The woman has now experienced the joy of carrying life within her, and then she has become empowered by giving birth. The ultimate gift as a result, is the newborn baby. This is where the post-partum stage begins, after the birth.
There is a dramatic hormone plunge when the birth happens. The hormones, which had been at peak levels for the last 40 weeks, suddenly drop. As a result, some women may experience “post-partum depression”. This condition has not occurred very frequently, in my experience, if the mothers had been on the proper nutrition, and have had the proper education regarding the birth and what to eat and do after the birth.
Many new mothers diagnosed with post-partum depression are advised to go on antidepressant drugs. But, if we really look at the physiology, we will see that it is more likely a hormonal issue. The adrenal glands secrete the mother hormone that will convert to many of the other hormones that require balance after delivery. There are supplements a mother can take that will not affect her psych and that will not be toxic to her or the baby. All drugs are toxic, so especially when breastfeeding, we like to keep the breast-milk clean and free of toxic drugs and chemicals. Everything that goes into mom’s mouth will go into the baby. She must really be more careful about what she is eating, drinking and taking, than ever before.
Likewise, the fatigue that follows such a traumatic event might be very severe, unless mother had been on a proper nutritional regimen. The most important supplementation that has made the difference over the last 10 years in clinical practice has been the supplementation of glyconutrients. It seems that new mothers and babies do better if she is supplementing these essential nutrients for at least the last 3 months of gestation, or what is called the last trimester. There has been clinical evidence, where bleeding is very minimal and recovery much improved, when there has been an addition of these nutrients into the diet prior to labor and delivery.
There are other factors contributing to the fatigue she may have after the birth. It may be wise to have help the first couple of weeks of post partum. Whether it is a family member or a doula, with the baby getting up all throughout the night to breastfeed, help goes a long way to allow mom to be there for her baby, and more importantly, be there for herself! Adequate rest is the key, napping with baby throughout the day, eating well and bonding with baby. When there is no help, with escalating stress, the new mom may set herself up for a breast infection, which is directly related to a sleep deprived, stressed out new mom.
The key to post-partum health is prevention and planning, and should all be a part of the family birth plan.