplift your mood.

6. Alone Time:

Schedule regular alone time to recharge.

Whether it's a few minutes of quiet time or a longer break, having time for oneself is crucial.


Set aside 15 minutes throughout the day for quiet alone time.

This could be spent reading a book, practicing deep breathing, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee in a peaceful environment.

Taking moments for yourself throughout the day is crucial for recharging and maintaining emotional balance.

7. Creative Outlets:

Engage in creative activities like diamond art, crocheting, painting, or music as a form of self-expression.

These outlets can provide a sense of accomplishment and joy.


Engage in creative activities like painting, drawing, or playing a musical instrument.

Joining a local art class or music group can provide a structured and supportive environment for self-expression.

8. Acupuncture:

Traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, has gained popularity as a complementary treatment for postpartum depression.

Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body, stimulating energy flow and promoting a sense of balance.

Some women report reduced symptoms and improved well-being after incorporating acupuncture into their postpartum care.


Explore acupuncture as part of your postpartum care. Schedule sessions with a qualified acupuncturist who specializes in women's health.

Many women report reduced stress and improved emotional well-being after incorporating acupuncture into their routine.

9. Social Support:

Emotional support from friends, family, or support groups is invaluable in the postpartum period.

Sharing experiences with others who understand the challenges of motherhood can provide a sense of community and reduce feelings of isolation.

Strong social connections are crucial for mental health and can be considered a natural and essential aspect of postpartum care.


Join a postpartum support group where you can connect with other mothers facing similar challenges.

Share your experiences, listen to theirs, and build a network of understanding and supportive relationships.

10. Massage Therapy:

Massage therapy, especially designed for the prenatal and postpartum period, can provide physical and emotional relief.

Massage helps relax muscles, reduce stress hormones, and promote the release of endorphins, contributing to an improved mood and overall well-being.


Treat yourself to a postpartum massage designed to address the specific needs of new mothers.

Many spas and wellness centers offer specialized massage services that focus on relaxation and relieving tension in the muscles.

11. Radical Acceptance:

Embracing radical acceptance involves acknowledging and accepting one's emotions without judgment.

By allowing oneself to experience and validate the range of emotions that come with postpartum depression, mothers can move towards a place of self-compassion and understanding.


When feelings of guilt or self-judgment arise, practice radical acceptance by acknowledging these emotions without judgment.

Remind yourself that these feelings are valid, and allow yourself the grace to experience and learn from them.

12. Cognitive Challenging:

Cognitive-behavioral techniques can be valuable for challenging negative thought patterns associated with postpartum depression.

Working with a therapist, mothers can learn to reframe unhelpful thoughts, fostering a more positive mindset.

Example: Identify a negative thought related to postpartum depression and challenge it.

For instance, if you catch yourself thinking, "I'm not a good enough mother," reframe it to, "I am doing my best, and it's okay to seek support when needed.

13. Prayer and Spiritual Connection:

Prayer and attending church services can offer peace and a sense of connection to God.

Spiritual practices can provide comfort and hope during mental health struggles.


Set aside time for prayer and make an effort to attend church services even though it is hard to get out of the house with little ones.

14. Journaling:

Expressive writing can be a therapeutic outlet for processing emotions.

Keeping a journal allows new moms to reflect on their experiences, track their emotional journey, and identify patterns that may contribute to postpartum depression.


Dedicate a few minutes each evening to journaling your thoughts and emotions.

Reflect on the positive moments, challenges, and any patterns you observe.

This practice can provide clarity and serve as a therapeutic outlet.

15. Creating a Dopamine Menu:

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward.

Creating a "dopamine menu" involves listing activities that bring joy and satisfaction.

Engaging in these activities regularly can help boost mood and provide a sense of accomplishment.


Develop a list of activities that bring you joy and satisfaction.

This could include taking a warm bath, listening to your favorite music, or spending quality time with loved ones.

Schedule these activities regularly to boost your mood and create a sense of accomplishment.


Postpartum depression is a multifaceted challenge that requires a comprehensive approach to treatment.

While conventional therapies are essential, integrating natural treatments into the care plan can offer additional support for mothers experiencing postpartum depression.

Holistic approaches that address nutrition, mindfulness, physical activity, and social support, along with specific strategies like prenatal massage therapy, radical acceptance, cognitive challenging, support groups, prayer, journaling, and a dopamine menu, contribute to a more balanced and nurturing postpartum experience.

It's important for women facing postpartum depression to work closely with healthcare professionals to develop a personalized treatment plan that considers both conventional and natural approaches.

By embracing a holistic perspective and incorporating a variety of supportive strategies, we can better support and empower new moms as they navigate the complex journey of postpartum recovery.