Paul Newman had great baby blues; so do Megan Fox and Meg Ryan.
But for most women, the baby blues — which peak five days after giving birth, when there's a 40 percent increase in levels of the brain protein MAO-A — are not a pretty experience.
MAO-A breaks down three neurotransmitters that influence mood: serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
If there’s too much MAO, those brain chemicals become depleted and sadness can overtake you. (For about 13 percent of new moms, the blues segue into postpartum depression.)
Now a Canadian study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has identified what the researchers are calling a "nutritional kit" that, if taken for three days starting the third day after giving birth, seems to turn the baby blues to blue skies.
Twenty-one women took the nutritional supplements. None experienced any sign of the baby blues.
But the 20 women in the control group who didn't get the supplements all did to one degree or another.
The kit contains tryptophan and tyrosine, which the researchers say compensate for the loss of mood-regulating brain chemicals, and blueberry extract with blueberry juice, chosen for its antioxidants.
You know not to try this without talking to your doc first.
And do verify that the pills are from reliable suppliers, as tryptophan and tyrosine supplements have been associated with severe toxicity from the contaminants.
But with supervision, this "kit" may make the first couple of weeks with your new baby much more enjoyable.
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