Post Natal Depression (PND) affects one in seven Australian women and develops from one month to one year following the birth of a baby. The symptoms of PND include: feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness surrounding the new mum’s ability to care for her baby, low mood, anger, resentment, guilt, hopelessness, teary, repetitive thoughts, loss of pleasure and interest in normal activities and lack of concentration.
Women are often undiagnosed, unable to access psychological services or feel reluctant to take antidepressants.
There is mounting evidence that the gut microbiota is linked to many mood disorders including depression and anxiety, and also with increased inflammation, altered digestive function, micronutrient deficiency and reduced omega-3 fatty acid (found in fish oils) status.
This study showed women who received a specific strain of probiotic (HN001 that is available in some of our practitioner only probiotic formulae) had significantly lower depression and anxiety scores in the postpartum period.
To read the summary go to: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28943228
So the good news is that this probiotics (alonside some of the other supportive treatments lke nutritonal advice and counselling that we offer here at All Degrees of Health) may be useful for the prevention or treatment of symptoms of depression and anxiety postpartum.