Updated: Jan 11

You may have heard of maternal depression, but what about maternal depletion? Maternal depletion describes the condition where mothers are unable to recover nutritionally, hormonally, and emotionally after birth. 50% or more of postpartum women are suspected to have nutrient deficiencies that contribute to this condition.  

Pregnancy takes a significant toll on your body.

A mother’s folate, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B9, iron, iodine, selenium stores are used throughout pregnancy to provide the necessary nutrition for her growing baby (Serralach, 2018, King, 2003).

By the end of pregnancy, the placenta passes a whopping 7 grams of fat a day to the developing baby, which leads to the progressing depletion of a mother’s essential fat stores.

Studies have indicated a link between low omega-3 essential fatty acid levels and higher incidences of maternal depression (Hibbeln, 2002). As a result, mothers are left feeling exhausted, fatigued, and with what many call “mommy brain” or “baby brain,” which describes the forgetfulness, poor concentration, and general fogginess that is associated with the postpartum period. 

A mother with maternal depletion may experience any of these symptoms:

  • Exhaustion

  • Fatigue

  • Falling asleep without meaning to

  • Not feeling rested after sleeping

  • Brain fog

  • Loss of self-esteem

  • Loss of libido

  • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope

  • Feeling guilt or shame

What are the causes?

A combination of factors contribute to maternal depletion:

  • Short intervals between pregnancies (less than 6 months) that do not allow enough time for recovery from birth and lactation have been linked to an increase in the risk of negative outcomes for both mom and baby (King, 2003, Hibbeln, 2002).

  • Chronic sleep deprivation from caring for a newborn. Many women also do not have the necessary support to engage in self-care.

  • The trend in delaying starting families has associated health risks, including a higher incidence of multiples, which places more burden on the mother’s body. 

  • Nutrient-poor food. Research indicates that the mineral content in U.S. soil has been significantly depleted due to modern farming practices. That means the food we eat is not as nutritious as it was generations ago. 

  • Lack of support for postpartum women. Mothers often suffer silently from postpartum depression, anxiety, and isolation because of high societal expectations to “do it all.”

How long does it last?

The length of time that mothers experience maternal depletion largely depends on their ability to replenish their nutrient stores and support themselves in the postpartum period.

Research has indicated that it can take up to 18 months for the body to restore its nutrients after birth (King, 2003).

Unfortunately, if maternal depletion isn’t addressed and a new mom isn’t allowed to fully recover from the demands of pregnancy and birth, the aftereffects can last for years (sometimes up to 10 years!) after a baby is born (Serrallach, 2018). 

What should you do to recover from maternal depletion?

An important first step in recovery is replenishing the macro and micronutrients in your body through a conscious diet and supplementation. Having your doctor run blood tests to check your levels is a great way to determine which nutrients you are most deficient in, but the following are the most commonly deficient in postpartum women. Regaining these vital nutrients can help regain some of your energy.

  • Take a DHA supplement to help repair the nervous system and the brain, and to improve mood and cognitive function. Mother Nutrient has an Omega 3 DHA & EPA supplement that provides high levels of DHA and EPA, which can not only help a mother regain depleted stores but can also support her baby’s brain development. 

  • Take a high quality multivitamin. Mother Nutrient also offers a comprehensive Prenatal/Postnatal and Nursing Support supplement that contains 20 essential vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and other nutrients that are important for the mothers. Only active forms of vitamins are used, which means they are easily absorbed and gentle on the body. 

  • Up your intake of iron, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and vitamin D, all of which tend to decline during pregnancy. (Serrallach, 2018, King 2002)

The following are recommended food sources for these nutrients:

  • Support your gut microbiome. Your gut health is linked to many aspects of your health, including your brain health, immunity, and digestion. Taking probiotics to increase, heal, and diversify your gut microbiome will help you absorb and use nutrients better to regain your health. 

  • Improve sleep - Changing the number of hours of sleep may be challenging, especially when your baby is little, but you can shift your actions leading up to bedtime to optimize the quality of sleep you’re getting. Stay off screens, use low light, and create a calming environment that is dark and quiet. 

