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Postnatal Depression

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Having a baby is an exciting time, an anxious time, a celebrated time. It is also a time where things can be overwhelming or you are just so busy and tired that you don’t get to look after yourself as well as you usually would. It may be worth having some tests done to check for any conditions or deficiencies. Baby comes first. It is, however, important to keep yourself healthy and watch your lifestyle and make sure you are taking care of yourself too as you need to be able to handle the sleepless nights, the feeding times and all of the other things you have to multitask. If you are the Mom, the first days at home after having baby are a time to rest and recover both mentally and physically.

You should let family know that it is quiet time for you and your new baby and even though everyone wants to see the new addition to the family it is best to focus your energy on you and how your baby is going. Your energy may be low or you may be just fine but seeing how you are really handling things without rushing back in to everyday life is a great place to start your new journey.

As it is such a life changing experience, whether it is a first time baby or you have added more children to the brood and the dynamics are different again, it is good to keep an eye on your health. Are you taking enough vitamins, eating the right foods, getting quality sleep when you can, exercising or just resting if you need to? After giving birth your body will be recovering and the following physical things may happen to you. Follow you doctor's instructions on how much activity you should be doing.

  • Your feet and legs may swell up. A good excuse to keep your feet up!
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and drink good amounts of water as you may become constipated
  • You will have a vaginal discharge called lochia. It is made up of the blood and tissue that was lining your uterus during your pregnancy. In the beginning it will be very heavy and red however it will become lighter and then go away after just a few weeks.
  • Menstrual-like cramping is normal, especially if you are breastfeeding. Expect to see breast milk come from your breasts in three to six days after the birth. Even when not breastfeeding, you may still have milk leak from your nipples.

The Postnatal Health Tests at Home:- 

To keep a check on your health, home test kits are available for various post-natal illnesses, ailments or deficiencies. You may have the symptoms of postnatal depression but these can also be caused by other ailments such as a thyroid not functioning properly or anemia. Some really great mothers’ tests after having a baby are thyroid test kits, anemia test kits, full health checks which include testing for cholesterol, diabetes/glucose, gut health, liver and kidneys.

The general health of a Mom is not to be underestimated (and Dads can feel run down too!) so taking a personal health test can help you find out where you may need some treatment. These personal tests include family health kits to test for Nitrite, Protein, Urobilinogen, Blood, Specific Gravity and Bilirubin which are all screening tests for diseases in the liver, urinary tract, heart or kidneys.

Newborns now also have their own tests especially designed for babies. Some states test for up to 46 conditions with a simple heel prick test within 24 to 48 hours of birth, and also provide a hearing test. The below is a list of the conditions which may be tested for depending on your state’s requirements. So, the whole family is covered when it comes to being tested for good health. But most importantly, take care of yours so you can look after your brood!

 Newborn test List:-

  • Amino Acid Disorders
  • Argininemia (ARG)
  • Argininosuccinic Aciduria (ASA)
  • Benign Hyperphenylalaninemia (H-PHE)
  • State preferred name: hyperphenylalaninemia
  • State preferred name: citrullinemia
  • State preferred name: phenylketonuria
  • State preferred name: congenital hypothyroidism
  • State preferred name: carnitine uptake deficiency
  • State preferred name: long chain hydroxy acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency
  • State preferred name: 2-methylbutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency
  • State preferred name: 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA lyase deficiency
  • State preferred name: multiple carboxylase deficiency
  • State preferred name: isobutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency
  • State preferred name: methylmalonic acidemia
  • State preferred name: PA
  • State preferred name: galactosemia
  • Citrullinemia, Type I (CIT)
  • Classic Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Homocystinuria (HCY)
  • Hypermethioninemia (MET)
  • Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD)
  • Tyrosinemia, Type I (TYR I)
  • Tyrosinemia, Type II (TYR II)
  • Tyrosinemia, Type III (TYR III)

·         Endocrine Disorders

  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)
  • Primary Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH)

·         Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders

  • Carnitine Acylcarnitine Translocase Deficiency (CACT)
  • Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase Type II Deficiency (CPT-II)
  • Carnitine Uptake Defect (CUD)
  • Glutaric Acidemia, Type II (GA-2)
  • Long-Chain L-3 Hydroxyacyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (LCHAD)
  • Medium-Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (MCAD)
  • Short-Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (SCAD)
  • Trifunctional Protein Deficiency (TFP)
  • Very Long-Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (VLCAD)

·         Hemoglobin Disorders

  • Hemoglobinopathies (Var Hb)
  • S, Beta-Thalassemia (Hb S/ßTh)
  • S, C Disease (Hb S/C)
  • Sickle Cell Anemia (Hb SS)

·         Organic Acid Conditions

  • 2-Methylbutyrylglycinuria (2MBG)
  • 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaric Aciduria (HMG)
  • 3-Methylcrotonyl-CoA Carboxylase Deficiency (3-MCC)
  • Beta-Ketothiolase Deficiency (BKT)
  • Glutaric Acidemia, Type I (GA-1)
  • Holocarboxylase Synthetase Deficiency (MCD)
  • Isobutyrylglycinuria (IBG)
  • Isovaleric Acidemia (IVA)
  • Methylmalonic Acidemia (Cobalamin Disorders) (Cbl A,B)
  • Methylmalonic Acidemia (Methymalonyl-CoA Mutase Deficiency) (MUT)
  • Methylmalonic Acidemia with Homocystinuria (Cbl C, D, F)
  • Propionic Acidemia (PROP)

·         Other Disorders

  • Biotinidase Deficiency (BIOT)
  • Classic Galactosemia (GALT)
  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
  • Hearing loss (HEAR)
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)

Postnatal Depression

In Crisis? Call 1-800-273-TALK

You are not alone. And you are not crazy. Postnatal depression and not understanding why you are feeling the way you do is very common in women who have given birth or are even still pregnant. Don’t feel like you have to try and get through it without help. Even just talking to someone outside of your normal life can help. If you would like to read more about the symptoms and what to do, click on the resources and links below or contact your national hotline for help.

Postpartum Disorders: www.mentalhealthamerica.net

American Pregnancy Association: www.americanpregnancy.org

Can Fathers get postnatal depression too? www.scientificamerican.com

The Baby Blues: www.helpguide.org

Help: Postpartum Progress (Non-Profit): www.postpartumprogress.com