After having my little boy, the postpartum anxiety was crippling. I was happy and in love with my baby and had lots of family help, but still every little thing overwhelmed me. Every. Little. Thing.
I couldn’t make the simplest decisions. Once I forgot to bring a particular cardigan for him when we were going for a walk. Despite having another one and plenty of blankets, I was beside myself and there were plenty of tears. Crazy hey?
I can definitely compare my experience of postnatal anxiety with premenstrual mood swings. You know that it’s not rational but the wave of emotion overpowers logic.
Every birth is different, and even if you didn't have a c-section, just a "minor" wound like a tear or episiotomy can mean it's difficult to walk for a week or so. I remember being incredibly frustrated that I was struggling to walk up a flight of stairs and down a hospital corridor without stopping for a rest 1 week after the birth – the transformation from being a strong and healthy woman to a vulnerable new mum is tough.
Then over the next 3-6 months my hair started coming out, my temples were pretty bare and my hairline almost receded. I ended up getting a fringe (bangs) cut to hide the gaps, which helped to some extent, but I’d rather not have lost all that hair!
What I regret the most during this time was that my anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed meant I couldn’t even get my head around taking steps to improve things for myself. I thought about ordering my superfoods – which certainly would have helped (more on this below) – but I didn’t manage it. So many simple things I didn’t achieve at this stage, which for me lasted about 9-12 months.
One thing is for sure, I’ll arm myself with knowledge and foods that will help me next time around and I really hope any new parents or mums-to-be reading this can use the insight to support your bodies, minds and overcome postpartum issues faster than I did!
In this post I’ll cover the following post-pregnancy issues:
- Hair thinning, receding hairline and bald spots around temples
- Dramatic changes in hormone levels that have been linked to depression and anxiety
- Irregular and painful cycles (when they eventually return)
- Lack of energy and sleep
- Wounds from the birth
- Adjusting to the overwhelming life change!
Of course, this isn't the same for every new mum and your experience could be totally different, so be prepared but don't worry and enjoy this precious time of your life.
Which Superfoods to Take Post-Pregnancy and Why?
It’s one of the key times in our lives when we need some extra support, and eating wholesome foods is incredibly powerful for nourishing you and your baby. Our superfoods have been cherished for millennia by ancient cultures, and their safety for pregnancy and breastfeeding has been tried and tested for generations.
Isolated, synthetic nutrients are a different story, these can be hard to digest and absorb, put strain on the liver, and in many cases are not recommended for pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Chlorella - for post-pregnancy hair loss and detoxification of medications
A few months post-birth many mums like me notice thinning hair, receding hairline and balding spots around temples. During pregnancy the higher oestrogen levels put our hair follicles into a resting phase - this means that you shed less hair daily than you did before pregnancy. Once the oestrogen drops after the birth, your hair follicles suddenly start shedding again, but double the ‘normal’ amount. And you really notice it!
Chlorella is incredible for encouraging hair to grow back much faster and thicker, re-growing the hairline and filling in those bald spots. It’s got natural biotin and copper that are important nutrients for your hair.
The detoxification benefits of our Chlorella are also very helpful at this stage because many of us need anaesthetic and other medications during labour. Chlorella can help your detoxification organs cleanse away these chemicals and eliminate them from your body.
For breastfeeding mums, Chlorella can even help with reducing dioxin levels in breast milk and may also have beneficial effects on nursing infants by increasing IgA (Immunoglobulin A is substance made by your immune system in response to bacteria, viruses, fungus etc) levels in breast milk. (Source: Journal of Medical Food, 2007)
Choosing the right Chlorella is important for everyone, but especially so when breastfeeding because Chlorella absorbs toxins from its environment. Many Chlorella products come from China where environmental pollution is widespread. But our Chlorella comes from a beautiful organic farm in southern Taiwan, and is tested free from any pollution, heavy metals or other chemicals – 100% safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Hear from our Bursters:
“My hair started falling out 3.5 months post partum. I've been taking the Organic Burst Chlorella everyday and my hairline has all grown back - in just 2.5 months.” - Amanda @amandagramuk on Instagram
“After having kids, within a few months all of your hair starts falling out and the hairline is the worst. Definitely had some bald spots near my temples. I started taking this again and probably within about three months I noticed I have over 2 inches of new hair growth I am so excited about! Those bald spots grew out so fast! I could be a walking advertisement for the stuff I preach about it all the time” - Angela @guineascarnici on Instagram
- Mix 1 teaspoon Organic Burst Chlorella with cold water and a squeeze of lemon and drink morning and evening.
