Postpartum is a Time of Recovery, Rest and Rejoicing

The mysteries of pregnancy come with a nutritional cost to the mother’s body if one were to pause and ponder the creation of an entire skeletal system, blood supply, brain with billions of neurons, a cardiovascular system with millions of miles of blood vessels, and a heart that beats over 100,000 times a day. Depending on the mom’s nutritional status before pregnancy, she can quickly go into a nutrient deficit; thus, in the postpartum period, this deficiency can manifest in postpartum blues, physical fatigue, and altered sleep beyond tending to the needs of a newborn.

There is a belief it can take up to 2 years to fully replenish a mom’s nutritional status post-pregnancy, which depends on her initial state of nutrient reserves. Thus, many women continue on their prenatal well after the pregnancy to ensure that “pregnancy nutrient debt” is replenished. Ultimately, ensuring that a mother’s health is well fortified is paramount, indeed building upon the rock and not the sand. If you are a parent or grandparent, you know all too well that the responsibilities, stress, and demands don’t end in childhood and often continue into young adulthood. I share with my patients the story of the three little pigs and that our goal is not to build our body’s wellness with either straw or sticks; instead, our goal is strong “big bad wolf-proof” bricks.

Nourishing Restorative Sleep and the Adrenal Glands

Having gone through the gauntlet of hormone transition of pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and postpartum period, a lot is going on in the body just relative to transitioning hormones from the ovaries. Hence, nurturing the adrenal glands with adaptogenic herbs such as Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, and Maca is vital. If you are feeling a little anxious as well, then the addition of l-theanine along with B vitamins and adaptogenic herbs can be a powerful tool.  Being a new mom, regardless of if this is your first or fifth child, is not for sissies. The physical and psychological stress is very real. Adaptogenic herbs can help nurture and take the edge off after a sleepless night of tending to a fussy infant.*

Wisdom from the Trenches

Having grown children, I remember the joy, the stress, the worry, and the fatigue that came with our new bundles of joy. If I had to do it over again, I would have been even more proactive in using the traditional benefits of botanicals to support sleep and the adrenal glands, along with ensuring that prenatal and essential fatty acids are incorporated into the diet. Healthy moms and dads (parents) must also remember that their physical and mental well-being is part of their baby’s ecology that will allow them to thrive. Make sure to allocate a little couple time to chat, laugh, and sometimes be philosophical about life’s journey.

 

Peace and abundant blessings,

Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D.

About Dr. Meletis, N.D.

Chris Meletis, N.D., has more than 25 years of experience practicing natural medicine. Based in Portland, Oregon, he shares his vast knowledge with fellow healthcare providers and his patients, and generously give to those in need. A lecturer and author, Dr. Meletis as written over a dozen books and hundreds of national articles. He was named Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 2003 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and was inducted into the National University of Natural Medicine Hall of Fame in 2018.