Long-term emptying of mama's cup
What happens if we find a woman experiencing long-term emptying of cup? I would describe that as post-natal depletion - to be the mental and physical deterioration of a mother’s health caused by the accumulation of long-term deficiencies and emptying of her cup; as of a result of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and the stress of parenting. What the female body goes through to create a human life is nothing less than extraordinary, and her body gives an immeasurable amount of nutrients to her baby, tapping into her own stores and emptying them out.
During pregnancy, the placenta sends a tonne of nutrients to the baby essentially lowering the amount available to the other. The mother’s stores of iron, zinc, magnesium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B9, iodine, selenium and especially DHA are dipped into. And these are the nutrients, vitamins and minerals we see most commonly lacking in the postpartum period.
Now, with these ‘nutrient buckets’ so low the only way to increase the stores is by increasing the mother’s intake. This can be done both with foods and supplements. Nourishing herself through foods is going to make such a big difference in preventing post-natal depletion and exhaustion, as these nutrient stores can be filled back up again before mental and physical deterioration is experienced.
Foods to focus on are;
Iron-rich foods such as red meat, eggs, spinach
Magnesium foods such as dark chocolate, kale, spinach
DHA foods such as fatty fish, salmon, tuna, eggs, avocado, olive oil
The hormonal journey after having a baby is the most profound and intense hormonal roller-coaster a woman can go through. Think seven years of puberty but propelled into a period of less than a year. One of the most marked hormonal changes is a very low level of oestrogen immediately following the birth of the baby. This can lead to a lowered mental state, dry vagina, hot sweats, low libido. To ease this period of low oestrogen, focusing on phytoestrogen foods can help. I suggest to have one tablespoon of flaxseed meal once daily, as they contain a also high amount of phytoestrogens which almost tricks your body into think it has higher oestrogen that it really does.
What I really wish all new mothers knew, is that the period of time after having your baby, your postpartum period, is as equally about you and your health, as it is your baby’s. You’ve grown an entire human, birthed it, and possibly are breastfeeding. The toll this takes is immense and I highly recommend supplementation to get you back to your pre-pregnancy nutritional status. In my opinion, a good quality multi vitamin and DHA are essential. DHA is literally broken down from our brain cells and given to our baby via the placenta in the third trimester which can cause brain fog, lack of concentration, poor memory. Our brain cells are made of essential fatty acids so replenishing DHA is so important, and it also goes to our baby via our breastmilk encouraging their brain development.
That's a smaller explanation about postpartum depletion, but I really could go on forever.
I hope your little ones started back at school today ok. Willow did cry at the classroom door. So guess which mama was fighting back tears as she walked home, under her sunnies? Meeeee.