8 Common postpartum depression & anxiety mistakes

8 Common postpartum depression & anxiety mistakes

10-20% of moms experience postpartum depression lasting a few months and up to a year {or more} after birth ¹

And, up to 20% of women report feelings of anxiousness, sadness, depression, panic, frustration, and feeling hopeless.

What does this mean for you?

You need a postpartum plan.

In this post, I’ll walk you through the five most common mistakes I see moms making when they have postpartum depression and anxiety. Ready to get started? Grab this freebie first.

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Here are our 8 common mistakes we make

#1 Moms stop breastfeeding

  • Several studies have suggested that breastfeeding could help protect women against PPD ²
  • Yet, many women complain that their doctor has suggested they stop breastfeeding due to postpartum depression.
  • Breastfeeding could help reduce your postpartum depression. And although it’s time-consuming and exhausting, breastfeeding may help you sleep better due to your hormones and ease of feeding in the middle of the night.

#2 You don’t address your nutrient gaps

There is an enormous amount of depletion after childbirth. This, along with sleep deprivation can lead to insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Watch this video, to learn my favorite supplements to take after each and every birth.

11 Postpartum vitamin & supplements every new mom should take

#3 You take just one herb for insomnia

Insomnia, anxiety, and depression go hand in hand. Addressing your sleep deprivation should be your #1 goal when healing postpartum. Click To Tweet

If you’re struggling with insomnia, you need deep nourishment. You’ll want to stop drinking coffee and/or alcohol and address your nutrient gaps.

It may take time, but keep with it and soon you’ll be able to fall asleep every time you’re woken in the middle of the night. Watch this video to learn my favorite remedies for insomnia.

#4 You don’t take an adaptogen

What’s an adaptogen? They help us “adapt” to stress. And, if there was ever a stressful time, it’s when you have children! Here is one adaptogen you can take while breastfeeding, there are others I’ll be writing about real soon.

#5 You don’t address your mindset

Becoming a mother is life-changing. We crave our old selves. Those who struggle, are experiencing a shamanic death. The death of the old you, shedding into the new version of yourself.

By changing your thoughts, you can learn to fall in love with motherhood.

#6 You don’t take enough nervines

Nervines are a category of herbs that help soothe our anxiety. And, as I mentioned above anxiety & depression go hand-in-hand.

You want to soothe your anxiety and stress if you’re struggling with postpartum anxiety and/or depression. Watch this video to learn my favorite remedies.

#7 You only take medication

Anxiety medications can be so helpful when you’re struggling with anxiety and depression and raising a family. But, keep in mind you can also work on your nutrient gaps, insomnia, and anxiety WHILE taking medications.

It’s not the end. By making self-care a priority, your body can heal. It’s not selfish and anyone who tells you it is, is not worth your time.

#8 You don’t see a therapist

This is the biggest mistake I made when I had postpartum depression. I didn’t want the therapist to judge me! But, after my husband passed away, I knew I needed therapy for the trauma, and wow did it change my life!

Watch this video to see how EMDR can help you through PPA & PPD.

You don’t have to struggle with anxiety and depression for years. Ask for help!

Watch the recap video here.

What’s stopping you? Let me know in the comments below.



P.S. Ready to learn more? Join The Present Momma group coaching HERE.



¹ https://www.ppdil.org/symptoms-of-ppmds/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAkZKNBhDiARIsAPsk0Wi1MST1Z6A6Ex2WHZCOl-8Nf3M40Cu8mY4i64314qm40GKzdqEEmaEaAoUfEALw_wcB ²https://www.seleni.org/advice-support/2018/3/13/breastfeeding-and-postpartum-depression

The secret herbal remedies to overcome postpartum anxiety naturally

The secret herbal remedies to overcome postpartum anxiety naturally

Admit it.

You’re frustrated and distracted by your stress and anxiety.

Wouldn’t it be great..

  • If you didn’t have to worry your anxiety would get worse.
  • If you didn’t have to worry, that your children would get this?
  • If you didn’t have anxiety before your period, each and every month?
  • If you could sleep….

Picture this.

