Post Partum Depression
Many women have depression in the days and weeks following childbirth. Symptoms also include headache, irritability, insomnia. The depression can be severe and last for a long time. Scientific investigator Brian Harris, in Wales found that in 120 women, the woman with the most severe postpartum depression had highest progesterone levels before delivery and the lowest levels of progesterone after delivery.
Before pregnancy a woman produces 20 to 40 mg per day of progesterone during the latter half of her cycle. When the woman becomes pregnant, the corpus luteum on the ovary begins to pump out more progesterone. The first third of pregnancy is dominated by progesterone produced by the ovary. During the second two thirds portion of the pregnancy, the placenta takes over to produce progesterone. During one day of third trimester pregnancy, the placenta produces 400 mg of progesterone per day. During the third trimester, the ovary produces zero progesterone. After the placenta is delivered, the mothers progesterone drops to zero as well. The only source of progesterone after delivery is the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland produces very little progesterone.
Adrenal exhaustion is produced with severe anxiety, fear or stress. In the case where the mother has adrenal exhaustion, the adrenal gland would not be able to produce very much progesterone at all.
Postpartum depression is may or may not be helped by using natural progesterone. Natural progesterone is safe, simple, inexpensive, and easy to use. I usually treat women with 20-60 mg per day of topical progesterone in two divided doses. Again, it is important to remember that oral progesterone is 10 times less in potency than topical progesterone. The reason why is, when you take oral progesterone, the liver first pass metabolizes 90 percent of the progesterone. It is not known what this first pass metabolite does. It does seem to make my patients very sleepy. Oral progesterone makes my patients much more sleepy than topical progesterone. I did have one woman who was taking 400 mg of natural progesterone per day orally to prevent miscarriages. She took 400 mg of oral progesterone and then drove to Walmart. After she reached Walmart, she was so sleepy she could not drive and had to call her husband pick her up. Topical progesterone also makes you very sleepy but not that sleepy. The equivalent dose of 400 mg of oral progesterone is 40 mg of topical progesterone.
It is extremely important to use natural progesterone and not brand-name synthetic progestin. A brand-name synthetic progestin is a chemically modified natural progesterone. Is chemically modified so that it can be patented. Once patented only the company that patented the synthetic progestin can use it for 17 years. Then, they can spend $100 million running a research program, spend on television advertising, pay physicians to give testimonials to other physicians, hire drug reps at $100,000 a year, and run splashy advertising in glossy magazines. Since it is a monopoly, they can charge lots of money and make high profits. This is the business strategy.
In contrast, natural progesterone is found in nature and cannot be patented. Thus, there are many competitors and the price is low. If I run a research program that costs $100 million, then all my competitors can use the same research to sell the same product. I might as well flush the hundred million dollars down the toilet. There is no money to spend on research, no money to spend on television advertising, no money to spend on physicians traveling nationally across the country, no money to hire expensive drug reps, and no money to spend on splashy advertising in glossy magazines.
Furthermore, the FDA was founded to enforce the law against "snake oil "salesman, and they favor corporate drug companies. This bias is written in their DNA when the FDA was founded. So, the FDA has a favorable bias towards large corporations, and a negative bias towards individuals.
Brand-name synthetic progestins cause birth defects according to the physicians desk reference. Natural progesterone does not cause birth defects. Fertility medical doctors routinely use natural progesterone to stop miscarriage for test tube pregnancies because natural progesterone does not cause birth defects.
Remember that when you take progesterone, you must avoid xenoestrogens. There are several outcomes when you take progesterone:
1. You take progesterone with weak xenoestrogens. You feel better.
2. You take progesterone with strong xenoestrogens. You feel much worse.
3. You take progesterone with xenoestrogens. The progesterone "works" for two months and then does "not work."
4. You take progesterone with chemicals or herbs that block xenoestrogens at the receptor level. The progesterone does not work at all and you feel nothing. You wonder whether there is anything in the bottle.
5. You completely eliminate xenoestrogens from your environment. You don't need progesterone.
This is because your body protects itself from chronic estrogen exposure by becoming less sensitive to it. The body shuts down its sensitivity to estrogen when you take too much estrogen for a long time. Then, when you take progesterone, the progesterone wakes up the estrogen receptors regain your original sensitivity to the estrogen. Thus, it seems like you are getting more estrogen when you're really not. Bloating becomes worse. Headaches become worse. PMS becomes worse.
