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Five reasons so many mothers are struggling

So the stats are heavy around the struggle many mothers are experiencing:

  • 80% of new mothers report feeling exhausted and overwhelmed

  • At LEAST ⅕ mothers are diagnosed with clinical level postpartum depression and anxiety (and those are the ones who are actually screen properly, who come forward and are captured in the data)

  • The leading cause of maternal death in North America (Canada/US, Australia and NZ) is suicide

These stats don’t capture the impact of this prevalent overwhelm and exhaustion that mother’s feel on their enjoyment in motherhood and the impact on their family and relationships.

So why is this struggle so prevalent?

Here are five reasons why mothers are living in survival mode.

  1. Societal expectations – in many cultures around the world - a mother’s recovery is the responsibility of the community. If a mother falls ill, then it’s viewed that the community has failed her. The care of raising children and daily chores are also seen as a shared responsibility among many people. We aren’t supposed to be super moms. Or completely selfless as though we don’t have needs. Or become martyrs in the name of motherhood. We aren’t supposed to be crushed by this expectation that when we become a mom, that we must do it all ourselves, do it perfectly and make it look easy.

  2. Subconscious programming - deep root beliefs that keep us stuck in these cycles of martyrdom and make it hard to ask for help. These expectations from society, which we are exposed to in thousands of ways throughout our lives, then turn into our subconscious programming. The issue is that our subconscious beliefs are running our lives, often without us being consciously aware of it. This is what makes it so hard for us to ask for help we need because often we feel guilty or ashamed when asking for help or feel like we are a burden for asking.

  3. Suboptimal nutrient intake - not fueling your body with the type and amounts of nutrients to run optimally. You're in a very nutritionally expensive phase of life. Pregnancy, birth, lactation and postpartum are all very demanding on your body. Recovery takes a lot of nutrients, time and energy! Add on top of that sleep disruptions, the demands of caring for young children and managing household tasks - it’s easy for us not to meet our daily nutritional needs. Over time this creates a state of deficit and depletion which you feel on a body level with signs and symptoms that something is off - mood issues, gut issues, body issues, nervous system issue, hormone issue, cognitive/brain function issue, etc.

  4. Stressed out nervous system - when you give birth your body will be in a state of fight or flight. You need to support your nervous system to come out of this state of stress in early postpartum, otherwise your body often remains in a state of chronic stress response activation. You feel turned ON or stressed all the time. Our body is meant to have stress resolution - “stress on, stress off”. But often mothers get stuck in a state of “stress on, stress on, stress on…” This is really hard on our body, not to mention completely exhausting.

  5. Not getting enough rest - this one isn’t a surprise. If you are tired, you need more rest. Mothers are often sleep deprived, overburdened, unsupported and running through their day like a steam train without any breaks. It’s not as easy as telling someone to rest more, often responsibilities and tasks need shifting in order to create more space for that rest. It’s complex!

Which one stands out the most for you? I’d love to hear.



Your dietitian doula

P.S. - Curious about working with me?

Join us in the Balanced Mom Method Membership

For a low cost monthly fee you get access to:

  • An online program guiding you through recovery from postpartum depletion

  • A private FB community for connection and community

  • A monthly mother’s circle

  • Bi-weekly live (and recorded) Q&A Calls with me

  • Access to me for questions

Want to thrive instead of just surviving?


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