My guest is Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, a psychologist and professor at the University of New Hampshire. She is also a lactation consultant and La Leche League leader. She has written several books and articles on postpartum depression in new mothers.
This interview was long, so I've divided it up into two parts. Both address the growing recognition that depression is related to inflammation.downloaded, or downloaded at our free iTunes store. This part answers these questions:
- What are the causes of postpartum depression and post traumatic stress disorder following birth?
- Why is postpartum depression unheard of in some cultures?
- Is there such a thing as depression during pregnancy?
- Is a mother has been depressed with one child, will she be depressed with subsequent children?
- What is the relationship between breastfeeding and postpartum depression?
- What is the depression risk for mothers who are having breastfeeding difficulty?
- Is there a paradigm shift happening in our understanding of the causes of postpartum depression?
- What are the treatment options for breastfeeding mothers with postpartum depression?
- Why do Omega-3 fatty acids work in the treatment of depression, and how much are women recommended to take? Which brands are recommended? Why are pregnant and breastfeeding mothers likely to be deficient?
- Are anti-depressants truly safe for use during breastfeeding? What are the medications of choice?
- Are there effective and safe alternative treatments for treating depression?
- How can women advocate for a breastfeeding-friendly treatment plan?
Here are a few more resources from Dr. Kendall-Tackett on breastfeeding and postpartum depression:
- The breastfeeding and depression page on Breastfeeding Made Simple. It includes the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale - a quiz you can take to see if you are having depressive symptoms.
- "Can Fats Make You Happy?" A handout explaining the relationship between Omega-3s and depression, with a list of recommended brands.
- A handout on how other cultures prevent postpartum depression by creating a distinct postpartum period.
- A curriculum for health care providers on breastfeeding and postpartum depression from Dr. Kendall-Tackett and the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Coalition. You may want to print this out and ask your health care provider to read it.
- Dr. Kendall-Tackett's article on inflammation, depression, and breastfeeding in the International Breastfeeding Journal.
- Two books mentioned in the podcast: Medications and Mother's Milk (note: this book is updated every two years and the current edition is 2006), and A Medications Guide for Breastfeeding Moms.