What is postnatal depletion?

Postnatal Depletion

Postnatal depletion refers to the nutrient and hormone depletions that occur in the years following pregnancy and childbirth, due to the extreme physiological (as well as psychological) demand of growing, delivering and breastfeeding a baby.

We prepare so much for pregnancy & birth but forget about the postpartum period.

The lack of sleep, nutrient depletions, fatigue and mood changes, breastfeeding challenges, the physical recovery ….

Growing, delivering a baby and breast feeding are very demanding processes on the human body that deplete many important vitamins, minerals and hormones.

Postnatal depletion could be the underlying cause of:

  • exhaustion
  • insomnia
  • mood changes
  • menstrual issues
  • weight gain
  • thyroid or other hormonal issues
  • skin and hair issues
  • poor immunity
  • digestive issues
  • poor stress tolerance

A pregnant woman requires much higher levels of essential nutrients than a non-pregnant woman. Much of the information about pregnancy nutrition focusses on the needs of the baby and not necessarily the needs of mum. Consulting a nutritionist during your pregnancy can help you to have both a healthy baby and a healthy post-birth recovery.

Just like you would have had blood tests done to check your nutrient status and hormones during your prenatal appointments, you need to have your levels checked postpartum – and I mean really checked. Just because your results come back within range, does not mean they are optimal or where they should be at for your unique health picture. This is where consulting a Nutritionist becomes so important, as we can advise you on where your levels are actually sitting and where we would expect them to be for you to be feeling better. 

The same goes for nutrition and supplements. Nourishing yourself postpartum is just as important as it was prior to and throughout your pregnancy. After all your precious body has been through, it is vital you provide your body with what it needs to replenish and restore back to pre-baby vitality. 

Acupuncture is also recommended from 1 week post birth to help support you through this precious time. We welcome you to bring your new bundle of joy along.

Written by Breeanna Scott
Womens Health & Fertility Nutritionist.

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