Oh mama, you created a baby. Through the tears of exhaustion and getting to know your new body, let that sink in for a moment. Pause, breathe and relish in the miracle you created.
The postpartum season a beautiful juxtaposition—beautiful because of the miracle baby you get to snuggle but also difficult as the exhaustion, emotional roller coaster and thoughts of “will I ever sleep again” set in.
Although a beautiful miracle, pregnancy and postpartum are incredibly stressful seasons on the body—our bodies were designed for short periods of stress but not prolonged stress that motherhood can be. Adrenal fatigue happens when the body has experienced heightened stress and can’t fully keep up with the demands.
Why do women deal with adrenal fatigue postpartum?
Your body brilliantly prioritizes nourishing your baby over you, and that’s the beauty of motherhood. You mama created life. But this also comes at a cost to your long term health and energy.
Adrenal fatigue happens when the body has experienced heightened stress and can’t fully keep up with the demands. Creating a human, birthing a human and nurturing your sweet tiny human hearthside requires a lot of energy and nutrients.
Sleep is your best all when in a weakened state but the reality of postpartum is sleep is not abundant. Sleep deprivation only enhances adrenal fatigue. Remember this isn’t a season that will last forever, but it is a time when we want to intentionally nourish our bodies and adrenal health postpartum.
Some signs of postpartum adrenal fatigue:
- difficulty falling asleep
- difficulty staying asleep (even if baby is sleeping)
- hair loss
- unexplained weight gain
- brain fog
Intentionally choosing to take care of your wellness and support adrenal health will make you a better mother. You see, if you go down, your baby will suffer as a result! Remember that the better you feel postpartum, the better you will be able to take care of your baby.
5 Ways to Support Your Adrenal Health Postpartum
Snuggle Your Baby
Oxytocin, the love hormone, is released when breastfeeding, snuggling or hugging! It’s great for postpartum health! So snuggle that sweet baby—the pile of laundry can wait. Oxytocin and cortisol (the stress hormone) are on opposing teams, so when one goes up the other goes down—translation: when you boost your oxytocin, you naturally decrease your cortisol and thus help your adrenal health.
Ask for Specific Help
As the mother you are (most likely) the baby’s primary care giver, especially if you are breastfeeding. But YOU have to take care of yourself and ask for help—this often sounds cliche but it is true. Maybe that is having a friend come watch your little one so you can take a long, hot shower or bath. Maybe its getting takeout or actually taking your neighbor up on that home cooked meal. Maybe you need to pump daily and have someone else take over one of your baby’s feedings (breastfeeding creates such an intense bond, but sometimes that beauty is also draining).
People are offering to help for a reason—because they truly want to help! Give them specific tasks like unloading the dishwasher, folding a basket of laundry, driving you to the doctor, picking up takeout, coming over for 1 hour so you can nap. Get specific that way you get exactly what you need and the person feels fulfilled helping you with what you need rather than something random.
Remember, you are not weak for asking or accepting help, you are strong enough to realize that you will be a better mom and woman when you do! Taking a few chores off your plate can do amazing things for your adrenal health postpartum.
Figure Out a Consistent Postpartum Eating Routine
Just as your baby needs a consistent eating routine, YOU as the primary caregiver do too. What happens when you skip or delay meals? Well, your body and blood sugar have to work harder to sustain your functioning, thus greatly adding stress to your adrenal glands. When you go too long without food, your body will attempt to play “catch up” and thus working overtime, something you want to avoid especially when tired, postpartum or breastfeeding.
Make sure each meal is balanced in healthy fats, protein and quality carbohydrates. If you are super hungry when breastfeeding, EAT—give your body what it needs! Postpartum is no time to restrict calories, nutrients or meals—in fact your nutritional needs are actually more if you are breastfeeding than when pregnant.
Can you plan out when the best time for you to eat a meal or snack is? This has been so helpful to me to plan ahead, so that I don’t find myself hungry or depleted at the same time my baby needs to eat or be settled to sleep.
This Postpartum Replenishing Powder has been a lifesaver for me. It gives me so much energy and tastes amazing! FLOURISH for 10% off! >
Breathe and Go for a Walk
Taking 10 deep breaths fills your body with oxygen and calms your stress hormones and adrenal glands. Incorporating low impact movement like breathing, stretching or walking is the best exercise for postpartum and your adrenal glands. High intensity workouts like running should be saved for the future as they can actually increase your stress hormones, damage your adrenal glands and even lower your milk supply.
Exercise boosts your endorphins making you happy and calm. Postpartum can bring all the emotions and exhaustion—that’s ok mama, remember it is a season. Go for a walk, soak in the fresh air, say positive affirmations to yourself and your baby—also babies love fresh air and movement…your little one will probably sleep better after some outside time!
Incorporate Specific Nutrients for Postpartum Adrenal Health + Support
Your body just grew a human (crazy!) and if you are breastfeeding you are STILL growing a human. That sweet baby is stealing ALL of your nutrients, so you need to replenish nutrients postpartum (which takes about 2-3 years).
Here are some important postpartum adrenal support nutrients:
- Postpartum Replenishing Powder // This powder is so nutrient dense and gives me SO much energy. It is specifically designed as a multi-vitamin + protein powder all in one, plus specific nutrients for postpartum replenishment. I am amazed by how good I feel when I drink this! FLOURISH for 10% off >
- Magnesium, the “anti-stress mineral,”is responsible for countless body functionings and greatly reduces stress (thus boosting your adrenal functioning). Due to poor soil quality, our food does not contain as many minerals as it once did—many women are deficient in magnesium. I love magnesium lotion and dark chocolate too (if you are craving it postpartum now you know why).
- Vitamin C is used up more rapidly to make cortisol during periods of stress (aka pregnancy + postpartum). I recommend Pure Radiance Vitamin C as it is a pure and bioavailable source, so actually going to use in your body!
- Ashwaghanda is an adaptogen that has been used for centuries and works to calm the body when needed and boost energy when needed. It helps support healthy energy levels and cognitive functioning as well as encourages a calming sense of well-being. Ashwaghanda has long been used in Ayurvedic therapies to support lactation and postpartum. I personally am comfortable taking while breastfeeding, but please do your own research and consult with your doctor first.
Do you have any tips for restoring energy postpartum?
**As always, this is not medical advice and please consult with your doctor first.**