Postnatal depletion is something that has finally been recognised in the medical field which is probably why we are hearing more about it. Postnatal depletion is the inability of women to recover —hormonally, nutritionally and emotionally—after having a baby. And when I say falling to recover, I don’t mean the first few weeks after birth, I mean months or even years after birth. I see some women who I would consider to have postnatal depletion with 4 or 5 year olds.
In this day & age many mothers-to-be are already depleted before conception and throughout pregnancy. Mother nature puts the developing baby first; a baby growing in utero will take what it needs from Mum. For example, during the third trimester, the fetal brain is undergoing the most significant stage of development. Approximately 7 grams of fat pass from mother to baby each day! This high transfer of DHA fatty acid is essential for the baby but can leave the mother depleted.
Many women are entering their pregnancy already depleted, spend nine months growing a baby, and then enter motherhood and become even more depleted thanks to a lack of sleep and the roll of being a 24/7 caregiver. Hence why so many mothers become low in iron, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B9, iodine, and selenium. They also have much lower reserves in essential omega-3 fats like DHA and specific amino acids from proteins.
How do you know if you’re depleted?
If your nutrient reserves are low going into pregnancy you will likely become depleted in basic nutrients required for normal human function.
Here is a list of pretty generic symptoms that we can walk around with for years & they subsequently get worse & worse with each pregnancy.
tiredness and fatigue
memory loss/brain fog/baby brain
moodiness and emotional instability
poor gut health which might include constipation, increased gas or bloating.
low immune function
loss of skin elasticity, dry skin, softer nails, thinning hair.
Increased translucency of teeth, receding gums and easier bruising
The great news is we can prevent postnatal depletion. Ideally women would start with a preconception care plan. This would mean that if you are planing on adding to your family, you would work with a qualified nutritionist to increase your nutritional reserves, before you fall pregnant. It is very hard to increase your stores once you are pregnant or whilst breastfeeding, so a pre-conception care plan can really ensure that you head into your pregnancy from a place of abundance rather than lack.
In saying that, no time is too late to start nourishing your body & building those nutrient reserves. Your subscription to The Motherhood Village will provide you with all the tools to support your health during growing, birthing and raising children. How you fuel your body is the most fundamental act of self love, you’re truly worth investing in & nourishing the temple that carries your beautiful soul.
If you want to work with Gina one on one she provides consultations in Havelock North, New Zealand or via Skype if for interstate/international clients.