  • Get support - whether it’s through asking family or friends, hiring a babysitter, a house cleaner, a therapist, or a nutritionist to improve your emotional and physical well-being. You can’t have too much of it!

Mother Nutrient is here to be your support too.

We offer unique, holistic recommendations for lifestyle, diet, and supplements to improve your preconception, prenatal, and postpartum healing and self-care.

Start by taking our free Wellness Quiz to find out how we can help! You will get a customized nutrition report, as well as recommendations for specific supplements based on your results. Take the quiz here

Did you know about or experience maternal depletion? Share in the comments below!  


1. Serrallach, O. (2018). The Postnatal Depletion Cure: A Complete Guide to Rebuilding Your Health and Reclaiming Your Energy for Mothers of Newborns, Toddlers, and Young Children. New York, NY: Grand Central Publishing.

2. King, J. C. (2003). The Risk of Maternal Nutritional Depletion and Poor Outcomes Increases in Early or Closely Spaced Pregnancies. The Journal of Nutrition, 133(5). 

3. UNFPA(1989) State of World Population 1989. Investing in Women: The Focus of the Nineties. United Nations Population Fund.

4. Hibbeln, J.R. (2002). Seafood consumption, the DHA content of mothers' milk and prevalence rates of postpartum depression: a cross-national, ecological analysis. J Affect Disord., 69(1-3):15-29

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

We all know that nutrition plays an important role in our physical health, but did you know it is also crucial for our mental health? With the growth in depression rates especially in mothers, I get asked a lot: what can be done nutritionally to combat this?

While 80% of new mothers experience the “baby blues,” they typically go away within a few weeks without treatment, but if your negative feelings continue or intensify, you could have postpartum depression. This mental illness has been reported to affect 1 in 7 new mothers in the year after giving birth, but it can persist even after the first year, or develop into full blown depression. (1)

In fact, many mothers suffer with depression and / or anxiety beyond what’s considered the postpartum period. Feelings of depression are often exacerbated by the daily stresses and demands of being a mother with little time to devote to self-care and getting the help a mother desperately needs.

Natural support for depression

Depression is a mental illness and often requires medical treatment, but there are also many ways to help with your recovery through nutritional changes. At Mother Nutrient, we provide a range of products, including nutraceutical supplements and superfoods that are known to help with a variety of health issues related to motherhood, including (postpartum) depression and anxiety. Currently, common treatments for depression include talk therapy and pharmaceutical medications, but the following natural supplements have been shown to help with depression and are safe to use while breastfeeding.

1. Saffron extract - Saffron extract is made from the stigma of the saffron crocus flower, which has been traditionally used as a cooking spice and herbal medicine for over 4,000 years. Multiple studies have shown that supplementing with saffron significantly reduced symptoms of postpartum depression. In one double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, participants were given 15 mg of saffron twice a day for 8 weeks. This supplementation led to a 96% remission rate of mild postpartum depression, which was more than twice the rate of the control group (2). Another trial by Tabeshpour et al. demonstrated that giving participants 30 mg of saffron petal for 6 weeks led to a better antidepressant effect when compared to the placebo control (3). A meta-analysis that compared saffron supplementation with antidepressants also reported that saffron had a similar antidepressant efficacy without side effects, citing its “serotonergic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuro-endocrine and neuroprotective effects” (4). Studies have indicated that saffron extract is also an effective treatment to reduce anxiety and has been reported to reduce snacking and increase satiety, which may help those who struggle with emotional eating (5, 6).

2. Omega 3 DHA + EPA - Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in the health of both mothers and babies. Of the different forms of Omega-3s, DHA is known to be extremely important for brain function, accounting for 10 to 15% of the total fatty acids in our brains. Women typically become deficient in omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and the postpartum period because of the high demand on the mother to provide DHA to the growing fetus and infant, and it has been reported to take 6 months for these DHA stores to be replenished (7).

Several studies examined the relationship between omega-3 levels and depression and found that those with depression had significantly lower levels of EPA and DHA. Conversely, mothers who consumed more omega-3s (through high seafood consumption) had a lower prevalence of postpartum depression (8). Another 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled preliminary trial compared pregnant women with major depressive disorder who took omega-3 fatty acids with women who took placebos. After 6 weeks, women who took omega-3 fatty acids reported lower ratings for depressive symptoms, and higher remission rates compared to the placebo group (9).

