Postnatal Depletion: Understanding It More So That We Can Prevent And End It.

Understanding Postnatal Depletion

Postnatal depletion (Serrallach), also referred to as Depleted Mother Syndrome (DMS) (Hanson, Hanson & Pollycove), postpartum nutritional depletion (Raffelock) or postpartum fatigue/exhaustion are a collection of health issues that mothers may experience after giving birth. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to: memory disturbances, difficulty concentrating, emotional fluctuations, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, joint issues, autoimmune and thyroid conditions, etc. This condition can arise from a combination of factors, but typically involves a lack of support to the mother, be it nutritional or physical.

I believe to end postnatal depletion we must first be clear about postnatal life and debunk some of the common myths about this precious time.

Debunking Common Myths about Postnatal Health:

One of the most common myths is that if a woman isn’t feeling well shortly after having a baby, it must be postpartum depression. While postpartum depression is an important health issue that must be addressed, it is not the only one. Watch video for more on this.


I believe in 3 keys to preventing postnatal depletion which I discuss in my book, A Taste Of Our Own Medicine. Watch introduction to book video below.

A Good Plan:

Having a good postnatal care plan can help to improve postnatal life and health which can help towards preventing postnatal depletion. Click here for Postnatal Care Checklist.


Even if you are not a new mother, postnatal care is still relevant to you. Watch video for more on the significance of postnatal care for different groups.

A key solution for ending postnatal depletion is support. This support is directly for the mother to help her be her healthiest and strongest, for herself, her family and her community. Support for partners and families is also important. Doulas can play an essential role in this support.

Stay tuned for more information as we work to end postnatal depletion one act a time,

Dr. Danett