Enlist Help: Share ways that your partner can help you. Most partners don’t fully understand the physical and emotional pressures we feel, especially during those first months postpartum. You can also enlist the aid of friends and family members to help cook, clean, or bring over healthy meals. Remember to sleep when baby sleeps and don’t feel bad about asking your partner to care for baby while you catch up on lost sleep. Eat More Protein: Eating protein at every meal helps to regulate your blood sugar and balance hormones. It’s also one of the best things you can do for adrenal health. Try to have grass-fed, pastured, organic protein sources already cooked and ready to go for when you’re hungry and don’t have time to cook. Feeling frazzled and don’t want to boil those eggs or bake that chicken? Please refer to #1. You may also want to check out one of the many ready-to-eat meal delivery companies out there when you’re really in a bind! Three-six ounces of animal protein at every meal should suffice! Don’t Forget Carbs: Limiting carbohydrates to less than 20% of your caloric intake can be stressful on the body, especially when you’re breastfeeding or feeling the other stressors of motherhood. Move, But Not Too Much: It may sound counterintuitive, but light exercise can actually help with fatigue. The idea is to know your body’s limits. Epic cardio routines and other strenuous exercise will often exacerbate fatigue and tax the adrenals. Instead, start with some light strength training, gentle cardio and stretching. Meet with a health care provider to determine the right type of exercise for your needs. Adaptogenic Herbs: Herbs like Rhodiola, Tulsi (or Holy Basil), and Ashwagandha are known for reducing fatigue, elevating mood, reducing inflammation, and improving energy. These herbs can be taken individually or together, as a tincture, or in capsules or as a tea. Ask your Naturopathic or Functional Medicine Doctor about adding these herbs to your healing regimen. Bonus Tip: Add a B Complex in addition to your prenatal! The stress that accompanies motherhood can increase your body’s need for this group of vitamins. Look for a supplement with methylated B12 and folate, rather than folic acid. Chronic fatigue (yes, even as a mother), could be a sign of something deeper. It’s important to me that you do not ignore the signs of a possible underlying condition. I outline many possibilities, including adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues (most notably postpartum thyroiditis), iron-deficient anemia, and other conditions in my book, Healing Naturally After Childbirth – The New Mom’s Guide to Navigating the Fourth Trimester. You know your body best, so if you feel like your fatigue goes beyond what you expected, even as a new mom, speak with your doctor and ask for a thorough workup. With an exam, complete history, and proper laboratory work, your doctor should be able to identify the cause of your exhaustion. ]]>
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