What is postpartum depletion? | with Mother’s Mylk co founder Shannon.
5 min read
Meet Shannon, co-founder of Mother’s Mylk and a mama to two gorgeous boys. Determined to turn a challenging time into a positive, Shannon used her personal experience of postpartum depression and depletion with her first son as motivation to start Mother’s Mylk with Alana (an experienced naturopath and fellow mama). This provided her with a platform to educate and support mothers in the hope that they don’t have to go through what she did. From memberships and online courses to books and downloads – Mothers Mylk has become a powerful voice in the community for advocating and empowering mamas-to-be and mothers to thrive postpartum and enjoy this magical time.
In this article, Shannon shares some valuable insight into her pregnancy and motherhood journey. In particular, she discusses postpartum depletion, what symptoms to look out for and how to get the nourishment and help you need to heal and move through it.
We can’t wait to share this vulnerable and inspiring chat with you. Let’s get started…
Tell us a little about you and who is in your gorgeous family?
I’m Shannon, just one half of Mothers Mylk. I’m a mama to two boys: Hunter who is three and Harrison who has just turned two and married to [my saint of a husband] Jacksen. I try my best to be as open and honest about my journey as a Mum and share my personal battles with postpartum depression, postpartum depletion, ADHD, Hashimotos and just life in general with two young kids!
“I know motherhood can be really isolating at times so I hope mums can feel more understood by following my journey”
We would love to hear more about your own journey of pregnancy and postpartum, and in particular your experience of postpartum depletion?
Both of my pregnancies were fairly uncomplicated, which I'm so grateful for. My postpartum journey with my eldest son was really difficult though as I was in no way prepared. I was really organised in terms of the nursery and all the baby items I thought I'd need, but I really had no idea about the fourth trimester, matrescence or preventing postpartum depletion. As a result, I ended up suffering with pretty severe postpartum depression, depletion, anxiety and all the things that come with those conditions. It was a really dark time for me and my family.
There are many mamas-to-be and new mamas that are not aware of what postpartum depletion is. Can you share more on postpartum depletion and what we can do in both pregnancy and postpartum to proactively prevent it from occurring?
I could go on about this question all day! Sadly my story is more common than it should be, which is exactly why we started Mothers Mylk. Postpartum depletion is the physical and emotional exhaustion some mamas may experience after birth. It may arise soon after birth or it could be six months postpartum. Some symptoms include extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating (brain fog), moodiness and overwhelm to name a few. While these might sound like “common” or “normal” symptoms of being a mum, the important thing to note is there is definitely a difference between normal “mum tired” and “postpartum depletion tired”.
It really does take a holistic approach to heal after birth. Planning ahead for what your postpartum self might need is crucial.
“Staying on top of the nutritional demands with warming and nourishing foods, practitioner prescribed supplements, mental health support and tools, and educating yourself in advance can make a huge difference to your journey”
If a mother has been diagnosed with postpartum depletion, can you tell us what advice you would give her to help aid recovery?
When you’re in the thick of postpartum depletion it can feel so isolating and like you’re never going to get out of it. It can also be really debilitating. My advice would be: (1) Get some blood testing done for yourself. (2) Find a practitioner who will get to the bottom of your symptoms, whether it be a GP or a naturopath. (3) Educate yourself with knowledge and resources. (4) Know that you’re never alone and things can and will get better.
We absolutely love your beautiful business Mother’s Mylk, which you co-founded with Alana. Can you share what led to the creation of this business and what you’ve learnt on your journey of entrepreneurship so far?
Thank you so much :) Mothers Mylk was born out of my own postpartum journey with postpartum depression and postpartum depletion. I never want any mama to have to go through what I went through, but sadly so many women do. We exist to support women through this time with empowering education, tools and resources. All mamas need to know this basic but essential knowledge, but just aren’t told in the mainstream medical system.
Our work is needed and no one else is “loud” enough to make a change, but we are certainly trying.
“Entrepreneurship is hard. Very hard. But then we have those days where a mama reaches out to thank us for positively impacting their motherhood journey and this gives us the motivation to keep going”
Here at biglittlethings, we believe that your book ‘Nourished Postpartum’ is an essential resource and should be read by every mama. Tell us more about the approach to pregnancy, birth and early motherhood outlined in this book?
When I fell pregnant with my second son I told myself I was not going to go through postpartum depletion or depression again. I knew there had to be a better way. There wasn’t a book or a manual that clearly told me all the essentials I needed to support my health in postpartum, so I created one! My business partner and co-author Alana, is a naturopath so everything within the book is accredited. It really is a postpartum survival guide!
Can you share what’s ahead this year for both yourself and your brand Mother’s Mylk? We can’t wait to see what magic you and Alana create!
BLT community, you are going to LOVE what we are working on! We have a lot in the pipeline this year that we cannot wait to share with you. We are working on book number two (shhh, you’re the first to hear this!) and a number of other products, which I will have to keep a secret for now :)
“We’ve recently launched the Mothers Mylk online clinic, which we are so excited about as this enables us to support mums in a more personalised way”
And lastly, a very important question, what are your top 3 favourite biglittlethings?
Naturally, I would pick our book Nourished Postpartum as my number one but that is really biased of me! My kids are a little bit older now so my top three would be: