How Your Postpartum Period Affects Milk Supply

How Your Postpartum Period Affects Milk Supply

For some breastfeeding mamas, menstruation can mean a drop in milk supply. Some mommies don’t experience a period at all while breastfeeding, and it all depends on the chemical and hormonal balance happening in your body.

If you are looking for The Postpartum Period Smoothie, scroll down for the recipe!

Breastfeeding can actually be a form of birth control, and can inhibit ovulation all together. Of course you shouldn’t depend on this 100 %, just like any other birth control, but it is a natural way to prevent pregnancy.

How to use breastfeeding as birth control

Exclusive breastfeeding, along with night feedings can inhibit ovulation in many women. In general, the more you breastfeed, the lower your estrogen levels. When estrogen drops very low, your body won’t menstruate. There has to be a certain level of estrogen in order to create ovulation, or have a healthy pregnancy, and your body knows this.

In order to decrease your estrogen, you need to increase your breastfeeding.

Pumping doesn’t quite do the job as well as nursing your baby, but you can also increase your pumping sessions too. Adding in night feedings is the easiest way to ensure you are breastfeeding enough to drop your estrogen low enough to prevent ovulation. Keeping baby close at night, and skin-to-skin as much as possible is also a great way to keep up the pheromones necessary to produce more milk.

Low estrogen levels are required for healthy breastfeeding. There are individual factors that come into play on what is considered “low” for your body. One mama might have much lower levels and still ovulate, while others will have higher levels and not have a period. In general, more breastfeeding means less estrogen.

What happens to your milk supply when your period comes?

Your body won’t have a period unless estrogen levels increased enough to support menstruation. When you get your period postpartum, your hormone levels are fluctuating, which can affect your milk supply temporarily. During ovulation is when your estrogen is the highest, so while this is happening, you may notice a drop in your supply. Higher levels of estrogen are necessary to release an egg.

Estrogen increases impact milk supply increased estrogen changes breasts and milk ducts.

Estrogen and progesterone stay increased during the Luteal phase, or 14 days after ovulation, which also cause changes in breasts and milk ducts. Depending on how your body reacts, these changes may slow down your lactation for a bit, as your body adjusts.

How to handle changes in milk supply during menstruation

If your period has returned postpartum, and continues to show up regularly, dealing with some ebs and flows in your milk supply might become a normal part of life. There are some simple ways to handle these changes, particularly at specific times of the month.

Pump more and increase milk supply right after your period:

Right after your period is when your estrogen is at its lowest. Make sure to take advantage of this time to pump more milk and increase your supply.

We have a lot of great ways you can increase your supply, written by our lactation consultant and nurse, as well as our Milk Dust, which can quickly help you jump back into breastfeeding and a larger supply.

As ovulation approaches, increase skin to skin contact:

As your estrogen slowly rises, make sure to increase skin-to-skin contact with baby, and add more feedings.

During ovulation and leading up to menstruation, use lactation boosters:

Lactation boosters like fenugreek, fennel seed, milk thistle, brewers yeast and other herbs and nutrients can all boost milk supply during this time.

Adding in more Milk Dust smoothies is an awesome way to nourish your body as well as boost your milk supply. Milk Dust has Red Raspberry Leaf, which is known to help balance hormones and increase hormonal health. This is such a great herb to take during this time, or all month to make the monthly transitions a bit smoother.

Try this hormone balancing smoothie during the PMS phase to encourage a happy mama and milk supply:

The Postpartum Period Smoothie

Balance those hormones with this delicious, nutrient-dense smoothie full of hormone balancing ingredients like Turmeric, Red Raspberry Leaf, L-Methylfolate and Vitamin B 12.
Prep Time5 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hormone balancing, lactation recipe, lactation shake, lactation smoothie
Servings: 1

Equipment

  • Blending

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop Milk Dust
  • 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower (or ice if you don't have)
  • 1/2 fresh avocado
  • 1-2 cups milk of choice, though cashew milk does well with this one Use milk according to desired texture and blend

Instructions

  • Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy!

Notes

This smoothie is particular great as a smoothie bowl, topped with some berries and nuts for added omegas and nutrients. Any berries will work for this recipe because they are all very beneficial for hormonal health. 

This smoothie offers key nutrients to help you balance your hormones and milk supply during menstruation.

Milk Dust offers hand-picked nutrients specifically for the postpartum and breastfeeding mamas. These nutrients, combined with a unique lactation-herb blend protect a mother’s milk supply combat sugar cravings, hormonal roller coasters and nutritional deficiencies.

What Is Postnatal Depletion?