Knowing exactly how to soothe your anxiety so you can manage it every day. So you can sleep better and not worry so much.

Let me show you how I’ve overcome anxiety with natural remedies.

But hang on… don’t forget to always check with your doctor before adding any new supplements to your diet. And if you’re taking medications, book a health consultation to double-check there are no herb-drug interactions.

Approximately 6% of pregnant women and 10% of postpartum women develop anxiety. Sometimes they experience anxiety alone, and sometimes they experience it in addition to depression.

Want to get started?

In this post, I’ll share how you can overcome postpartum anxiety with natural remedies.

What does postpartum anxiety feel like

Postpartum anxiety feels like a cloud hanging over your head. There are waves of irritation and you may have a panic attack once in a while, due to this anxiety.

More commonly, moms may say they have …

  • constant worry about their children or others
  • they need to move or work and keep busy to avoid the anxiety
  • they may get sick more often
  • they also have PMS and PMS rage
  • they’re not mentally there and crave to be more present with their family

Why does postpartum anxiety happen

There could be many reasons postpartum anxiety happens. As a women’s herbal educator, I help moms identify why this is happening and how to fix it.

Here are some of the reasons postpartum anxiety happens:
  • Low vitamins; particularly Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Iron, Vitamin B12 & DHA
  • Lack of sleep
  • Inflammation in your gut; specifically gut dysbiosis ² Gut-brain axis
  • Your hormones. Are you in peri-menopause or have too much estrogen in your diet?
  • Your thyroid is off – hypo or hyperthyroid
  • Your nervous system is overreacting due to stress
  • Your body is not healed postpartum
  • Post-traumatic stress; unresolved anger from past events

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5 Steps to reduce postpartum anxiety

#1 Identify your triggers

Often alcohol, caffeine, and sometimes foods {gluten & dairy} can trigger a panic attack. We all know you don’t sleep well even with just one glass of wine! Write down when you get anxious and what happen the night before.

👉Action step: Take the Gut Health questionnaire to see if you have gut dysbiosis. Then reach out for a health consultation to help you heal your gut.

#2 Get outside!

Connect with nature again. Raising little people often gets us stuck inside for long periods of time. Raising twins, I rarely left the house for the first two years. I was too busy cooking, cleaning, working, and caring for them. Commit to taking a walk or asking someone to watch your little one so you can get outside – even if it’s winter.

#3 Have your vitamin levels checked

Women are often very depleted during the postpartum time period. Birth is one of the biggest events of your life, yet there is so little attention paid to your mom after childbirth. It’s insane!

Have your doctor check:

  • if you have the MTHFR gene – this is so important because you need vitamin B12!
  • your thyroid – it can go from hypo to hyperthyroid in three months!
  • Vitamins D, B12, iron & DHA
  • consider testing for food sensitivities

#4 Integrate botanicals

Adaptogens and nervines can help soothe your anxiety.

Consider integrating:

  • Ashwagandha tincture for a daily
  • Motherwort tincture for acute panic attacks
  • Chamomile tea to ease evening anxiety
  • Lemon Balm tea, combined with Chamomile & Milky oat tops for a yummy evening tea
  • Milky oat tops tea
  • Stinging nettles tea
  • Passionflower tincture
  • Kava Kave tincture for acute panic attacks
  • St. Johns Wort tincture for depression & anxiety {caution use with SSRIs}

👉Action step: Download my freebie to learn the herbs that are safe to use when you are breastfeeding.



#5 Tap into your creative side

What are you going to do with this one life?

Have you ever wondered if you have anxiety because you are suppressing something? That you want to say something or do something, you’re not doing?

👉Action step: Write it down. Write down your hopes, your dreams, and your anger, and then let it go.


You can overcome postpartum anxiety when you tap into the root cause. Vitamin levels, stress, gut health, and meditation can have a profound effect on your health.

What has worked for you? I’d love to know. Comment below.

P.S. Ready to learn more? Join The Present Momma group coaching here:https://courses.taragregorio.com/p/anxietyrelief2


  • ¹ https://www.postpartum.net/learn-more/anxiety-during-pregnancy-postpartum/
  • ² https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641835/


7 Postpartum anxiety herbal remedies; even if you’re breastfeeding

7 Postpartum anxiety herbal remedies; even if you’re breastfeeding

Everyone experiences anxiety at different points in life—stress, and worry are natural parts of being human.

