The problem: an overwhelming exhaustion
This condition tends to strike in the first few months after childbirth and can be truly debilitating for Mum, Dad and the little ones. The sadness, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, sleep deprivation and a general sense of hopelessness can be overwhelming in their severity.
Help is often needed, and fast.
Although not fully understood, the effects on the mother can usually be somewhat attributed to the birthing process. With a thousand-fold increase in the level of progesterone at birth, the ratio of estrogen to progesterone and other birthing induced hormonal changes can often produce post-natal depression.
If this is then followed by abnormal sleeping patterns and the demands of nurturing a newborn on an already stressed nervous system, it becomes easier to understand how mothers find themselves slipping into this challenging condition.
To some people’s surprise, it is not uncommon to find Dads also sliding into postpartum depression. Clearly this has not been induced by any birthing process. It may be due to the fact that men are generally much more inclined towards stability and when the utter disruption of sleeping and eating patterns following birth comes in, it can totally de-stabilise a new father’s hormonal balance.
The tone of the nervous system can become chronically affected in a way that leads towards despairing gloom.
Psychologically, the realisation that, as a man, we are no longer number one in the new mother’s eyes can also have a wrenching effect on our sense of place in the household and the world. Once this psychological state has been entered, it can be tough to dig ourselves out of it, particularly in the face of all the demands of childcare.
And unfortunately, not only do Mums and Dads suffer from this but ultimately the little one as well. When the parent is finding it difficult to cope, the behavioural disengagement and other consequences of being frazzled can lead to a lack of nurture just when baby needs it most.
How can Vedic meditation help?
Vedic meditation helps with all aspects of depression.
The incredibly deep rest gained through meditation helps us to work off some of the fatigue and helps us cope much more effectively with disrupted sleep cycles.
Tuning into our mind and body’s natural creative intelligence also allows our production of hormones to rebalance so that we find ourselves much more on an even keel. We start producing all of the natural goodies that we otherwise find ourselves needing to medicate away.
In addition, the chronically over-activated autonomic nervous system is now much more in balance and takes us away from the threshold of negativity.
From the point of view of adaptability and self-esteem, we find our inner resources and self-perception become greatly elevated by a practice that really gives strength and empowers us to realise that we have something incredibly valuable and loveable inside.
By accessing it each day, we can draw on these resources and start delivering the best of ourselves, even when circumstances are challenging.
For parents to be, it is also a wonderfully effective preventative tool. By ensuring our hormonal balance is much more balanced throughout pregnancy and by ensuring our stress levels are managed, and our self-esteem is high going into parenthood, we find that such postpartum difficulties never seem to arise.
Instead, both the baby and we are in excellent shape, and the baby is often found to be a much more regular sleeper to boot. That alone is worth doing it for!