Understanding Postnatal Depletion: Recognizing The Symptoms
Are you familiar with the term “postnatal depletion?” I would not be surprised if you answered "no" to this question! So many moms are struggling with postnatal depletion YEARS after having their babies. So what exactly is postnatal depletion and why aren’t we talking more about its impact?!
Postnatal depletion is a collection of symptoms that impact every single aspect of a mother’s life after giving birth. It’s a syndrome that can be viewed on a spectrum from mild to moderate to severe. The symptoms come about from physiological issues, changes in hormones, and interruption of the sleep cycle. Psychological, mental and emotional components also contribute. Oscar Serrallach gives this analogy in his book The Postnatal Depletion Cure:
“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 tiny 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. Such is the body after childbirth; when there are too many stressors and not enough time to recover, your levels become depleted. Depending on the severity of depletion, the postnatal period can last for years when baby is born-you can be left with a bag so filled with holes that it takes a long time to repair and refill…”
Here’s something to think about: if you never take the time to replenish and deeply heal after childbirth, you can experience symptoms of postnatal depletion DECADES after your baby arrives earthside.
Common physical symptoms of postnatal depletion include: baby brain, debilitating fatigue, insomnia or sleep that is disturbed/unrestful, loss of skin elasticity, skin dryness, week nails, thinning hair, increased translucency of the teeth
Emotional symptoms include: fear (which commonly manifests as anxiety, an inability to cope, indecisiveness, and constantly feeling overwhelmed), rage (which often manifests as guilt and shame), sadness, disgust (which often manifests as self-hate or self-loathing from feeling inadequate), loss of trust (in your own abilities and the abilities of others to support you), constantly feeling startled, and feeling intensely happy (this happiness often fluctuates and isn’t consistent).
So what do you do to prevent postnatal depletion? The N.U.R.T.U.R.E. Method™ is a method I came up you to easily remember how to take care of your postpartum body--whether you're newly postpartum or a few years even! Maybe this resonates with you a little more now that you understand the impact of postnatal depletion and how symptoms can linger. I outline each aspect of healing in depth in my membership for moms in their first few years postpartum: The Postpartum Wellness Revolution.
Every single aspect of healing matters. When you take the time to deeply nourish every single aspect of your body, mind, and soul, you lower your risk of depletion! Check out the graphics below to review the 7 pillars of postpartum wellness!
Implementing practices that acknowledge these 7 pillars of postpartum wellness are the key to reclaiming your health after childbirth! Join The Postpartum Wellness Revolution to take a deeper dive into recovering your postpartum health!
P.S. The membership also includes a recipe gallery, a gallery full of our favorite meditations to help you reset your mind, and so many more resources! I think you'll love it!😃
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