But, the postpartum time can be really intense, as lack of sleep is typically the norm.

Even though it’s not unusual (anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. today), anxiety as a new mom can be isolating and hard to confront when it gets out of hand.

Raising twins and running a Pilates studio taught me the true meaning of anxiety and burnout when my twins were born. After months of sleep deprivation, I began studying to become a women’s herbal educator with Dr. Aviva Romm – hoping to get to the root of my struggle with anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

I quickly learned that nourishing my body with botanicals—specifically adaptogens and nervines— is key to keeping anxiety and burnout at bay.

Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help us “adapt around stress.” Their anti-fatigue effects make them particularly potent when you’re up against mental exhaustion, frequent illness, or chronic stress. {Read this post for more adaptogens while nursing: https://taragregorio.com/8-must-have-adaptogens-for-breastfeeding-moms/}

If you’re burning the candle at both ends, treating yourself with any of these seven herbs will help you feel relaxed, balanced, and healthy again:

1. Ashwagandha (withania somnifera)

This is the first adaptogen I turned to when I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, and it’s still a personal favorite. Ashwagandha is “known to give you the strength and stamina of a stallion”, but still gentle enough for anyone coping with anxiety. When taken regularly, it can ease shot nerves and improve sleep.


  • Try 1-2 dropperfuls of the tincture in¼ cup of water 2-3 times per day, to reduce your stress and aid sleep. If it makes you too tired, consider just taking it at night
  • Traditionally, Ashwagandha was taken in a powder form with milk to aid in sleep

2. Reishi (ganoderma lucidum)

Do you find yourself getting sick before your period? or just run down altogether? Reishi can help.

  • One study shows that chronic stress can raise the risk of viral infections, eventually manifesting in full-blown illness. Try reishi if you’re under the weather frequently, or just feel stressed out and run down.
  • Taken regularly, reishi can reduce the likelihood that your stress will literally make you sick– so you can welcome your monthly period – rather than spending that time out of commission.
  • Reishi has an earthy taste and is now being added to coffees and teas!


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3. Milky Oat Tops (avena sativa)

Filled with vitamins and minerals, milky oat tops are a great herbal remedy that nourishes your nervous tissue and promotes relaxation.

Pairing milky oat tops with stinging nettles is a perfect combination to boost your daily energy without spiking stress or anxiety.

Keep in mind; due to cross-contamination, you may want to avoid milky oats if you have celiac disease.

  • 👉My favorite way to enjoy milky oats is in a long decoction; like 8 hours long!
    • Combine equal parts of dried milky oat tops and stinging nettles.
    • Add 1 tablespoon of the blended herbs to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and steep the herbs for 20 minutes to 8 hours for a medicinal infusion, then strain and add a little raw honey if desired.
  • See the full recipe here: https://taragregorio.com/postpartum-tea-blend/

4. Chamomile (matricaria recutita)

Just one cup per day of this well-loved tea can reduce menstrual cramps, shift your mood, and ease digestion. Safe for children, our family enjoys a cup of chamomile tea most nights to reduce our collective stress.


  • Try this herbal tea blend
    • Blend dried chamomile, lemon balm, and milky oat tops together.
    • Then add 1 tablespoon of the mixed dried herbs to 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes. Add honey for flavor and double-check the tea has cooled before serving to children.
  • You can also enjoy Chamomile as a tincture

5. Lemon Balm (melissa officinalis)

If you need a boost in your mood, skip chamomile and enjoy a cup of lemon balm tea. This delightful citrus-flavored tea is known as the “gladdening herb”.

  • As a nervine and mild anti-depressant, lemon balm promotes relaxation, and reduces nervous energy as well as colds, flu, and even the Epstein barre and the herpes virus breakouts!


  • To enjoy: Add 1 tablespoon of the dried herb to 1 cup of boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes. Add milk and honey for flavor.
  • Tincture: 20-30 drops, 2-3x day

6. Motherwort (leonurus cardiaca)

From motherhood to menopause, Motherwort is a true gift for women. It shouldn’t be used during pregnancy but should be your first go-to-herb after birth.

