Postnatal Depletion


Megan Tantillo BSN, RN

It takes an incredible amount of resources to conceive, carry and deliver a baby. Consider the specific nutritional needs, the physical act of carrying a child, the hormonal shifts, energy dips, changing social and family dynamic.

Understandably, many women continue to struggle hormonally, nutritionally, and emotionally after birth. Postnatal depletion, a grouping of symptoms recognized by Dr. Oscar Serrallach, affects all aspects of a women’s life.


  • “tired but wired”

  • hypervigilant

  • overwhelmed

  • irritable

  • vulnerable

  • fatigue

  • low libido

  • anxiety

  • depression

  • insomnia

  • loss of skin elasticity

  • thinning hair

  • bruising

  • sensitivity to light/sound

What is postnatal depletion syndrome?

Postnatal depletion syndrome is a collection of symptoms describing a mother’s experience due to nutrient deficiencies, sleep deprivation, drastic change of a new mother’s role and social isolation.

How is it different than postpartum depression?

Although there are strong overlaps, postpartum depression is characterized by marked anhedonia, a state in which a person takes no pleasure or joy from a situation or experience that in the past would have provided pleasure or joy. This is dangerous and requires professional intervention.

Many women don’t fully recover from childbirth. In fact, it is possible to remain in a depleted state for years unknowingly.

Many suffer from ongoing lethargy, memory disturbances, poor energy levels, low libido, irritability among other symptoms without the proper support or treatment plan.


  • nutrition depletion

  • maternal brain changes

  • physical act of labor

  • blood loss

  • breastfeeding

  • sleep deprivation

  • skin and connective tissue damage

  • social isolation

  • stress

  • toxins (endogenous/exogenous)

  • inflammation

  • lack of support

  • change of familial role

Welcoming a new baby into the world is undoubtedly one of the most miraculous and exciting times for a family, however, it is essential to mom’s wellbeing her need to heal, replenish and acclimate to her new role is recognized and supported.

As a nurse health coach, I help my clients reclaim their health and vitality postpartum with a personalized 3-part care plan. Download the Postnatal Depletion Pamphlet for the protocol template I use to support my client’s recovery during the fourth trimester and beyond.

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Serrallach, O. (2018). The Postnatal Depletion Cure. New York, NY: Grand Central Life & Style.

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Megan Tantillo BSN, RN is the founder of Holistic Health Code, on a mission to provide accessible holistic care and education for all. Megan is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Nursing Practice with special interest in holistic and integrative medicine.


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