The state of women’s emotional health during and following pregnancy has become a hot topic on Capitol Hill. During the spring of 2008, Congress will be addressing provisions for “The Mother’s Act”, Senate Bill 1375, which provides federal funding for the development of new treatments for anxiety, depression, and unpleasant mood changes that can occur with motherhood. The “baby blues” of motherhood are characterized by mood swings, feelings of being overwhelmed, tearfulness, irritability, mood changes and a sense of vulnerability, all of which any new mother can attest to!
While the excitement around the passing of this bill is high, it can’t be overlooked that much of the funding for this bill is coming from the pharmaceutical industry. Let me assure you, pregnant women do not have an anti-depressant deficiency. Nutritional treatments for improving emotional health during and following pregnancy have been scientifically proven and need to be considered as well.
It is well established that appropriate nutrition greatly improves pregnancy outcomes for both mom and baby. During pregnancy, a women’s physiology changes dramatically to meet the needs of the growing baby. Nutritional demands, in the form of fat, protein and calories, must be increased to ensure that these physiologic changes are met.
Be sure to write your Senators and let them know that you support this bill, especially if it is inclusive of non-pharmaceutical means as well, including, but not limited to nutritional intervention. Let your voice be heard!!
–Dr. Keri Marshall MS, ND is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in holistic pediatrics and women’s medicine.