HH Services: Postpartum Problems & Biofeedback Breakthroughs

Anxiety disorders are more common than depressive disorders in the perinatal period... (evident by) approximately 15 % of women reported elevated anxiety (during postpartum)
— Kudo, Shinohara, & Kodama, 2014

The journey of parenthood is never a simple one. Joys of giving birth are sometimes followed by some not-so-joyous, afflicting emotions. Stress settles in and the world often becomes overwhelming. New routines; a whole new lifestyle! A simple Google search can reveal that you are not alone: all around the world, millions of women are experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety. Some fathers are even experiencing forms of postpartum depression! 

  • A study published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry showed a correlation between a fluctuation in self-esteem during the second and third trimester of pregnancy and postpartum depression after delivery (Franck et al., 2016). 
  • Studies indicate that children with a mother suffering from major depression are at a higher risk for behavioral problems as well as depression later in their life (Essex, 2001). 
  • There are many care options that can be used to treat an individual suffering from depression. It is pretty widely accepted int the medical community that, "Depression is in general, a highly treatable disease" (Knitzer et al., 2008). 


Due to its clinical effectiveness and feasibility, HRV (heart rate variability) biofeedback appears to be recommendable for many postpartum women after childbirth, especially when they are worried about upcoming changes in routines and the responsibilities of childcare.
— Kudo, Shinohara, & Kodama


 This type of biofeedback therapy is available here at the Healing House!

We can help you in managing these common symptoms:
-loss of appetitive
-intense irritability
-sleep loss or too much sleep
-mood swings
-crying spells
-troubled concentration
-withdrawal from family and friends
-suicidal thoughts


Treatment metrics give us real science to work with when it comes biofeedback.  Biofeedback is a fairly general term because there are so many different applications of this technology.  This is why identifying the proper treatment metrics when delivering biofeedback is vital to its effectiveness.  Program development should be metrics-driven so that results are tangible.  And integrating more advanced forms of technology like Neurofeedback can also be helpful.  

We make sure to address the particular needs of our post-partum population in biofeedback with measures like Heart rate variability (HRV), whereas someone dealing with adhd would require a different focus.   be sure to Find a Biofeedback program that is right for you and that addresses your individualized needs with progress metrics.  


Beardslee, W. R.; Bemporad, J.; Keller, M. B.; Klerman, G. L. 1983. Children of Parents with Major Affective Disorder: A Review. American Journal of Psychiatry 140(7): 825-832.

Essex, Marilyn J.; Klein, Marjorie H.; Miech, Richard; Smider, Nancy A. 2001. Timing of Initial Exposure to Maternal Major Depression and Children’s Mental Health Symptoms in Kindergarten. British Journal of Psychiatry 179(2): 151-156.

Franck, E., Vanderhasselt, M., Goubert, L., Loeys, T., Temmerman, M., & Raedt, R. D. (2016). The role of self-esteem instability in the development of postnatal depression: A prospective study testing a diathesis-stress account. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 50, 15-22. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2015.04.010

Hatfield, J. (2016, February 12). Recognizing the symptoms of Postpartum depression. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from https://www.fix.com/blog/post-partum-depression-and-you/

Huang, Larke N.; Freed, Rachel. 2006. The Spiraling Effects of Maternal Depression on Mothers, Children, Families and Communities. Issue Brief #2. Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Knitzer, J., Theberge, S., & Johnson, K. (2008). Reducing Maternal Depression and Its Impact On Young Children. National Center for Children in Poverty, (2). Retrieved February 27, 2017.

Kudo, N., Shinohara, H., & Kodama, H. (2014). Heart rate variability biofeedback intervention for reduction of psychological stress during the early Postpartum period. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback39(3-4), 203–211. doi:10.1007/s10484-014-9259-4

Miranda, Jeanne; Chung, Joyce Y.; Green, Bonnie L.; Krupnick, Janice; Siddique, Juned; Revicki, Dennis A.; Belin, Tom. 2003. Treating Depression in Predominantly Low-Income Young Minority Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA 290(1): 57-65.

Paulson, James F.; Dauber, Sarah; Leiferman, Jenn A. 2006. Individual and Combined Effects of Postpartum Depression in Mothers and Fathers on Parenting Behavior. Pediatrics 118(2): 659-668.

Perry, Deborah F. 2006. What Works in Preventing and Treating Maternal Depression in Low-Income Communities of Color. Issue Brief #3. Annie E. Casey Foundation.