  • Motherwort’s calming qualities can help with everything from heart palpitations to extreme anxiety. Taking motherwort throughout the day can release tension and reduce panic attacks, and it’s a great solution for falling back to sleep if you wake up frequently during the night.
  • Motherwort has a bitter taste, so I find it’s best taken as a tincture. Follow the directions on the label for your dosing.


  • Motherwort tincture 20-30 drops, 2-3x day

7. Lavender (lavandula officinalis)

My favorite way to use lavender is as an essential oil.

Tap diluted lavender essential oil on your wrists or spray it in the air to soothe stress immediately. Lavender is known to help induce sleep, which makes it a perfect remedy for unwinding before bed.

Caution: Wipe off any essential oil before breastfeeding infants, so they don’t inhale the strong oil and never put in a diffuser with children under three months


  • Essential oil. To enjoy: Dilute the lavender essential oil with water and add to your body products, spray on your pillow, or tap on your wrists as an organic, soothing perfume.
  • Tincture: 5-10 drops in a blended formula as it’s a very strong tincture
  • Tea: Purchase a tea blend with a small amount of lavender in it


Adaptogens and nervines together can help soothe the daily stressors of motherhood and reduce anxiety and panic attacks when taken regularly. All of these remedies are safe while breastfeeding.

xo~ Tara

P.S. Worried about using herbs while breastfeeding?

Read this post next: https://taragregorio.com/how-to-use-herbs-while-breastfeeding-without-fear-4-simple-steps/


This article was featured in the Icon in March 2019. women's health

Obsessed with natural remedies, Tara Gregorio is a Certified Women’s Herbal Educator located in Cold Spring, NY. She loves helping women reduce their medications with botanicals. Her favorite herbal recipes can be found on Pinterest and Instagram.
5 Homeopathic remedies for postpartum insomnia

5 Homeopathic remedies for postpartum insomnia

What if there was a magic pill to help you get to sleep faster? And all-natural?

In this post, I’ll share the life-changing homeopathic remedies to help you get to sleep faster – without medications.

And the benefit?

Homeopathy is safe if you’re pregnant, and breastfeeding and it’s really safe for kids of all ages. So if your children happen to get into your homeopathic medicine, it’s ok. There’s no harm done.

But, wait. We also want to get to the root cause of why you’re not sleeping, because when you don’t sleep anxiety and depression set it.

And..the challenging part of homeopathy is it’s hard to choose the right remedy. So, it takes patience and time to learn which remedy is the right one for your body.

One more thing… the body needs deep nourishment after birth. So you may need more than homeopathy to help cure your anxiety, but this is a great first step.


First, here are some homeopathic principles to consider:

  • the homeopathic remedy is based on YOUR unique symptoms
  • these symptoms can change and WILL when you find the right remedy
  • sometimes your symptoms get worse before they get better
  • BUT, the symptoms should always move outward {i.e. vomiting, diarrhea, fever etc. }
  • stop dosing the remedy when your symptoms change
  • if you don’t see a shift or a change, like going to sleep, it could be the wrong remedy
  • always watch and wait
  • note the time that you wake up at night, to find the correct remedy
  • always purchase 6 or 30c if you’re not working with a trained homeopath

To learn more about homeopathy, watch this free training: https://youtu.be/NRB-t2rqB8g

Let’s get started.

So, what is postpartum Insomnia?

Postpartum insomnia can occur after any pregnancy. I say pregnancy because if you’ve had a miscarriage, you could still struggle with insomnia due to the hormone shifts you’re experiencing.

Insomnia can occur anytime after your pregnancy, but often women notice when they stop breastfeeding or when their child is 3+ months.

Because hormones are involved, occasionally homeopathy does not work. See my youtube channel for more remedies to heal postpartum adrenal fatigue.

So, what are the secret remedies? Here are five of my favorite remedies for insomnia. Write down your unique symptom first, then look for a remedy below.

