Hi everyone. I am still new to being vegan and learning what is available. I am pregnant and so badly fighting depression. Is there anything I can eat, drink, or vitamin or something I can do to help? I have not told my doctor because they want to use medications and I would like to avoid that like the plague!!!
The best thing to meat is a lot of green veggies. Make green smoothies with kale, spinach and parsley, apple, pear and banana.
May be add some protein power. Beans are great for iron. Plus a good prenatal vitamin from the health food store.
Meditation is also good to in the morning and before bed.
But always check with your doctor if your mood changes drastically.
Also prenatal yogo is great too.
I don't know about pregnancy but I know that calcium can help with premenstrual depression, and the hormonal changes might have similar effects. It can't HURT to have extra calcium anyway! There's a lot in tofu, dark leafy greens, and some nuts, but you can also get calcium supplements (including chewable & chocolate-flavored ones!)
If you're in the northern hemisphere, you might also want to get some LIGHT therapy. Bright lights, extra sunshine, lots of vitamin D -- I've even known friends who claimed that a tanning bed helped their moods.
Lot's of good advice has already been given. Here is another one, stand in front of a mirror look yourself in the eyes and say I love and adore myself. Add any uplifting positive message you want. Keep doing this till you are smiling ear to ear. Sit up straight keep your chin up and smile lots. If you don't feel like smiling do it anyway.
Depression stinks so bad!! I hate it for you and def understand your not wanting to go on meds, especially with a baby on the way. I suffer with depression also. One thing I would suggest is to go and see a counselor/therapist to help you talk through things and just have a sympathetic ear to listen to you. It can be tremendously helpful and does not have to break the bank. I go to counseling regularly and the fees are income based, so it doesn't break the bank. These people are trained to help you get to the best version of yourself in a gentle and loving way, and since they are not docs, they don't push meds on you. My other tip, don't let yourself be alone, even when withdrawing seems like the only thing you can handle. Hope this helps. Keep on fighting it!! You can do it!!
Depression can actually be caused by brain chemistry. I have had it almost my whole life but it got really bad while pregnant and right after. I would not take anti depressants while pregnant. It hasn't been well studied. I would try to find a good a good Accupuncture practitioner. Be sure they have really good credentials. A bad one can't really hurt you, but a great one can do wonders and open chemical pathways in the brain and body.
If you live in the Dallas area, I know one.
I have never been pregnant but during my rounds with depression, going out and exercising helped me. Especially the exercising. Now that you are pregnant I suggest talking to your doctor about which exercises and exercise videos are safe. Don't eat too much sugar or caffeine, it wasn't good when I was going through depression to have much of this stuff.
Also please be in community and talk to people. Have a friend right now who is going through depression and has closed off many caring people out of his life and the depression is worse now. People are made for community.
Massage? But I know you need to be careful about certain oils. I know this sounds trivial, but I swear when I have been very down and I went to the hair salon, (my stylist was exceptionally sweet too) it gave me a lift. She always gave me a scalp massage too. Even if you just went for a wash/style and not to get your hair cut. Plus I think being around other women can help too.
I'm sorry you are feeling depressed, especially while pregnant. I'm not a physician and by no means am I telling you what to do, but I have experience with this and am going to share my suggestions and opinions (Whatever you choose to do is the right decision for you!).
Depression is the # 1 complication of pregnancy. Depression is a serious illness that can be very disabling even when not pregnant. Definitely pamper yourself as others have suggested, but you may need more that that. Being depressed during pregnancy can increase your risk of having postpartum depression, which is very serious as well.
Please know that studies are suggesting that when a pregnant woman is depressed, the baby gets the high levels of cortisol through the umbilical cord, which latches onto the chromosomes, and subsequently, DNA (I believe one was done on "fetal programming" by Glover et. al, 2009 if you'd like to look into it). Even if you are not willing to consider medications, your doctor should still know about your depression. He/She can not force you to take meds and may have some alternatives for you.
-SSRIs are completely safe during pregnancy
-Being in the sun (Vit D).
-Therapy- A therapist trained in perinatal depression would be optimal. PSI (postpartum.net) has a hotline to get referrals to therapists in your area.