GUEST POST BY MEGAN TANTILLO BSN, RN
It takes an incredible amount of resources to conceive, carry and deliver a baby. Consider the specific nutritional needs, the physical act of carrying a child, the hormonal shifts, energy dips, changing social and family dynamic. Understandably, many women continue to struggle hormonally, nutritionally, and emotionally after birth.
Postnatal depletion, a grouping of symptoms recognized by Dr. Oscar Serrallach, affects all aspects of a woman’s life.
– “Tired but wired”
– Low libido
– Loss of skin elasticityThinning hair
– Sensitivity to light or sound
What is postnatal depletion syndrome?
Postnatal depletion is a collection of symptoms describing a mother’s experience due to hormonal changes, nutrient deficiencies, sleep deprivation, drastic role changes and social isolation.
How is it different than postpartum depression?
Although there are strong overlaps, postpartum depression is characterized by marked anhedonia, a state in which a person takes no pleasure or joy from a situation or experience that in the past would have provided pleasure or joy. This is dangerous and requires professional intervention.
Many women don’t fully recover from childbirth and struggle with ongoing fatigue, memory difficulties, low libido, irritability, among other symptoms, without the proper support or care plan. It is possible to live in a depleted state for years unknowingly.
– Nutrition depletion
– Maternal brain changes
– Physical act of labor
– Blood loss
– Sleep deprivation
– Skin and connective tissue damage
– Social isolation
– Toxins (endogenous/exogenous)
– Lack of support
– Change of familial role
Welcoming a new baby into the world is undoubtedly one of the most miraculous and exciting times for a family, however, it is essential to mom’s wellbeing her need to heal, replenish and acclimate to her new role is recognized and supported.
As a nurse health coach, I help my clients reclaim their health and vitality postpartum with a personalized 4-part care plan covering diet, lifestyle, labs and supplements. Following is an example care plan including the most commonly recommended interventions.
Food is the foundation of your care! An anti-inflammatory, nutrient rich diet is recommended. Think mediterranean goes paleo. Our favorite dishes are full of vibrant vegetables, healing broths, soups and stews, and grab and go snacks rich in healthy fats and carbohydrates like our grain free banana bread and plantain chips.
Stress management needs to be a priority. Intentionally start a stress management technique of your choosing. Whatever works for you, works for me. I love a nightly ritual i.e. bath with magnesium salt, face mask, gratitude journaling, meditating, or deep breathing exercises.
Complete Blood Count (CBC) – checks blood count to rule out anemia.
Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP) – checks kidney, liver and electrolytes.
Full Thyroid Panel – checks on the gas of your metabolism.
Cortisol, saliva or urine – checks on cortisol, the main adrenal or stress hormone.
Urinary Sex Hormones (DUTCH Complete) – checks estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and their metabolites.
HBA1C – checks blood sugar management for the past 3 months.
Glucose, fasting – checks waking blood sugar.
Insulin, fasting – checks waking insulin.
High quality prenatal with DHA – I can’t stress this enough!
Megan Tantillo BSN, RN, founder of Holistic Health Code, is on a mission to provide accessible holistic care and education for all. Megan is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Nursing Practice with special interest in women’s health and telehealth technologies.