5 Homeopathic medicine for insomnia

#1 Coffea cruda 30c

  • When you’re sleepless from excitement and joy, Coffea will help.
  • You may have difficulty going to sleep, your body is “tired and wired”.
  • You may have had too much coffee or caffeine during the day.
  • Your heart has a violent irregular palpitation.
  • You may have worries, overactive thoughts, and are sensitive to pain.
  • You might sleep until 3:00 am, and you wake up with a start.
  • You’re full of ideas, quick to act and toss about in anguish.

#2 Nux vomica 30c

  • Known as the “student’s remedy” it’s helpful when you can’t turn your mind off. ¹
  • Best remedy if you have digestive troubles from overindulging with food, tobacco, or alcohol {I’ve used this with a friend who drank too much! They vomited and then felt better}
  • You may have constipation, feeling as if a part remains unexpelled. Itching, blinding hemorrhoids.
  • Backache in your lumbar spine, burning in the spine; worse from 3-4 am.
  • You cannot sleep after 3:00 am, towards the morning. You wake up feeling wretched.
  • You’re better from a nap.
  • This is best given in the evening.

#3 Pulsatilla 30c

  • This person is like a broken record, you can’t stop the recurring thoughts
  • You may be sensitive, weepy, crave open air, and are sensitive to heat
  • Also, it can dry up your milk when you no longer need it – so be careful on dosing if you’re breastfeeding
  • You’re worse at night, after eating, and in a warm room, lying on your left or painful side
  • Your better from moving, open-air, and you crave cold food and drink even though your not thirsty

#4 Arsenicum 30c

  • This is best if you’re sleepless with worry
  • You’re anxious, restless, fearful, and irritable
  • You’re weak and exhausted
  • You desire open air, but you’re sensitive to cold
  • You fear suffocation when you are laying down
  • You are sleepy but unable to sleep
  • Thirsty for small drinks
  • Worse from right side, after midnight, sight or smell of food, cold drinks
  • Better from warmth, head elevated and hot drinks

#5 Cocculus Indicus 30c

  • Known as the “nurse’s remedy”
  • It’s the best remedy if you get up to feed your baby and can’t go back to sleep
  • You may notice time passes quickly
  • Aversion to food, drink, or tobacco and you may have a metallic taste in your mouth
  • You’re worse: after eating, after the loss of sleep, and open-air

Best homeopathic remedy for insomnia

I do love the homeopathic blend Sleep Calm FOUND HERE. It’s a nice blend that includes a passionflower to help calm the “monkey mind” or to shut your brain off so the thoughts quiet down. Let me know if you try it!


Homeopathy is a safe, effective way to get to sleep fast. But, keep in mind, that it’s hard to choose the right remedy and the remedies are based on your unique symptoms. There are many more to choose from if these do not work and it’s best to take a homeopathic course to learn the unique strategies of dosing. The best thing to do is to write down your symptoms every night and then highlight the unique symptom that is strange, rare, and unusual for you. Then, search for the one remedy that matches this unique symptom.

Could this work for you? Let me know in the comment area below if you love homeopathic remedies, so I know to create more information like this.

If you’re a mom struggling with insomnia and hate using conventional medication herbs and homeopathic medicine can help you. Joining the 10-sleep restore BootCamp for just $27 to feel like yourself again; even if you’re breastfeeding. JOIN HERE.





Boericke, William; Boericke’s New manual of homeopathic materia medica with repertory

Panos, Maesimund B. and Heimlich, Jane; Homeopathic medicine at home

Postpartum insomnia: 5 life-changing herbal remedies

Postpartum insomnia: 5 life-changing herbal remedies

Why are you awake when everyone else is sleeping?

It’s frustrating to lay there with streaming thoughts when you reach the end of a long day as a mother. You can’t shut your brain off!

  • Or, maybe you fall asleep, but wake up startled and cannot go back to sleep.

The worst part? When you don’t sleep, you tend to reach for coffee and sugar to keep you going all day then the cycle begins again the next night.

It’s exhausting.

I can relate. When my twins were born, I struggled with twenty-four long months of insomnia. I cracked.

In this post, I’ll share the safe herbal remedies to get yourself back to sleep, even if you don’t feel postpartum anymore.

