Postpartum Depletion - tips for new mamas
Written by Adelle Rutch - Nutritionist
As a company run by woman and mothers, one thing we are super invested in (ok, one of MANY things) is the health of women and mothers.
Postnatal depletion is something not spoken about enough.
The warning signs for postnatal depletion can be vague and are often dismissed as 'just part of being a mum'. But we don't think that is good enough. We believe that our new mamas deserve to be held and supported through this time, just as their babies are held and supported.
During the current world climate, we are at more risk of postpartum depletion than ever. Visitors are limited, families are unable to be together and the fear runs deep to protect our newborns. Our mamas truly deserve support and care, but are not receiving it, and this can be an incredibly isolating and lonely time for our womenfolk. Because, as the saying goes, 'in the absence of the village, it’s the mother who suffers'.
As a nutritionist, mother and someone who suffered quite badly with postnatal depletion after the birth of my first baby, I am very passionate about this topic. Finding ways that an individual can utilise support from herself, and from her community during this time is so important.
Here are my top tips:
- Eat whole foods. Whilst it can be easy to grab for the takeaway foods that are quick and easy, especially when breastfeeding (a hunger like no other!) try and focus on easy, nutrient dense snacks and meals. Batch cook, prepare and freeze smoothie bags, freeze snacks or purchase nutritious goodies to have on hand (you know where I’m going with this one; a bag of Eat for You bites or bars could hands down be the best gift you could offer a mumma!)
- Unsure of what to get a new Mum? FOOD. Food, food and more food. She has enough baby stuff, make it about her. Bring easy to grab snacks, pre-portioned meals that can be frozen or fresh fruit and veg.
- Take time out each day. Find what works for you. Yoga nidra, meditation, magnesium bath, self massage, a walk with the pram and some music plugged in, wherever you can fit some 'you' time, do it. Create little pockets in each day with something you enjoy doing, or find relaxing. Remember that you are a human, not just a mum.
- Outsource. Let's read that again. OUTSOURCE. We try to take on so much, thinking we can do it all. The super-mum thing you see carefully curated on social media is a myth. Hire a cleaner once a fortnight, get the support of a postpartum doula, get a friend to create a meal train for those early days... ask for help, don’t be too proud.
- Rest. Learn to say no. Those who truly care will understand why you can’t be in all of the places, doing all of the things. Sometimes, just surrendering to rest is so very important, and so very needed.
- Seek professional help through the likes of an integrative GP, nutritionist, naturopath and/or acupuncturist to rebuild. Professional testing, good nutrition and high quality supplementation supports you to build back up in the postpartum period. Maintaining wholefood intake is crucially important in this time.
- Take care of your mental health, speak to those closest to you, check in with a trusted mums group or association that supports mother's mental health. Talk. Don't feel like you have to carry the weight of the world alone.
- Wake up and take stock of all that you love about your postpartum body and your family. It can be easy to get hung up on the perceived negatives, but by changing your mind-frame and focusing on gratitude, you can feel more positive and empowered. You just birthed a human being. YOU ARE INCREDIBLE.
As always, our inboxes, emails and hearts are open to those who want a chat or to be pointed in the right direction. Eat for You is all about women supporting women. We are mums. We get mums. We are here for you, always.
You've got this, mama.