“Please know you are not alone. Many of us have felt the pressure that something is wrong with us if we don’t just snap back into shape and get back to business as usual. If you have felt like you are crazy, most likely you are not,
you may just be depleted.”
After writing about post-natal depletion last year, I got a flood of messages and emails from mothers telling me this is exactly how they feel: deep exhaustion, foggy brain, joint pain, and like they are on an emotional rollercoaster. Post-natal depletion is different from post-natal depression, as it is an emptying of nutrient storages in our body throughout pregnancy, birth, and nursing. After suffering from post-natal depletion myself after Baby Zand’s birth, I have been trying to get my hands on every research, every book, and every resource out there about this condition. There isn’t a lot, but it’s all starting to come together and gain traction in the postpartum world. We are starting to realize that we need to make changes in how we care for mothers, as they are raising the next generation of thought leaders. My aim for 2018 is to help even more mothers concur this debilitating condition. My previous post-natal talk will be held again in February, this time for mothers at all stages. It’s an opportunity to learn more about your own body, because knowledge is power. It is how we heal the 50% of all mothers, who suffer from post-natal depletion. So keep an eye on the events page!
During my research, I came across “A Taste Of Our Own Medicine” by Dr. Danett C. Bean. It’s a book all about the consequences of post-natal depletion, not just for the individual mother, but for families and communities as a whole. Think of this book more as an essay rather than a book. It’s a quick little read to kick off this year. Even if you are not a mother yourself, you may have mothers in your circle, who need all the help and support they can get. How amazing would it be, if you could just help make their lives a little bit easier with the knowledge you can get from this book?
“Some older generations feel that since they didn’t have help, mothers don’t need this assistance and will figure it out. And we do figure it out, but at what expense? […] anytime we purposely do not assist the mother with a child, the mother suffers, the child suffers, and the family suffers.”
While I like to focus on the nutrient deficiency side of post-natal depletion, Dr. Bean emphasizes the bigger picture of post-natal depletion. How can we avoid post-natal depletion as a society? How can we help mothers, who are left alone at home without any support system, and who have to return back to work earlier than they are ready for?
Dr. Bean suggests that the first step in healing from postnatal depletion is to acknowledge this problem even exists. Too many times mothers just think it’s a normal part of motherhood. And even when they do speak up about how exhausted they are, they are often told to just buck up and soldier on.
“While it has been estimated that the effects of post-natal depletion can last for up to 10 years, I suspect that the effects may extend beyond that. Some women may develop various attitudes, emotions, and conditions during this time period that can affect the rest of their life.”
Dr. Bean emphasizes that as mothers we need to stick together, and guide each other in a positive and caring way. Don’t scare a new mother to be with horror stories of sleepless nights, sore nipples, and deep exhaustion. Instead, help set her up for success by supplying her with nourishing foods, some time to rest while you hold the baby, and help in the household. Most mothers will never say what they need. Dr. Bean encourages you to just help, even if they don’t ask. No mother will be ungrateful!
“Sometimes, community without support can contribute to postnatal depletion. For support to happen, it really comes back to ‘a taste of our own medicine’. It is important to remember that essentially, mothers are the slabs of wood that form a foundation, and many times also fill in the gaps. Support is anything that can help to fill in the gaps, so that the mother doesn’t have to spread herself thin.”
Bean finishes her book with ‘a proposal for the future’, which includes looking at how we reduce stress on new mothers by giving longer paid leave, by making sure medical insurance is covered for the whole first year, and that we provide a calm, relaxing environment for new mothers to rest and recover.
Whether you are a new mother or have a new mother in your community, grab this book, and kick off your #selflovejanuary.
For more information:
Dr. Bean: www.yonibox.com
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on Facebook: yonibox
Buy your copy of “A Taste Of Our Own Medicine" on Amazon