You just created a human— a sweet, perfect-in-their-own-way, wonderfully-exhausting, human. Let that sink in a moment. Whether your tiny human is 1 week or 10 years old, most likely you have experienced your fair share of exhaustion along the way. Yes, it’s both common and normal, but it doesn’t mean that it has to be your long term status quo.
What is adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue happens when the body has experienced heightened stress and can’t fully keep up with the demands. Your body is designed to handle short periods of stress—pregnancy and postpartum, although a beautiful miracle, are both seasons of intense and prolonged stress.
With adrenal fatigue, you may experience intense fatigue, sleep issues, hair loss, brain fog, and even anxiety.
Why does adrenal Fatigue Affect Moms?
Your body prioritizes nourishing your baby over you, a beautiful process but that can often leave mama depleted for months, even years to come. Nutrient depletion combined with sleep deprivation makes adrenal fatigue super common in motherhood.
Motherhood pulls us in a million different directions with little time to stop, pause and rest. At any given moment we can be attempting to juggle multiple different projects and demands all while trying to drink our coffee while it’s still actually hot. I adore being a mom, but it is very stressful on the body and mind, whether or not we see the effects of that immediately.
Adrenal fatigue as a mom is very common. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for feeling tired but know that your body is signaling you for help. Being exhausted does not have to be your status quo.
You don’t have to always ‘tough it out’…there is a better way!
Practical Ways to Restore Adrenal Balance
The wonderful thing about your hormones is they want to balance—be patient with this process, but trust in healing process.
Nutrients, targeted supplements and sleep is key! Since getting extra sleep most likely isn’t realistic during this season of motherhood, let’s focus on what we can add to boost your energy and restore adrenal balance.
When the body is in a weakened state of energy (adrenal fatigue), it requires more nutrients to keep up with the demands of stress.
Our body needs a wide variety of micro and macro nutrients for optimal wellness, especially postpartum. It’s easy to fall into a routine and eat the same meal over and over again, I get it…I’ve been there. Eating a variety of different foods, herbs and spices is how we get the widest plethora of bioavailable nutrients, meaning our body can assimilate and utilize them the best for replenishment, hormone balance and energy
Fats, in particular, should be a focus nutrient to rebuild energy postpartum—fats are a building block of cortisol which is needed to make energy and are essential to stabilize blood sugar.
Focus on simple, practical and nutrient dense bites to keep you fueled and nourished—a handful of nuts, whole-milk or coconut yogurt, apples + peanut butter, cheese + gluten free crackers, beef jerky, hardboiled eggs, avocado toast or olives.
A simple solution for busy moms is to add a quality fat source into your grab and go snack—for example, add a scoop of peanut butter with your banana rather than just having a banana.
Supplements play an essential role in adrenal balance during this season of sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Unless you are getting a solid 8-9 hours of sleep each night (and if you are that’s amazing, keep it up), we need to give the body a boost!
In my nutrition practice, I work with moms to determine the supplements that would be best for their unique needs and symptoms. There’s no one size fits all and creating a plan that’s best for you will help long term (and save you time and money).
In general, here are the top adrenal boosting supplements:
- Vitamin C: is used up more rapidly during seasons of stress, it’s important to restore
- Ashwagandha: a calming adaptogen, this helps your body respond to the negative effects of stress
- Magnesium: the anti-stress mineral, this is important for energy production and promotes deep sleep
- B complex vitamins: the B vitamins, in particular, B12 help with energy production
I also adore Majka’s Replenishing Powder—I’ve firsthand seen the difference it’s made in my postpartum replenishment and energy. Whenever I’m feeling down or exhausted, I quickly encourage myself to make my drink, and wow the difference I feel.
If you would give anything for a good and restorative night’s sleep, know that you are not alone! Longing for sleep doesn’t make you any less of a mother, it simply makes you a mom.
The best way to boost our energy and balance adrenal function is sleep, however that’s not always realistic!
Here’s a few practical ways to get sleep as a busy mom:
- Guard one nap each day for you: Afternoon naps at home are a non-negotiable for our family, most days. This means that I can either do something I need to do or take a much needed nap. Prioritizing this has been a long-term lifesaver.
- Power nap: 15 minutes can go a long way to refresh you.
- Take a magnesium bath: Soaking in a bath is an intentional moment of rest that calms your stress hormones and cortisol, leaving you feeling refreshed. Add a handful of magnesium flakes and a few drops of lavender. If you have more than 10 minutes, by all means, relax…but 10 minutes will do the trick!
Sleep takes a while to restore, so give yourself grace in this exhausting season. The baby steps matter!
How adrenal fatigue can change your perception of motherhood
Lack of energy, lack of passion, and focus can make it difficult to be present at the moment, to enjoy the moment. You may even start to resent your new role of motherhood.
If you feel this way, that’s ok—how YOU feel matters! Express those real emotions, don’t hold them in as that will only trap more stress and negativity in your body.
The exhaustion is real but you don’t have to tough it out! While getting more sleep in this season may not be in your control, it is in your control to get help and a plan for combating the exhaustion. Your unique symptoms are alerting you for a reason!
Restoring your energy matters long term
Oh mama, I’ve been in your shoes—exhausted, worn out, and at the end of my rope. Know that you aren’t alone in these feelings and that your unique symptoms matter—don’t ever let anyone make you feel silly or guilty for being tired.
Restoring energy takes time, it takes effort. This isn’t a quick fix or a bandaid solution. This is a process that will positively affect you for the rest of your life. And this process won’t just affect you—it will affect every aspect of your life. You see when you have energy, you can do what you love and need to do—your business, your emotions, your family, and your long-term health deserve this.
Start taking intentional steps today to restore your energy and adrenal balance—focus on restoring nutrients, supplements, and sleep. Each baby step matters—carve out a few moments each day to prioritize YOUR well-being and health.
Caroline Potter is a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (FNTP) and mama to 2 (soon to be 3) darling littles. She also navigates life with two auto-immune diseases, Type 1 Diabetes, and Hashimotos. Combining both her clinical and personal experiences, she seeks to empower women with relatable, personal, and clear resources to help pursue wellness in their homes and life. You can connect with Caroline on her website Flourish.