What Is Postnatal Depletion?

The concept of postnatal depletion is gaining recognition surrounding postpartum health and wellness. Postnatal depletion is a very important topic that needs to be addressed for every new mama, especially if you breastfeeding. Because the concept of postnatal depletion is fairly new, we are going to go over what postnatal depletion is, and what specific nutrients to focus on to combat the effects.

What is Postnatal Depletion?

Postnatal depletion covers more than the nutrients a pregnant and postpartum mother has in her body. It also covers stress, fatigue and emotional stress. Pregnancy requires extra nutrients for a mother to produce and grow a new life. If a new mom doesn’t consume enough nutrients, they are taken from the mother to support the baby. Mother’s bodies are designed to put the growing baby first. Postnatal depletion is actually very normal, and the postpartum period is a time to replenish those nutrient stores. Postnatal depletion is the normal process of pregnancy and birth giving everything to the growing baby. Once the baby is born, a new mother needs to replenish and consume healing nutrients to recover, as well as breastfeed.

Dr. Oscar Serrallach from Australia brought the idea of Postnatal Depletion to main stream media through Goop. He states,

The placenta passes many nutrients to the growing baby during pregnancy, tapping into the mom’s “iron, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B9, iodine, and selenium stores—along with omega 3 fats like DHA and specific amino acids from proteins.” A mom’s brain has been shown to shrink during pregnancy as it supports the growth of the baby and is socially re-engineered for parenthood.

Goop

Postnatal Depletion Symptoms:

postnatal depletion

There are symptoms of postnatal depletion, but often times they go ignored. Many new mothers push through:

  • exhaustion
  • anxiety
  • difficulty breastfeeding
  • headaches
  • aches and pains
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • lack of focus

as a part of having a new baby. And yes, some of it is to be expected. In the beginning stages, the signs of depletion are normal, but should be helped as healing and replenishment occurs.

How to Treat Postnatal Depletion:

Treating postnatal depletion involves more than just diet and nutrients, but diet and nutrients are a big part of treatment. There are emotional and psychological aspects of rest and healing that need to be considered for new mothers as well.

Treating Postnatal Depletion Involves:

  • adequate psychological rest
  • physical rest
  • laughter and relaxation
  • walking and yoga
  • healing foods and nutrients

Postnatal Depletion Recovery Starts With Nutrition:

postnatal depletion and nutrition

Focusing on the proper nutrients postpartum is essential for healing and recovering from postnatal depletion. We have a full list of nutrients that are essential for breastfeeding mamas, and these nutrients are also essential for postpartum recovery. We actually have an ebook on the key nutrients you need for both pregnancy and lactation, which we highly suggest downloading and reading!

Here is a rundown of the nutrients you need to replenish postpartum:

  • Increased caloric demands around 500 calories
  • Vitamin C 115 mg/day
  • Chromium 44 μg/day (AI) 
  • Magnesium 360 mg/day 
  • Zinc 13 mg/day

These are the top nutrients a new mother can focus on to help combat postnatal depletion, and why we created Milk Dust.

How Milk Dust Helps Combat Postnatal Depletion:

Milk Dust does more than support a healthy milk supply and reduce sugar cravings. The main goal is actually much larger. Milk Dust aims to replenish depleted nutrient stores by offering the most important nutrients breastfeeding mamas need to thrive and heal. Because of the nutrient density of our protein powder, we can help diminish sugar cravings, which are often a result of missing vitamins and minerals. Milk Dust also increases your milk supply with a unique blend of herbs and ingredients that support lactation. Milk Dust is a protein powder, so it tastes best blended in a smoothie for a full meal replacement if needed. In addition, it is super easy to blend up and requires little prep and clean up. Exactly what a new mommy needs to help make life simpler.

What other foods help with postnatal depletion?

Some of the top foods to combat postnatal depletion include:

  • eggs
  • salmon
  • beans and legumes
  • yogurt
  • chia seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • nuts
  • chicken and turkey
  • spinach
  • berries

These foods are all very nutrient-dense, which means that you are mainly eating pure vitamins. No extra sugar, fat or processed ingredients. Milk Dust also offers some of these super foods like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, blueberries and spinach. Adding these foods to your diet daily will really help with healing and lactation postpartum.

Postpartum depletion isn’t a medical term – yet, but a state many mamas find them struggling through. Supplements like Milk Dust, combined with foods that nourish your body is the best way to tackle postnatal depletion from a nutrition stand point.

Postnatal depletion also includes exhaustion and fatigue. Of course that is to be expected with a new baby, and nourishment is the foundation of energy and emotional health.