What is Postnatal Depletion?

If you feel like you’re running on empty, you might be suffering from a condition called ‘postnatal depletion’.

Postnatal depletion is a syndrome coined by a New Zealand-trained general practitioner, Dr. Oscar Serrallach who wrote the book The Postnatal Depletion Cure: A Complete Guide to Rebuilding Your Health and Reclaiming Your Energy for Mothers of Newborns, Toddlers, and Young Children. He says that it is caused by mental exhaustion and physical fatigue caused by the toll of birth, breastfeeding and the stresses of modern parenthood, while also not taking the time to fully heal and recover during the postpartum period.

Symptoms of the condition may include:

  • A constant feeling of ‘baby brain’, such as poor concentration or poor memory
  • Fluctuating emotions – irritable, overwhelmed, vulnerable
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Wired yet tired
  • Anxious feelings
  • Low libido

It is different to postnatal depression in that it isn’t a mental illness but a condition where you need to replete your nutrients, restore your health, and optimise sleep and exercise to feel better again.

If you think you are suffering from postnatal depletion, consult your GP for advice.