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How is your body's bank account balance? A metaphor for postpartum depletion.

I work with moms who are feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed out, burnt out and feeling "off" in their body.

Often when a mother is experiencing symptoms after birth but doesn't meet the diagnostic criteria for a perinatal mood disorder (like postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety) - she is told by her provider that nothing is wrong.

But many, many women aren't receiving the proper medical, practical, social and spiritual support after birth, and are struggling and experiencing a similar cluster of symptoms. Exhaustion, overwhelm, brain fog, forgetfulness, hormone imbalance, sleep issues, digestive symptoms, anxiety or depression, and feeling generally unsupported.

This is called postpartum depletion.

This is a name coined by a doctor named Dr. Oscar Serralach in Australia to describe the symptoms we often see in mothers who aren’t not given the support they need during the weeks and months after birth.

Here’s a powerful metaphor around how you think about your health and your energy.

Imagine that your body is like a bank account. We all understand the basics of how a bank account works right?

Everyday we have expenses or withdrawals from the account and we have deposits into the account. At the end of the day we have a balance.

We have basic body expenses that are standard across all humans - we have basic functions we need to cover like breathing, thinking, digestion, physically moving - all of these things need energy and nutrients.

As moms and caregivers though you have EXTRA needs and a higher amount of daily expenses than the average person and higher needs than a woman before you had a baby.

  • You need more energy and nutrients if you’re caring for a baby or young children (it’s demanding and exhausting!).

  • If you’re breastfeeding this also increases your needs (very energetically and nutritionally expensive!).

  • If you’re exercising a lot or moving around all day chasing after a toddler - that requires a lot of energy.

  • If you are really anxious - you worry a lot and have a lot of stress - this puts you body in a state of higher energy expenditure and uses up nutrients faster).

  • If you are recovering - you have higher nutrients needs. So this means - if you’re still recovering from pregnancy, birth, postpartum, multiple and closely spaced pregnancies, illness, injury or a combination of these things - then you have higher daily needs.

So just like a bank account - if we have more expenditures than we have deposits - we start to see a deficit in our account, we go into overdraft, we start racking up debt.

Our body is a machine - just like any other other machine.

We have basic requirements in order to run properly. When we don’t have enough of the raw materials that are needed - the body needs to start making some decisions around where to start cutting back and where to prioritize using these resources.

This is where we start seeing issues and symptoms with brain health, hormone imbalance issue, immune system issues, digestive tract issues, nervous system issues. Your body just doesn’t have enough of the raw materials to function properly.

Recovery, health and energy comes when we start putting MORE into the bank account than we are withdrawing.

The first step is to start making shifts towards making sure your basic DAILY needs are covered. That’s just to maintain your daily balance.

And then you need to work on taking care of the debt you’ve accumulated over the last months or years since having a baby or babies - that requires extra time and effort. This is how you move from thriving to surviving.

It takes TIME. It takes consistency and intention. It takes work. But it’s so worth it.

How long will it take to recover from postpartum depletion? It can take between 6 months to two years of intentionally working on it to feel like you’ve come back to a place of wellness again. This depends on how depleted you are going into this and how well you are caring for yourself during the recovery period.

However, many mothers notice an improvement within the first week of implementing strategies to support their body.

What would you do with more “savings” in your energy bank account?

How would that change your life?

If you’re constantly putting yourself last in your family - and if you’ve been doing this for a few years - then likely you have drained your energy bank account and now is the time to start taking a hard look at this and making some changes.

Let me know if this resonates with you. I’d love to support you inside the Balanced Mom Method where I teach you how to do this and how to shift yourself back into a state of credit and abundance.

Send me a message and we can discuss if this is a good fit for you.



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