83: Beating Postpartum Depression & Pelvic Floor Care with Dr. Jolene Brighten

Beating Postpartum Depression & Natural Pelvic Floor Care with Dr. Jolene Brighten

If you’re a mom (and if you’re listening to this podcast, chances are you are!), it will be no surprise to hear that 1 in 7 mothers struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety after birth.

1 in 7!

No wonder it seems like we all know a friend … or many friends … who have gone through this deeply personal crisis after having a baby. No wonder so many of us have gone through it personally, maybe even multiple times.

Postpartum Depression: The Modern Mom’s Epidemic?

Those 1 in 7 are just the women we know about. So many more hide their symptoms or don’t know to how to reach out for help … ashamed of their negative feelings during a time that’s “supposed to be” precious and joyful.

But why does postpartum depression (also known as PPD) happen so often? Is it on the rise? And most importantly, what is the cure?

The truth is many doctors just don’t understand women’s hormones enough to answer these questions. Thank goodness for Jolene Brighten, a licensed Naturopathic doctor and women’s health expert, here with me today talking about this epidemic among modern moms.

Rooting Out Postpartum Depression

Truly the “hormone doula” for helping women recover postpartum, Dr. Brighten specializes in helping women have a healthy postpartum period by addressing the real root causes of PPD. And she is convinced today’s mothers need an advocate more than ever.

Dr. Brighten is so right when she argues that today’s Western medical care shortchanges postpartum women. In most cases, Mom gets little more than a night of “rest” in the hospital (while being poked and prodded), a pack of Tucks, and a quick pelvic check six weeks later. What’s more, rest and recovery ends too soon at home with extended families living further apart and too-short maternity leave policies.

You just might stand up and applaud when you hear Dr. Brighten’s prescription for PPD, one that calls for:

  • proactive screening (with actual lab tests!) for predisposing PPD factors even before baby is born
  • six-, eight-, and even twelve-week follow-up exams for mom
  • a recipe for real postpartum rest and recovery, supported by a real food diet
  • ways to advocate this with your own care providers

And so much more!

In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • Why modern motherhood is an “evolutionary mismatch”
  • Dr. Brighten’s proactive, holistic system for healing during and after pregnancy
  • WHY postpartum depression happens (finally!)
  • How to recognize postpartum depression symptoms quickly … and what to do about them
  • The 3rd trimester lab tests Dr. Brighten says can predict if patients will be predisposed to PPD
  • Practical at-home steps to prevent PPD (and how to ask for help)
  • The best soothing, healing foods to eat after pregnancy
  • Which natural supplements offer quick, effective support for postpartum depression
  • The little-known connection between pregnancy, the thyroid, and PPD
  • Ways to rehabilitate the pelvic floor after childbirth … and why it’s the norm in some countries
  • Dr. Brighten’s opinion on the controversial topic of placenta encapsulation
  • What you can do to effect change in our postpartum medical system

Resources We Mention:

Dr. Jolene Brighten’s website and practice

Rubus Pelvic Floor Care System

Book: Dr. Jolene Brighten, Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth: The New Mom’s Guide to Navigating the 4th Trimester, 2016.

Katy Bowman, “4 Fast Fixes for Pelvic Floor Disorder”

Clare Lundberg, “The French Government Wants to Tone My Vagina,” Slate.

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Kids Cook Real Food e-Course. You’ve probably heard me talk about this before because I love it so much. It’s made by one of my good friends, Katie of Kitchen Stewardship, and it’s one of my favorite bonding activities I’ve ever done with my kids. Katie is a teacher by trade and she teaches kids basic to advanced kitchen skills, which is such valuable life-long knowledge to have. Every friend that I’ve either given it to or encouraged to get it has absolutely loved this course and all of my kids love it too.

Check it out at this link. There will be a special offer for Wellness Mama listeners, so keep an eye out for that.

This episode is sponsored by Mama Natural. My good friend Genevieve, also known as Mama Natural, has just come out with a game-changing pregnancy book called “The Mama Natural Week To Week Guide to Pregnancy and Child Birth.” If you or anyone you know is pregnant, I can’t recommend this books enough. It is definitely one of the best resources I’ve seen for new moms.

Genevieve also has a wonderful free week-to-week email series for pregnancy. You’ve seen these on other websites but this one is from a natural point of view. It tells you how your baby’s growing, what milestones he or she’s hitting, and all that cool stuff, and it’s free. Check it out at this link.

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.

Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. Thank you for this podcast! This was just what I needed. I am 3 months postpartum and going to talk to my doctor today about problems. This podcast gave me an idea of how to advocate for myself and what to push them to test. Thank you! A huge fan!

  2. The most important cause of postpartum depression is missing and that is the blood toxicity and how to detoxify.

  3. Dr Brighten – Katie !! Amazing!! So much packed into that episode!! Thank You !!

  4. This was such an incredible episode! Thank you so much! I loved Dr. Brighten’s enthusiasm and absolutely agree that we need to not be afraid to advocate for ourselves. Just because we’re seeing a doctor does not mean they know more about our bodies and what we’re going through than we do. Hopefully more and more doctors will start to align their work with what women truly need in the postpartum period.

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