October 12, 2021 4 min read

Postnatal depression has gained a lot of attention in recent years. But many mothers go through what’s known as postnatal depletion. It can last from up to a few days to a few years after childbirth.

Here’s how to know if you have it and ways to cope with it.

What is Postnatal Depletion?

In a nutshell, postnatal depletion is exhaustion – both mental and physical – that comes from childcare.

Motherhood is a full-time job. For many mothers, it is common to feel tired once they start caring for their first baby. Then, as time passes, the baby’s needs increase resulting in the mother taking care of more chores. Sometimes, this is followed by more pregnancies and more babies increasing the fatigue that a mum faces.

Do I have Postnatal Depletion?

Taking care of babies, toddlers, or even older children can be a lot of work. And motherhood is a full-time job. Feeling tired is common. But when does this tiredness qualify as being postnatal depletion? Below are some signs that you might have it.

  1. You feel intense exhaustion most of the time.
  2. You are lethargic for days together.
  3. You often fall asleep without meaning to.
  4. You face difficulty focusing and concentrating on the task at hand.
  5. You feel anxiety and panic even in little things that go wrong.
  6. Your immunity levels have gone down, and you fall sick often. If you had any existing medical conditions before pregnancy, these conditions seem to have worsened now.
  7. You have a lower sex drive than before.

If you have some or all of the above signs, you could be facing the case of postnatal depletion.

How do I cope with Postnatal Depletion?

First of all, it is important to remember, mummy, that you are not alone. As you already know, motherhood can be exhausting; but it is also extremely rewarding. Little else compares to the joy of having a baby and raising the child to be a good human being. Yes, it can be tiring, and it’s okay to sometimes struggle with doing it all.

The important thing to remember is that you love your baby, and she loves you back. And this special love and bond is your reward for all the challenges you face during pregnancy and motherhood.

Below are a few tips to cope with postnatal depletion and make your life easier, better, and full of love and happiness.

1. Eat well, mummy!

As a mother striving to provide the best nourishment to your baby, do not ignore your own nutrition. This is especially true if you are a breastfeeding mum. You need to include good fats and proteins in your diet. It can also help to take supplements for Omega 3 fatty acids.

At the same time, try to avoid processed and packaged food wherever you can.

2. Get moving.

Exercise might seem counterproductive since postnatal depletion usually involves the mother already being exhausted. But even simple exercise with low intensity can be very beneficial. It promotes the release of healthy hormones that make you feel better. Over time, you will also see your energy levels getting up.

Read more : Pregnancy, Childbirth and Exercise

Even simple exercises such as Yoga, walking, or Pilates can work wonders. Find a little time for exercise every day and soon you will see that you are able to do more. A tip for exercising during breastfeeding, though – do only what you feel comfortable with and always wear a nursing active bra when you exercise.

3. Get support from near and dear ones.

I say this often – you don’t need to do it all yourself, mummy. It is perfectly okay to ask for help and get it. Get support in taking care of the children or for chores. You can get help from your spouse, a family member, or hire help when needed.

Use the extra time you have for resting to get your energy back. Do things you love so that you are in a better state emotionally get back to motherhood chores.

4. Work on your relationship.

Being a mother, don’t ignore your relationship with your spouse. Put in some effort to keep the connection alive. Spend quality time together whenever possible. Also, involve your spouse in taking care of the children to promote a healthy bond.

If you have been feeling a disconnect with your partner lately, rebuild the connection through a heart-to-heart conversation. Discuss your goals as parents and tell them often how much you love and cherish them.

5. Seek professional help.

Sometimes, it might feel that no matter what you are doing, nothing seems to work, and you continue to feel fatigued and depleted. If this happens, it is perfectly okay to seek professional help. Getting your nutritional and hormonal profile looked at by a professional will help you take the right steps towards recovery.

Also, it might help to speak to a trusted health professional to understand your emotion and feelings if you are overwhelmed by your thoughts.

You cannot give from an empty cup. Take good care of yourself before you take care of your children and family. We firmly believe that all mothers do the best for their children, and you are no exception. You are enough, you are doing well. Just hang in there and know that you are not alone. This, too, shall pass.


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