Because of the benefits of taking omega-3s to improve your mood and cognitive function, in addition to the lack of sufficient levels in current Western diets, it is best to take an omega-3 supplement with high levels of DHA + EPA (I recommend 150 to 300 milligrams of DHA and 180 to 300 milligrams of EPA per day) to help support your depression.

3. Probiotics - It’s true, a healthy gut is linked to a healthy mood. Probiotics increase the amount of healthy microbiota in the gut, which positively alters the immune system and anti-inflammatory pathways to help with postpartum mental health issues. Long-term supplementation with probiotics has been shown to decrease sad mood, rumination, negative thoughts, and aggressive thoughts that are associated with depression and anxiety (10). A more recent study of 423 women in New Zealand observed the effect of giving a probiotic during pregnancy through 6 months postpartum (if breastfeeding) on postnatal mood (11). Mothers in the probiotic treatment group reported significantly lower scores for both depression and anxiety, as well as half the risk of developing clinically significant anxiety compared to those who took the placebo.

Mother Nutrient offers a Women's Probiotic made up of a high-strength 40 billion CFU blend of 4 probiotic strains that are designed to help improve the gut bacteria and boost your mood.

4. Vitamin D - Vitamin D has been shown to have profound effects on the brain. Studies have linked low levels of vitamin D in the blood with symptoms of depression (12, 13). In fact, most of the US population is deficient in this key nutrient, so supplementation is important, especially for mothers. While the average prenatal multivitamin offers only 400 IU of vitamin D3, the recommended dose for nursing mothers is 6,400 IU of vitamin D3 in order for sufficient levels to reach their baby.

Mother Nutrient’s liquid Vitamin D3 is combined with MCT (coconut) oil for easy absorption (vitamin D is fat-soluble), and the D3+K2 capsules include vitamin K2 to enhance benefits of vitamin D. Both have the preferred form D3 form and have a high potency of 5,000 IU.

5. Zinc - Zinc is a trace element that plays an important role in over 300 biological processes in our bodies, including cellular function, immune health, and digestive health. Studies have explored the relationship between zinc levels and depression, and many have demonstrated that depressed individuals (and those with high depression severity scores) had reduced serum zinc levels compared to healthy controls (one study found levels to be 1.85 umol/L lower) (14, 15). There is a lot of evidence through numerous randomized controlled trials that zinc supplementation is an effective adjunctive therapy to improve mood for depressed individuals, even in cases of those who resist treatment (16-20). To determine if you have a zinc deficiency, it’s best to have your plasma zinc level tested (below 15 umol/L indicates insufficiency), and have your doctor repeat blood tests regularly to assess improvements in zinc levels.

It’s okay to ask for help.

If you think you have depression or anxiety, it’s important to seek the help that you need. We understand the challenges of caring for yourself when you have a baby and other children who need you, but it becomes even more important that you take care of yourself so that you have the ability to care for others and form a positive bond with your child. But you don’t have to (and shouldn’t!) struggle alone, because you are not alone. Talk to a family member, a friend, be honest with your doctor, and consult with a therapist.

Mother Nutrient is here to support all mothers through holistic nutrition. You can read more about other nutritional recommendations to help postpartum depression in our post “10 Diet Recommendations For Postpartum Depression.

Sign up for our newsletter on our homepage to get promotions, discounts, and access to awesome nutrition tips and recommendations.

We also offer a free wellness quiz to help you determine where you stand on a variety of health dimensions including energy level, nutrient deficiency, and emotional wellbeing.

It takes less than 5 minutes, and you get targeted diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations along with your customized nutrition report based on your results!

If you know a mama who can benefit from this post, share by clicking next to the title!

Content found on this website is not considered medical advice. Please consult with a physician before making any medical or lifestyle changes.


