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The Real Reasons Behind Chronic Exhaustion for Breastfeeding Moms Postpartum

Real Reasons Behind Chronic Exhaustion for Postpartum Moms

May 12, 2024

As a postpartum mom, you may be familiar with the constant state of exhaustion that often accompanies this incredible phase of life. While feeling tired is a common experience, it doesn't have to be your norm. Chronic fatigue can significantly impact your well-being, making it crucial to identify and address the root causes behind this persistent exhaustion.

Let's dive into the real reasons why many moms struggle with chronic exhaustion postpartum and explore practical strategies to help you regain your energy and thrive during this transformative period.

The Sleep Struggle

Sleep deprivation is undoubtedly one of the most obvious culprits behind postpartum exhaustion. With a newborn's unpredictable sleep patterns, it's no surprise that many moms find themselves running on fumes. However, there are ways to maximize the quality and quantity of sleep you're getting.

One effective strategy is to have your baby's bassinet or co-sleeper attached to your bed, allowing you to feed and soothe them without fully waking up. For exclusive pumpers, consider setting up a mini-fridge in your room to store expressed milk, eliminating the need to leave the room during night feedings.

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine and aiming to go to bed earlier can also help you catch up on valuable rest. While you can't control your baby's sleep schedule entirely, prioritizing your own sleep hygiene can make a significant difference in your energy levels.

Nutritional Imbalances

Your postpartum nutritional needs are unique and can significantly impact your energy levels. If you're consistently under-eating calories, your body may struggle to keep up with the demands of breastfeeding and recovery after birth. Many moms are surprised to learn just how high their calorie requirements can be, especially in the first few months postpartum or after a C-section.

Additionally, if your meals lack balance in terms of protein, healthy fats, and fiber-rich carbohydrates, you may experience blood sugar fluctuations that can leave you feeling drained and sluggish. Ensuring your plate is well-rounded and incorporating nutrient-dense foods can help stabilize your energy levels throughout the day.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies are another common culprit behind chronic postpartum exhaustion. Even if your prenatal labs showed normal levels, it's crucial to monitor your nutrient status during the postpartum period, as requirements can change. Iron deficiency, in particular, is a frequent issue that can contribute to fatigue.

Other nutrient deficiencies, such as vitamin D, iron, B vitamins, and omega-3s, can also zap your energy reserves. Working with a healthcare professional to identify potential deficiencies and address them through dietary adjustments or supplementation can make a significant difference in your energy levels.

If you want to reach your healthiest weight & feel like yourself postpartum without sacrificing your favorite foods or milk supply, The Postpartum Shift is for you!

Food Intolerances and Allergies

Undiagnosed food intolerances or allergies can also contribute to chronic fatigue during the postpartum period. When your body is constantly battling inflammation or digestive issues, it can leave you feeling drained and exhausted. If you suspect you may have an intolerance or allergy, seeking proper testing and guidance can help you identify and eliminate potential trigger foods, allowing your body to heal and conserve energy.

Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Postpartum depression and anxiety can take a significant toll on your energy levels. If you're struggling with these conditions, it's essential to seek support and address them from a holistic perspective. While medication and therapy can be invaluable, addressing nutritional deficiencies can also play a crucial role in managing postpartum mood disorders and their associated fatigue.

Lack of Movement

While exercising may be the last thing on your mind when you're exhausted, regular physical activity can be an energy booster. Simple activities like daily walks outdoors can provide a dose of vitamin D, fresh air, and movement, all of which can contribute to increased energy levels.

Start small by incorporating short bouts of gentle exercise into your routine, and gradually increase as your body adjusts. The key is to find an enjoyable and sustainable form of movement that works for you during this phase of life.

The Bottom Line

Chronic exhaustion during the postpartum period is a common experience for breastfeeding moms, but it doesn't have to be your reality. By identifying and addressing the root causes, whether it's sleep deprivation, nutritional imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, food intolerances, postpartum mood disorders, or lack of movement, you can take steps to reclaim your energy and thrive in this incredible journey.

Remember, every mom's journey is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Be gentle with yourself, and don't hesitate to seek support from healthcare professionals or fellow moms who understand the challenges of the postpartum period.

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Hey mama,

I'm Brooke Miller,

Before becoming a mom, I chronically dieted & thought "eat less, move more" was the healthiest option. I dealt with exhaustion, mood swings, hormone imbalances (not getting a regular cycle), high cholesterol and weight cycling. I felt like something was wrong with me.

Before I got pregnant with my first son, I discovered the balanced nutrition approach I teach inside The Postpartum Shift. Once I implemented the framework, I was energized, gained strength, got my period back, lowered my cholesterol & maintained my healthiest weight. I continued this during my pregnancies & postpartum periods and recovered quickly after birth, made more than enough milk for my babies, had energy (even with the sleep deprivation) & stable mood. Postpartum was really enjoyable.

With a decade of experience as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor, I created The Postpartum Shift to help moms boost energy, mood, metabolism & milk supply to have a stress-free & enjoyable postpartum experience.

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