Nutritional Support after having a baby
When we fall pregnant, we become extra focused on our health. We start worrying about little things like taking a pregnancy multivitamin, we start stressing about certain foods that we can and can’t eat, we stop doing other things on the off chance it may harm our baby.
But why don’t we continue this once baby is born? Why do we throw it all out the window and suffer unnecessarily with our newborns?
Let me explain how it all happens.
As you all know, the physical act of growing a baby inside requires a huge amount of nutrients. Our body is designed to give that baby everything that he or she needs to make term, even if it is at our expense. But it doesn’t just stop there…Insert the next depletory act. Childbirth.
Once we go through the enormous physical and emotional stress of birth, our bodies get knocked around with physiological issues such as hormonal changes, interruption of the circadian day/night rhythm, mental and emotional waves. Our bodies are going through a tumultuous mix of issues yet our care remains focused on our baby.
How many of us continue with nutrient care after bub is born?
It’s something I’m a big advocate for as I’ve suffered in one instance and thrived in the other. After the birth of our first son Harvey, I wasn’t so careful with my nutrient care. Being a first-time mum, my focus was the health of my child and placed my health second and boy did I feel it. I felt the brain fog, the roller-coaster ride of emotions, clumps of hair falling out, the fatigue, body aches and I craved sugary food to fuel me through the day. It wasn’t until my second child, Fletcher, I started to really understand the power of good nutrition and supplementation post-partum.
Dr Oscar Serrallach (Post-Natal Depletion Expert) explains it well, “Think of your body as a plastic bag full of water. The more water in the bag, the better you feel and the better you are able to cope. Each day of pregnancy, the birth, each sleepless night, each long day of breastfeeding, is like putting pinpricks in the plastic bag. You can repair these holes, but it takes a little time. When there are only a few sticks of the pin, only a very small amount of water escapes the bag. The trouble, though, is when the holes start to come more quickly than you can repair them.”
The second time around I was more prepared with what I was getting myself in to and I wanted to be proactive. Postnatal Depletion is a term that’s describes and is associated with many minerals, vitamins and nutrient insufficiencies. Meaning, we are at great risk if we are unnecessarily depleted and our cells and organs aren’t running properly due to the suboptimal levels of nutrients. It’s no surprise that when things aren’t running to the best of their ability, you feel like crap! If I was talking to a male, I’d describe dirty fuel in a car or a car with 4 of the only 8 cylinders operating.
So how do we prevent postnatal depletion?
Every mother is different, just like no two births are the same but 5 key points every mother should be aware of:
- Boost key nutrients – Magnesium, Zinc, B vitamins and Iron (if you are low) are critical.
- Remember to eat and eat nutrient dense food. Fruit, vegetables and meat.
- Reduce stress (easier said than done) and watch out for adrenal fatigue (more on this in another post).
- Repair the body- Collagen, bone broths and reduce inflammation by avoiding processed foods. This helps to get the process of repair up and running. It takes 9 months to grow a baby, it can take 12 months for your body to go back to normal.
- Listen to your body– We tend to develop a ‘mothers intuition’ but we need to use it on ourselves. If you feel tired, have a nap, if you feel hungry, eat, if you feel like curling up on the couch and reading the daily paper while ignoring the pile of washing, do it! Your physical and mental wellbeing is much more important to your kids than the folded washing.
These are just 5 simple ways you can fill your bag back up. As I mentioned, every birth is different, if you feel like you need more help please drop in or make an appointment with us. Nutrient depletion post-partum can occur decades after the birth, none of this suffering should continue for so long!