1. Postpartum Depression Facts [Internet]. National Institute of Mental Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; [cited 2019May16]. Available from:

2. Tabeshpour J, Sobhani F, Sadjadi SA, Hosseinzadeh H, Mohajeri SA, Rajabi O, et al. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of saffron stigma (Crocus sativus L.) in mothers suffering from mild-to-moderate postpartum depression. Phytomedicine. 2017;36:145–52.

3. Moshiri E, Basti AA, Noorbala A-A, Jamshidi A-H, Abbasi SH, Akhondzadeh S. Crocus sativus L. (petal) in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression: A double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2006;13:607–11.

4. Lopresti AL, Drummond PD. Saffron (Crocus sativus) for depression: a systematic review of clinical studies and examination of underlying antidepressant mechanisms of action. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. 2014;29:517–27.

5. Mazidi M, Shemshian M, Mousavi SH, Norouzy A, Kermani T, Moghiman T, Sadeghi A, Mokhber N, Ghayour-Mobarhan M, Ferns GAA. A double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in the treatment of anxiety and depression. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. 2016;13.

6. Gout B. Bourges C. Paineau-Dubreuil S. Satiereal, a Crocus sativus L. extract, reduces snacking and increases satiety in a randomized placebo-controlled study of mildly overweight, healthy women. Nutr. Res. 2010;30:305–313.

7. Al MDM, Houwelingen ACV, Kester AD, Hasaart TH, Jong AEPD, Hornstra G. Maternal essential fatty acid patterns during normal pregnancy and their relationship to the neonatal essential fatty acid status. British Journal of Nutrition. 1995;74:55–68.

8. Hibbeln JR. Seafood consumption, the DHA content of mothers’ milk and prevalence rates of postpartum depression: a cross-national, ecological analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2002;69:15–29.

9. Su K-P, Huang S-Y, Chiu C-C, Shen WW. Omega-3 fatty acids in major depressive disorder A preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. European Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003;14:173.

10. Steenbergen L, Sellaro R, Hemert SV, Bosch JA, Colzato LS. A randomized controlled trial to test the effect of multispecies probiotics on cognitive reactivity to sad mood. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2015;48:258–64.

11. Slykerman R, Hood F, Wickens K, Thompson J, Barthow C, Murphy R, et al. Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 in Pregnancy on Postpartum Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety: A Randomised Double-blind Placebo-controlled Trial. EBioMedicine. 2017;24:159–65.

12. Wilkins CH, Sheline YI, Roe CM, Birge SJ, Morris JC. Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated With Low Mood and Worse Cognitive Performance in Older Adults. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 2006;14:1032–40.

13. Anglin, R.E., Samaan, Z., Walter, S.Det al., Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Psychiatry, 2013. 202: p. 100-7.

14. Swardfager W, Herrmann N, Mazereeuw G, Goldberger K, Harimoto T, Lanctôt KL. Zinc in Depression: A Meta-Analysis. Biological Psychiatry. 2013;74:872–8.

15. Swardfager W, Herrmann N, Mazereeuw G, Lanctôt KL. Reply to: Serum Zinc and the Risk of Depression in Men: Observations from a 20-Year Follow-up Study. Biological Psychiatry. 2015;77.

16. Nowak G., Siwek M., Dudek D., Zieba A., Pilc A. Effect of zinc supplementation on antidepressant therapy in unipolar depression: a preliminary placebo-controlled study. Pol. J. Pharmacol. 2003;55:1143–1117.

17. Siwek M, Dudek D, Paul IA, Sowa-Kućma M, Zięba A, Popik P, Pilc A, Nowak G. Zinc supplementation augments efficacy of imipramine in treatment resistant patients: A double blind, placebo-controlled study. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2009;118:187–95.

18. Sawada T, Yokoi K. Effect of zinc supplementation on mood states in young women: a pilot study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010;64:331–3.

19. Lai J, Moxey A, Nowak G, Vashum K, Bailey K, Mcevoy M. The efficacy of zinc supplementation in depression: Systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2012;136.

20. Ranjbar E, Shams J, Sabetkasaei M, M-Shirazi M, Rashidkhani B, Mostafavi A, Bornak E, Nasrollahzadeh J. Effects of zinc supplementation on efficacy of antidepressant therapy, inflammatory cytokines, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in patients with major depression. Nutritional Neuroscience. 2013;17:65–71.