- For an even quicker option, take our pure, easy to swallow, Chlorella tablets - x4 twice a day.
- Try our easy-as-pie Chlorella Mashed Avocado on toast for a quick, nourishing lunch.
Maca - for regaining hormonal balance to help with post-pregnancy depression and anxiety, and getting your regular cycles back
As I personally experienced, feeling mentally unwell after the birth of your baby is extremely difficult and, without help and support, this can sadly go on for many months until you naturally regain balance. Hormonal changes are once again responsible for these feelings – simply put, it’s the sudden change from pregnant to not pregnant, when oestrogen and progesterone levels plummet.
Depression and anxiety can worsen with common new-mum experiences like lack of sleep (yep), pain and sometimes trauma from the birth. These are all stressors on the mind and body that contribute to your already haywire hormones.
Maca is an adaptogen, which nourishes our ‘master gland’ to produce our whole crew of hormones in the correct levels and at the correct times. So, it can help to bring down our stress hormones to a level that will make us feel calmer and less overwhelmed, which, in turn, allows our sex hormones to rise to the normal level and overcome the dramatic drop we experienced after birth.
Normalising levels of sex hormones (oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone) has great benefits, not only for mood, but also skin health, headaches and migraines – which frequently flare up postpartum, and to avoid problem and irregular periods – which can go crazy post-pregnancy.
Other hormones that our Maca can help your body produce in sufficient levels are the feel-good oxytocin and prolactin that trigger and sustain milk production. If you’re breastfeeding, there are so many new challenges and worries, but with maca you know you’re supporting this process beautifully.
Finally, ENERGY! The nutrient profile of Maca includes minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, vitamins such as B1, B2 and vitamin C, and amino acids which all help the body recover and help to boost energy levels naturally.
Our Maca is safe for everybody and completely free from heavy metals, it’s grown high in the Peruvian Andes in nutrient-dense volcanic soil at altitudes of 14,000 ft (4200 m) - perfect for producing the most pure and powerful Maca.
Hear from our Bursters:
“I swear the Maca helped me avoid the baby blues” Melanie Schaeffer @eemschaeff on Instagram
“Taking your Maca daily too!!! Fixed my pp anxiety – thank you” Loren @l_e_dem on Instagram
“I absolutely love your Maca capsules! I was a gestational surrogate and delivered a baby girl in November. I carried for this family before in 2014 and my post-partum hormones and period were so out of whack for almost 2 years! I started Maca while I was still pregnant and carried on (still using them presently) and my pp period is almost like clock work again!” Kristen Bankard @kristenbankard on Instagram
“After having horrible periods since my baby was born and waiting over 8 weeks for my last period, I’m having a 4 week cycle with minimal pain after taking Maca capsules for 1 month!” Kate Robs @kate_robs on Instagram
- Have 1-2 teaspoons Organic Burst Maca in warm almond milk and a dash of maple syrup daily or simply mix into your porridge or smoothie.
- Our 100% pure veggie capsules are super easy when you don't have time (or free hands) to prepare anything, take x4 once or twice a day.
- Try one of our simple recipes like our Maca Pumpkin Millet Porridge or this gorgeous Maca Halva Smoothie
Spirulina - for building energy and immune support
It goes without saying that new mums need more energy, and your body can be very depleted in the months after pregnancy and birth, particularly in iron as you lose blood at this time. Iron, B Vitamins and complete protein are essential for building up your stores and giving you the energy you need.
A varied diet full of vegetables and nutrient-dense foods is the ideal but potentially unattainable all the time because… Baby. Preparing lovely meals is a huge challenge with a new-born.
Our super-algae Spirulina is a valuable source of a wide array of nutrients including complete protein, B vitamins and iron. At this time when you need extra nourishment to recover from the birth and adjust to your new role of mum, Spirulina is simply invaluable!
Keeping your immune system running well is important, because let’s face it, getting ill is the last thing you need! Spirulina can help your immune system fend off possible infections related to healing wounds or the dreaded mastitis thanks to its protein, Vitamins B6, B12, trace minerals and iron.
Spirulina also happens to be the 2nd richest source of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) right after mother's milk so it's definitely a great nourishment for both mum and little one when breastfeeding!
You can feel totally confident that our Spirulina is safe for you and your baby because it is tested for purity at every stage of production and is completely free from heavy metals, microcystins, BMAA and other toxins. It is 2,550km from Japan and is totally free from radiation too (and regularly tested for your peace of mind)!
