Book of the month: August

“I’ve seen so many women go from highly functioning, world-traveling, happily ambitious, contented, emotionally centered, and utterly competent and organized professionals to zombie-like diaper-changing milking machines partially overnight.”

The book I have been waiting for for months is finally here! It is the Bible for postnatal recovery. This book covers everything and so much more what I talk about in my “Nourishing mom” workshop, what I want everyone to know about, and what I talk to one-on-one clients about when they come to me utterly exhausted. If you want to deep dive into what your body goes through during pregnancy, nursing, and while raising kids, then this is the book for you!

“Postnatal depletion also involves many mineral, vitamin, and nutrient insufficiencies; a disease process typically deals with deficiency. It’s important to understand the difference between these two words. Insufficiency is where the level of a mineral, vitamin, or nutrient is not in the disease-producing range, but in the suboptimal range. In other words, an insufficiency won’t give you a disease, but it means that your cells and organs are not able to run properly. This, in turn, can make you feel terrible.”

Postnatal depletion is a relatively new term coined by Dr. Serrallach himself, who has worked with moms for almost 20 years. He is the lead researcher in a field we don’t know enough about yet. Sadly, too many moms don’t get taken seriously when they express their concerns about how exhausted they truly feel. In our society we constantly need to uphold the perfect picture of supermom - so much pressure! Family members might just roll their eyes and say that your own mother, grandmother, and aunt have gone through the same thing. I myself got dismissed by my doctor with the common “that-is-just-motherhood”-phrase when I told her that I was so exhausted I couldn’t get out of bed anymore by the time Baby Zand was 6 months old. Most of us don’t understand or take the biochemical changes a mother has gone through during pregnancy, birth, and after seriously. Pregnancy takes a huge toll on our body. Did you know that mom’s brain shrinks on average 5% during pregnancy because mom gives all of her brain’s fat to baby to grow its brain? Isn’t that fascinating but also completely scary? Depending on the nutrient status of the mother at the time of conception, she can leach all of her nutrients to grow baby, making her depleted and leaving her feeling so exhausted and run down beyond just the “normal” exhaustion from sleepless nights and nursing on demand.

The symptoms of postnatal depletion can vary and be quite broad, but include:

  • baby brain

  • fatigue, often debilitating

  • insomnia or disturbed/ non restful sleep

  • loss of skin elasticity, skin dryness, softer nails, thinning hair, increased translucency of the teeth, receding gums, easier bruising

  • sensitivity to light and sound

In depletion, despite your feeling dreadful, life at its core still feels good and it’s possible to experience pleasure and enjoyment. In depression, there is no joy in the experience of motherhood and no enjoyment in activities or simple tasks that usually would have brought joy - going for a walk, cooking a good meal, seeing a sunset, laughing at a comedy.”

When I first bring up postnatal depletion, a lot of moms will immediately say that’s not what they have, confusing depletion and depression. Of course feeling down and exhausted can also be a part of postnatal depression, but there is a clear line between the two. When you suffer from postnatal depletion, you can still find joy in the little things. However, deep depletion can accelerate the occurrence of depression as well. Working on helping a mom through postnatal depletion (or lets face it, avoiding it to begin with!), can also help to clear up postnatal depression. Either way, speak up. There is no need to stay silent around how you feel as a mother.

“Our Western culture has done mothers a great disservice by not honoring them on their road to recovery and giving them the time they need to adjust to the monumental changes in their lives.”

Whether you have just had a baby or it’s been years since you’ve given birth, postnatal depletion hits at least 50% of all mothers for up to 10 years after their baby has actually been born. Now imagine you have multiple pregnancies in a short period of time. Every time you are losing more of your own nutrient storage, and you are getting more depleted. This book will walk you through your own “diagnosis” as well as a roadmap to recovery. Each chapter will give you critical steps to think about:

  • with the help of questionnaires you can check yourself for micronutrient deficiencies, and have more information to go to your doctor with for blood tests

  • learn how to rebuild your nutrient storages - vitamins, minerals, carbs, fat, and protein

  • tackle your imbalanced hormones through lifestyle changes, addressing stress, and getting the right tests if you need to

  • pick up tips and tricks of a lifetime of more energy with the help of alternative practices such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, restorative yoga, and supplements as needed

  • follow along the exercise routines outlined in this book to make you feel more energetic and strong

“In our modern society, women have been socialized to put the needs of others before their own. They can even be harshly judged for identifying and revealing their own needs. The sacrifices of the perfect loving woman and mother should go without reward and acknowledgment, according to a centuries-old stereotype. And, in fact, when a mother is stressed-out, overwhelmed, and unsupported, she is often no seen by those around her. To be a mother, she is told, requires total dedication and to be in a place of service and surrender. It is actually much easier to succumb to these pressures and end up in a place of self-loathing than it is to feel entitled to self-compassion and self-love. It is easier to be an unsupported martyr than it is to be a self-caring mother.”

The last chapters deal with self-love as well as rebuilding your intimate relationship with your partner. Both can be harder than the actual birth process because suddenly there are so many actual changes to your life as well as all those hormones and emotions. If you have been struggling with taking time for yourself and time for your partner, read these chapters. They will be like a loving mother holding you in her arms - exactly what you need to hear.

Get this book for every mom you know and for yourself - it is a must read!

For more information:

Dr. Oscar Serrallach:

on Instagram: droscarserrallach

on Facebook: Oscar.serrallach

#postnatal #pregnancy