Keep­ing mum full of en­ergy

Central Otago Mirror - - OUT & ABOUT - Prior to fall­ing preg­nant I fol­lowed you re­li­giously as well as dur­ing my preg­nancy, and I re­ally ate very clean and looked after my­self. I also man­aged to cure my PCOS (poly­cys­tic ovary syn­drome). I have an 11 month old, and I do not think I will get dec

Hi Lou. It can be phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally chal­leng­ing to get back on your feet after a baby ar­rives, and this can be more dif­fi­cult if there are ad­di­tional young ones at home and if the mother is not well sup­ported. Hor­mon­ally, nu­tri­tion­ally and emo­tion­ally, things can take time to re­store.

In my ex­pe­ri­ence, it is crit­i­cal for a mum to work with a health pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­enced in this area, one who un­der­stands the way bio­chem­istry, nu­tri­tion and emo­tions in­ter­play. Typ­i­cally, iron and zinc will be too low for the body to make the sub­stances re­quired for hap­pi­ness and op­ti­mism, and these of­ten need to be sup­ple­mented.

Test­ing these lev­els first is im­por­tant. Other nu­tri­ents that may need fo­cus in­clude vi­ta­min C, vi­ta­min D and mag­ne­sium.

The omega-3 fat DHA is an es­sen­tial sup­ple­ment for a de­pleted mum. This is vi­tal for nervous sys­tem (in­clud­ing the brain) sup­port, as well as hor­monal bal­ance. Oily fish sup­ply DHA, and there are now some good-qual­ity sup­ple­ments de­rived from al­gae. Also, the body can con­vert an­other omega-3 fat found in plants (such as flaxseeds and chia seeds), known as EPA, into DHA; how­ever, the ef­fi­ciency of the body to do this seems highly in­di­vid­ual. Some stud­ies sug­gest this con­ver­sion is up-reg­u­lated dur­ing preg­nancy but not lac­ta­tion. The fo­cus for the de­pleted mum needs to be on easy, prac­ti­cal meals made from whole, real foods that are nu­tri­ent-dense.

Seek­ing sup­port is also crit­i­cal. If you feel as though you may be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing post-natal de­ple­tion, let a friend know and seek pro­fes­sional sup­port, such as the help of a psy­chol­o­gist.

Restora­tive prac­tices that ac­ti­vate the rest and re­pair arm of the nervous sys­tem are also a crit­i­cal part of re­cov­ery from de­ple­tion. Restora­tive yoga, Still­ness Through Move­ment, and acupunc­ture are all beau­ti­ful and highly ef­fec­tive.

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