Hear from our Bursters:
“The Spirulina tablets are the only thing that helped me feel normal again after having a baby that isn’t a fan of sleeping… they help with energy and general foggy brain and love that they don’t affect breastfeeding also. Can’t be without them in the mornings now.” Kirsty @mrs-everitt on Instagram
“I take this to take my breastmilk up a notch for my baby. Both of us are reaping the benefits! Love this stuff!” @mommysoltero on Instagram
- For a lasting energy boost to keep you going with a new-born, take 1 teaspoon Organic Burst Spirulina in a glass of lemon water, or 4 pure tablets twice a day.
- If you find yourself unable to prepare a meal, have some Spirulina to temporarily keep you going - while you await reinforcements!
- Try our super simple Lemony Spirulina Smoothie for a tasty option.
Matcha - for calm, non-jittery energy and problem-solving superpowers!
Don’t take away a new mum’s coffee! Well actually, our Matcha can give you instant energy and clarity without the crash or making you feel depleted like coffee does an hour after drinking it.
Coffee raises our stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, launching us into ‘fight or flight’ mode and blocks our production of GABA – the neurotransmitter in our brain that’s responsible for calmness, relaxation and happiness. The hormonal disruption can exacerbate post-pregnancy anxiety, depression and other issues like problem periods, headaches and skin conditions. So coffee definitely isn’t mum’s best friend.
Rather than feeling twanged up and jittery, Bursters tell us that our Matcha energises them and helps with their anxiety. It contains L-theanine that boosts alpha brain waves by 75%. Alpha brain waves are a sign that the brain is in a resting but alert state and are powerfully associated with being calm and present, which is just the perfect way to be when caring for your new baby.
The incredible alpha brainwaves are responsible for a better problem-solving ability too, which you’ll need when trying to slot the new baby seat into the car!
Our Matcha is not only farmed to incredibly high organic standards but we’ve made sure that it is completely surrounded by other organic farmlands as well as miles of dense green forests. This shields us from harmful cross-contamination of pesticides that occur in other tea regions.
It’s also important to know when taking Matcha that ours is tested free from Fukushima radiation, in fact, it comes from the Kagoshima region in Southern Japan - the furthest point away from Fukushima.
Hear from our Bursters:
“Matcha! It helped me regain energy after a tough pregnancy and postpartum time.” Marion Louise @marionlouise3 on Instagram
- Whisk up 1 teaspoon Organic Burst Matcha with 1/2 cup of hot but not boiling water. It's easier if you have a bamboo or Aerolatte whisk (order yours here).
- Have your Matcha in the morning and mid-afternoon, or whenever you need energy and extra strength (try it to stay calm during the "witching-hour").
- Take your pick of one of our 12 Easy And Delicious Matcha Recipes.
Turmeric - for physical recovery from birth, feeling positive and calm when overwhelmed
Not everyone realises the huge healing and recovery job your body is doing in the months post-birth. Regardless of the type of birth you had (c-section or natural, with or without tearing or episiotomy) every mother is left with an approximately 22cm wound inside the womb where the placenta was attached. Eeek indeed!
Turmeric has antioxidant powers and its powerful compound curcumin has been found in numerous studies to stop an over-reaction of the immune system to help the skin’s natural ability to regenerate.
Researchers found that curcumin treatment reduced wound-healing time, improved collagen deposition, and was effective for “perfect skin regeneration”. (Source: International Journal of Dermatology, 2011)
When you’re feeling overwhelmed and it all gets too much - sorry but you will probably have these moments - Turmeric can help. Curcumin was found in another study to improve mood, and also to reverse depressive symptoms! (Source: Phytotherapy Research, 2016)
Going for our whole plant Turmeric powder or pure capsules is a perfect choice post-pregnancy and during breastfeeding because, unlike isolated curcumin supplements, the plant has been eaten safely for thousands of years by mothers. Ours is free from all additives such as the harmful toxic azo dye Metanil Yellow, an artificial colouring often found in Turmeric powders. Plus it contains up to 5.1% curcumin, that’s 3.4x more than the average!
- Easy option: Store 1 teaspoon Organic Burst Turmeric into your morning oats, soup or cooked rice / quinoa.
- Even easier option: Take x4 of our pure veggie caps twice a day.
- An amazing daily drink to feel happy and positive is our Golden Moon Milk - ask your partner to make it for you!
I really hope the information has helped you feel more prepared and empowered for post-pregnancy, so you can fully enjoy this precious time with your baby.
Love Claire, Nutritionist at Organic Burst