It's like going to a noisy restaurant. In the beginning, the restaurant seems noisy. However, after about half an hour, the restaurant doesn't seem so noisy. This is because the ears have shut down to protect yourself. When you take progesterone, your ear sensitivity goes back up to normal and the restaurant is loud again. The solution is to eliminate xenoestrogens and then take progesterone.
Xenoestrogens are herbs or synthetic chemicals that that mimic estrogen. Xenoestrogens act in synergy with your own estrogen to cause all kinds problems with the female body.
In April 1997, Pediatrics medical Journal, Herman-Giddens reported a significant change in the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics in young girls ages 3 through 12. 17,077 girls were examined and rated for sexual maturaton by 225 clinicians. The average age of breast development and pubic hair growth were 8.8 years for African-Americans and 10 years for Caucasian girls. At age 11, menses began for 28% of African-Americans and 13.4% of Caucasian girls. At age 5, there was pubic hair and more breast development in 5.7% of African-American girls and 1.9% of Caucasian girls. These their showed that puberty was starting to years earlier than standards just 10 to 20 years ago. What was curious about the paper was that the paper merely advised physicians to embrace the new norms and standards. The paper did not consider why these girls were having precocious puberty. They did not consider xenoestrogens. If you would like to find a scientific discussion of them you can go to www.breastcancerfund.org.
In October 2004, it was found that 42% of the male bass in the Potomac River were producing eggs. The South branch was particularly affected with 79% of the 66 males sample that shoed feminization. It is known that runoff from the poultry farms, from chickens that were treated with estrogen hormones or from the sewage plant may be giving off man-made pollutants that may be affecting the fish. Other studies have discovered similar effects from hormones in cow manure and from chemicals used in a wood pulp plant. More recently, in 2009, the US geological survey found the feminization phenomenon virtually every watershed in the country. Not only were bass affected but carp, catfish, and Sturgeon all have the same intersex characteristics. For example, in South Carolina's Peedee River, 90% of the smallmouth bass had female characteristics.
Not only that, but natural herbs that are organic and from the health food store can also cause feminization as well. Bloch M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist, found three young boys with gynecomastia, otherwise known as "man boobs."He tested their own endogenous hormones and found them to be normal. This rules out that their own hormones were making them feminine. He found that their parents are giving them tea tree oil and lavender oil. He took away the tea tree oil and lavender oil from the boys. In three months, the "man boobs" went away. He further tested the lavender and tea tree oil with breast cancer cells that were sensitive to estrogen hormone. He found that the tea tree oil and lavender oil caused these breast cancer cells to proliferate, concluding the tea tree oil and lavender oil were able to mimic estrogen. Also, he tested the tea tree oil and lavender oil in breast cancer cells sensitive to testosterone, and found that they blocked testosterone. Therefore, the tea tree oil and lavender oil had both estrogenic and testosterone blocking effects.
During pregnancy the mother's body puts all the nutritional resources into the baby. After delivery, many times the mother has multiple problems because of nutritional deficiency. This is a common story for me. I would suggest reading the book, A Natural Guide to Pregnancy and Postpartum Health by Dean Raffelock, D.C., Robert Rountree, M.D. and Virginia Hopkins with Melissa Block. Many times pregnancy will stress the body to reveal absorption problems in the intestine that were not apparent before pregnancy.
To battle postpartum depression you simply need to avoid xenoestrogens and take some topical natural progesterone. If you buy progesterone from us, you will get a safe product list to use that is relatively free of xenoestrogens and an avoidance list to avoid further xenoestrogens exposure. It is important to remember to concentrate on the things that touch your skin rather than what you eat because whatever is on the skin is 10 times the oral dose in potency. Pregnancy can deplete the woman's body of essential nutrition and sometimes reveals malabsorption problems that were not apparent before pregnancy. The nutritional issues can be beyond the scope of this website, and you may have to visit a professional nutritionist in addition to reading A Natural Guide to Pregnancy and Postpartum Health.
1. Harris, Brian. 1994. Maternity blues and major endocrine changes: Cardiff puerperal Mood and hormone study II, Wales. British medical Journal, April 19, 308:949-53.