It doesn’t take most women long after giving birth to understand why so many suffer from postnatal depression. As much as you might have prepared for motherhood, it’s easy to get overwhelmed as you try to navigate your new normal while dealing with the aftermath of what labour and delivery has done to your body and the inevitable lack of sleep. Most women wait too long before seeking help and many never get the help they truly need. Joanna Linton, founder of Rae’s Roots, took matters into her own hands and turned to adaptogens to help her deal with her postnatal depression.
We spoke with Linton to find out what drew her to adaptogens to help dig out why they might be right for other women as well.
The months following labour can be stressful.
“Stress causes your adrenal and hormones to be consistently inconsistent,” says Linton. “Your body is also producing milk, which is another factor in your body’s ever-changing state. Adaptogens can help balance your stress hormones for an overall healthier wellbeing.”
Adaptogens can also help combat fatigue, ease anxiety and help your body resist stress. “All of these things are common culprits during postnatal.”
Some adaptogens help reduce cortisol levels and boost sleep.
“Cortisol is the hormone the body produces when it experiences stress, which tends to be higher (understandably) in postnatal.” Linton specifically singles out ashwagandha and holy basil for helping deal with soaring cortisol levels. Holy basil in particular is one of her favourite postpartum-friendly adaptogens. “The baby blues are a natural, hormonal process, and holy basil has properties that can help stabilize the inevitable emotional roller coaster, while ashwagandha can be a gentler, natural option if mum is having trouble falling asleep after night nursing.”
Intrigued? Speak with your healthcare provider to find out more about adaptogens, whether they are appropriate for you and how to incorporate them into your postnatal journey.