But, wait! If these remedies don’t work, there may be three additional reasons you have insomnia.

Postpartum insomnia causes

It could be a variety of reasons but here are the top three reasons why you can’t sleep.

  • #1 Postpartum adrenal fatigue or exhaustion – a term created when our bodies are depleted and we struggle with sleep, exhaustion, and other strange symptoms with no real diagnoses. You can learn more about it here.
  • #2 You may have too much estrogen or you’re unable to process the estrogen in your body. {more below}
  • #3 Or, you may have unresolved trauma, that you may or may not remember. Read that again 👈 I talk about my experience on my Youtube channel with my therapist. Watch it HERE.

The number one reason you have insomnia is probably from interrupted sleep from a newborn creating postpartum adrenal fatigue. But, don’t rule out #3 – trauma.

If you’ve had unresolved trauma (even if you don’t remember it), it’s common for it to resurface during the postpartum time – creating anxiety and insomnia.

So, ask yourself these questions?

  • Are you comfortable in your bedroom?
  • When you wake up, can you back to sleep? Jot down the circulating thoughts you’re experiencing.
  • Have you had unresolved trauma in your bedroom in years past? Write it down.
  • Have you tried therapy?

Listen in on how EMDR therapy helped me after the death of my husband AND my unknown, unresolved trauma resurfaced: https://youtu.be/zs43rNgYzRY

Postpartum insomnia symptoms

Signs of postpartum insomnia include:

  • unable to go to sleep – your mind is racing
  • you fall asleep – but wake up moments after startled
  • maybe you fall asleep, but the baby wakes you can you can’t go back to sleep
  • or you wake up @ 5:00 am with your heart pounding out of your chest

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Here are some of my favorite botanicals to help you get to sleep faster, along with the breastfeeding safety recommendations.

5 Postpartum insomnia natural remedies

#1 Passionflower or Passiflora incarnate

Passionflower is a nervine, sedative, and pain reliever. It helps with circular thinking; if you can’t shut your mind off at night. You lay there thinking about everything you have to do. Some say, it’s like having a talk radio in their heads and you can’t find the off switch. ²

I use it for teeth grinding, wry neck, and when I’m very stressed.

  • Dosing: Tincture; 30 drops, 2-3x day. Tea; 1-2 tsp. of dried herb in 8 oz. water, steep 20-30 min. Drink up to 4oz., 4x day.
  • Breastfeeding safety: It’s considered a L1/L2 safe while breastfeeding by the German Commission E. ³ The Botanical Safety Handbook suggests Passionflower is a Class 1; history of safe traditional use.

#2 Motherwort or Leonurus cardiaca

An amazing botanical for mothers of all ages for simple anxiety and heart palpitations, but not to be used during pregnancy. As its name suggests; cardiaca – it helps reduce heart palpitations and stress-induced high blood pressure.

Motherwort can be a great ally for you if you don’t have trouble falling asleep but routinely wake up at 2 or 3 am and can’t get back to sleep. Mix it with passionflower for the best results.

If you’re yelling and screaming a lot or if you have any reproductive symptoms such as; menstrual pain, lack of bleeding, ovulatory pain, and menstrual headaches, this may be a good choice for you.

Because motherwort is bitter, I prefer to take it in a tincture form.

  • Dosing: 30 drops of a tincture; 2-3x day.
  • Safety issues: avoid during pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding safety; Considered a L1/L2 safe while breastfeeding by the German Commission E monographs. The Botanical Safety handbook considers it a Class 2b not to be used during pregnancy.

#3 Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera

Native to the regions of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and parts of Africa; Withania was traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine and offered as a powder with milk, ghee, and honey to boost your energy and stamina.

It’s a calming adaptogen, so you can take it during the day and at night. The Hindi name for this plant, asganda, refers to its horse seat-like order and it’s believed to give you the strength and stamina of a stallion.

It’s safe while breastfeeding and is rich in iron, so traditionally women would take Ashwagandha to treat iron-deficient anemia as a powder in milk mixed with molasses.

In Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is traditionally used to promote lactation. ⁴

Ashwagandha Benefits

  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • cloudy thinking
  • stress-induced insomnia
  • nervous exhaustion
  • chronic fatigue
  • and more, which can be great for new moms!

Ashwagandha and thyroid

Ashwagandha enhances endocrine function, to re-regulate the thyroid, testes, and adrenal glands. Therefore, it is suggested to use when you have hypothyroidism, but caution when you have hyperthyroidism.

  • And..it may increase Ca absorption
  • Per Dr. Aviva Romm…
    • In animals, Ashwagandha has been shown to increase circulating T4 levels with no influence on T3.
    • Another study noted both hormones (T3 and T4) increase.
    • At least one human case study has noted a medically relevant case of hyperthyroidism after usage of a supplement containing Ashwagandha. – This makes sense since it potentially increases T4 and possibly T3.
    • There may be a gender difference in regards to T3 where men can produce more in response to Ashwagandha than women.
  • Tincture Dosing: 30 drops; 2-3x day. You may also explore the powder or supplement form of this botanical as well. 3-6g of powder is suggested.
  • Breastfeeding: Considered an L1 safe while breastfeeding with the Commission E. monographs and Class 2b. by the Botanical Safety Handbook; not to be used during pregnancy
  • Precautions: Ashwagandha may modify glucose levels, suggesting diabetics should monitor their sugar levels when taking this botanical.

#4 Lavender or Lavendula angustifolia

The first time I tried lavender tea, I hated it. I actually threw it away. But, now I crave it in small amounts.

It’s the best remedy when you’ve had too much coffee! It is also known as a carminative for people with gas, nausea, and vomiting. This is the botanical I use often as an essential oil and take internally when I have insomnia; with a product called Lavela.

  • Dosing: Tincture 15-30 drops or 3-4ml; 2-3x day or in a blended tincture. You may notice you want less lavender than other blends as the taste is strong and may affect the taste of your breastmilk.
    • In tea, use a small amount 1/2 tsp. in 8oz. of water, 1-3grams, or I prefer to use it in a blended tea
  • Breastfeeding: Considered a L1 by the German Commission E. monographs, it’s safe while breastfeeding. Botanical Safety Handbook considers it a Safety Class A.

#5 Skullcap or Scutellaria lateriflora

Skullcap is great for you if you’re stressed out! If you’re nervous, agitated, have muscle spasms, nervous tics, or tight painful muscles.

Master herbalist, David Winston, suggests using Skullcap as a fresh tincture or freeze-dried product.

  • Dosing: 30 drops; 2-3x day. Freeze-dried capsules, 3x day
  • Breastfeeding: Considered a L1/L2 Safe botanical while breastfeeding, but classified on a B2; avoid during pregnancy.

How long can postpartum insomnia last?

It can last years. You want to take care of your insomnia now, so it doesn’t affect your body or your relationships with your partner and family.

==Additionally, you may have too much estrogen, or you’re unable to process the excess estrogen – therefore you may have signs of too little progesterone. Insomnia is one of those symptoms.

Is low progesterone the reason for your postpartum insomnia? Click To Tweet

Signs of low progesterone²

  • anovulation
  • anxiety
  • constipation
  • cyclic breast pain
  • depression
  • endometriosis
  • fertility problems
  • insomnia
  • irregular menstrual cycle
  • irritability, anxiety
  • long menstrual cycles (>35 days)
  • low libido
  • miscarriage
  • short luteal phase
  • spotting between periods
  • water retention

What can you do about low progesterone?

  • make elimination a priority {i.e. no constipation}
  • reduce endocrine disruptors in your home
    • invest in plastic-free storage containers and remove foods from them right away
    • try eating organic fruits and vegetables, especially from the dirty dozen
    • choose wild-caught fish
    • choose grass-fed meats
    • consider non-toxic cleaning and beauty supplies
  • make sleep a priority
  • incorporate 2tbs. of ground flaxseed in your diet
  • consider adding Vitex Chaste berry to your diet
  • strive for 8-9 vegetables and fruits a day to aid elimination


Your body can heal from insomnia when you make YOUR health a priority. I suggest trying one botanical at a time and then purchasing a blended formula for your greatest success.

