Reasons Why Women Crash Postpartum


Kristy Robinson

A very common theme I see with the mothers I work with is crashing after having kids (myself included).

The birth of a baby can trigger a combination of powerful emotions, from excitement and happiness to fear and anxiety, but it can also result in something unexpected: postpartum depression or feeling chronically-ill postpartum. As postpartum crashes are becoming increasingly prevalent with the 70% of mothers experiencing postpartum illness or depression, we must wonder why this is occuring.

As anxiety and depression rates have skyrocketed since 2020, the rates of postpartum depression have as well. 17.3 million American adults experienced depression in 2021. Having depression pre-pregnancy predisposes a woman to experiencing postpartum depression. Root causes for depression include parasitic infections, mold toxicities, trauma, poor gut health, mineral depletion, lyme/lyme co’s, etc.

For example, parasitic infections are known to negatively impact neurotransmitters (especially GABA, serotonin, and dopamine). When parasites attack these neurotransmitters, symptoms of depression and poor gut health can occur. This is even more-so impactful when the body is going through physical stress (such as pregnancy).

Additionally, the general stress of pregnancy and birth may allow for dormant viral infections to come forward. A 2012 study states that stress-induced immune dysregulation during pregnancy can play a role in EBV reactivation. Similarly, another 2013 study states that “maternal depressive symptoms in late pregnancy are associated with EBV reactivation.” Although stress may induce EBV to arise, when EBV is paired with the listed topics in the above graphic, this creates a perfect storm for postpartum depression, fatigue, and general unwellness to occur. Similarly, flares of latent infections and toxicities can arise postpartum as the body is going through immense change and physical stress.