The most powerful helper to fight off the 'baby blues' could be hiding in your spice drawer
Postpartum depression affects as many as 10-15 percent of new mothers in Ireland, according to the HSE.
And many, many more women would no doubt tell you that while they might not have been depressed during those early days, they definitively felt a touch of the so-called 'baby blues.'
Signs of the 'baby blues' often arrive about four-five days following the birth of a baby, and symptoms include everything from impatience, irritability, restlessness, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and weepiness to an overall feeling of sadness, mood changes, and poor concentration.
Interestingly, it wasn't really until the late 1980s that awareness around both baby blues and postpartum depression began to gather momentum, and thankfully, in the years since, many studies have been conducted to research risk factors, prevalence, and successful treatment rates.
Experts often link the dip in mood and the feelings around this to hormonal changes in the body after birth that can produce chemical changes in the brain.
One of the more recent lines of research around postpartum depression and baby blues centres around diet and the importance of the right nutrition for brand new mums. Maintaining a balanced diet is important, as is making sure you stay hydrated and consume plenty of vitamin-rich foods and good fats.
But did you know a couple of new studies have recently revealed that there could be something else you could be taking – that might just prevent, or at least lessen, any symptoms of the 'baby blues?'
Saffron – the super spice?
Saffron, an exotic spice often used in Indian cooking, might not be what first comes to mind when it comes to your postpartum diet, but according to a random, placebo-controlled trial to treat postpartum depression in breastfeeding mothers, 96 percent of those given saffron went into remission, as opposed to only 43 percent of the placebo group.
What's more, another recent study from Iran found the herbal medicine of saffron to be just as effective as the chemical drugs that were given to treat postpartum depression.
And for all the pregnant mamas: Another Iranian study also studied the effects of saffron on preparing the cervix for pregnancy, giving two groups of 25 women three 250mg doses of saffron both before and throughout their labour. In the saffron group, no cesarean sections were needed, while in the placebo group, three women underwent cesarean sections.
Made with quality organic saffron, the Pukka Tumeric Gold Organic Latte is a great and affordable way to get your saffron – in the most delicious way possible, and with the many added health benefits of turmeric too.