Keep in mind, that you may need conventional medication for a short time to help you sleep now and help your body heal, while you continue to work on your overall health and wellness.

The postpartum time can be very stressful. You’re doing a great job. Comment below and let me know if you’ve tried any of these remedies.




  • ¹ Romm, Dr. Aviva; Hormone Intelligence pg. 34
  • ² Winston, David & Maimes, Steven (2007); Adaptogens Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Healing Arts Press.
  • ³ Romm, Aviva, (2014): Botanical medicine for women’s health. Churchill Livingston.
  • ⁴ Upton, Roy; Bear, Soaring, Winton, David; Gagnon, Daniel; Romm, Aviva Jill; Low Dog, Tieraona; Hardy, Mary; Craker, Lyle. Botanical Safety Handbook, Second edition (2013). CRC Press.
Ashwagandha vs St. John’s Wort

Ashwagandha vs St. John’s Wort

Wondering if you should be taking Ashwagandha or St. John’s Wort for postpartum depression {PPD} and anxiety?

One of the biggest mistakes I made when I had PPD was just taking one herbal tincture at a time.

You need a COMBINATION of botanicals when you’re struggling with depression and/or anxiety.

But, wait. Don’t overdo it.

Finding a supplement that combines BOTH herbs would be best, rather than taking the full dosing of each herb alone; especially if you’re breastfeeding.

So, let’s dive in.

What are the benefits of Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha Benefits

Known to give you the strength of stallions, It’s an adaptogen, mild sedative, pain reliever, and anti-inflammatory.

  • It’s considered safe for breastfeeding. Lactation Category C or compatible with breastfeeding by Mills & Bones ³
  • It can re-regulate the thyroid & adrenal glands {a common concern postpartum}
  • It’s effective in helping if you have anxiety, fatigue, cloudy thinking, and insomnia
  • It’s rich in iron and can be used to treat iron deficiency when taken as a powder * see below
  • It can relieve muscle pain and cloudy thinking
  • Dosing
    • Take 4-10 ml a day for acute pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue, tired and wired, hypothyroidism, PMS, postpartum depression & stress
  • Keep in mind, it’s not to be used during pregnancy, and caution if you’re taking medications
  • Watch this video as I discuss the difference between Ashwagandha and St. John’s Wort

Is Ashwagandha safe while Breastfeeding?

  • It’s considered a Level1 botanical if you’re breastfeeding. Yes, it’s safe!
  • Read this post to learn more

Ashwagandha while breastfeeding

St. John’s Wort for PPD

  • Known as the #1 natural antidepressant
  • It’s also antiviral {herpes}, nervines, can be used topically as well as a vulnerably

Use St. John’s Wort for:

  • chronic pelvic pain
  • endometriosis
  • insomnia
  • PMS
  • perimenopause
  • vulvovaginitis
  • topically cracked nipples and perineum – Just make sure you wipe it off before breastfeeding!
  • But, if you’re taking SSRIs or other medications it is the #1 herb/drug interaction so please consult your doctor before taking

St. John’s Wort and Postpartum Depression

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Is St. John’s Wort safe while Breastfeeding?

  • The German Commission E Considers it an L2/3 while breastfeeding, but there are no known contraindications
  • >>In one Study; Hyperforin was detected in low concentrations in the breast milk of moms who took 300mg of SJW 3xday starting 5 months Postpartum for Postpartum Depression and no adverse effects were found
  • Watch this video as I explain more..

What is St. John’s Wort good for?

  • good for mild/moderate depression
  • Keep in mind, that it’s not to be used during pregnancy

In Summary

Ashwagandha is more of an adaptogen and is considered safer to take while breastfeeding, take it daily to prevent postpartum depression & anxiety.

St. John’s Wort {SJW} is more for depression, baby blues, and even monthly depression.

One additional benefit is SJW, which may increase the breakdown of estrogen and therefore may boost progesterone levels – which may be affecting your sleep and postpartum recovery.

How do you know your progesterone levels are low?

  • you may experience irritability, anxiety, insomnia, and depression



P.S. Ready to learn more? Join The Present Momma group coaching.