Updated: May 13, 2020

While many people view gestational diabetes (GD) or high blood sugar during pregnancy as a temporary condition, in reality it can have a lasting impact in women's health. Gestational diabetes recurrence is very common, affecting up to 73% of women in subsequent pregnancies. Also, almost half of all women with gestational diabetes that goes away after birth eventually develop permanent diabetes later in life, with much of it occurring within the first 10 years.

Therefore, the postpartum period is a crucial time to address blood sugar imbalances and establish a healthy diet and lifestyle, to avoid complications down the road.

Blood glucose metabolism during pregnancy

To understand why women are more vulnerable to blood sugar increases during pregnancy and postpartum, we need to know that blood glucose metabolism dramatically changes during pregnancy. A woman’s body becomes more insulin resistant and blood glucose rises particularly in the second half of pregnancy because higher levels of glucose are needed for the development of a healthy fetus. For most of human history, sugar was scarce, and as a result, mothers developed insulin resistance so that the little sugar they ate didn’t get consumed only by the mother’s cells, but stayed in the blood and could reach the placenta to feed the fetus. To keep more glucose in the bloodstream, the placenta secretes hormones and enzymes that counteract, reduce or destroy insulin. The mother’s pancreas then creates more and more insulin which results in a 3-fold increase in maternal insulin secretion by the time the mother gives birth.(1)

Flooded with so much insulin, insulin receptors become insulin resistant, and thus keep glucose at higher levels in the blood, so the glucose can reach the baby via the placenta. This is not a pretty picture nowadays- when most women eat plenty of carbohydrates and sugary foods - resulting in even higher levels of insulin and more insulin resistance, ultimately pushing women into gestational diabetes. In other words, pregnancy is not an ideal time to indulge in sweets and carbohydrate-rich foods, given that a woman’s body is already in an insulin resistant state. (1,2)

The consequences of sustained high blood sugar affect both mother and baby during pregnancy, and can continue to affect the mother postpartum.

The good news is, in more than 85% of cases, blood sugar can be controlled by diet and lifestyle changes. The best protection against diabetes is a diet of low refined carbohydrates, adequate animal protein and rich in healthy fats along with moderate exercise, stress reduction and adequate sleep, all of which work together to keep blood sugar stable. (2)

"The three best ways to manage high blood sugar are diet, exercise and stress reduction."

1. Diet. Food is the most important part in controlling blood sugar levels. (3,4)

  • Eliminate refined carbohydrates and processed foods, such as cereal, cookies, pasta, sodas, fruit juices, jams, jellies, white bread, chocolate, etc

  • Avoid “fast food”, and packaged, convenience foods such as instant noodles, canned soups, frozen meals and energy bars, most of these are laden with sugar.

  • Read labels and avoid foods that contain added sugar: high fructose corn syrup, molasses, honey, brown sugar and sugar alcohols like sorbitol and mannitol

  • Consume more healthy fats, in particular cod liver oil, egg yolks, grass fed butter, lard and seafood like shrimp and fish eggs, which are also high in vitamin D.

  • Choose foods that are high in fiber as it slows down the release of glucose to the blood. Good sources include flaxseeds, chia seeds, avocados, jicama and nuts.

  • Include a good source of protein and fat in every meal and snack. Grass fed and free range meats are best.

  • Follow a regular eating schedule, trying to eat at the same time every meal and keeping meals the same size


  • Nourishing Fats: Fats are of particular importance to balance blood sugar, because they do not mobilize insulin or affect blood sugar levels. When eaten in combination with carbs and proteins, they help to slow down digestion and the release of glucose into the blood stream. Monounsaturated and some saturated fatty acids confer the greatest benefits on glucose stabilization. Excess omega-6 fats from poly-unsaturated oils (vegetable oils) can be very damaging to both glucose and lipid metabolism, due to increased inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in particular provide protection from diabetes and heart disease. In a study of Eskimos, they improved insulin sensitivity in 70% of subjects. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) found in olive oil and avocados, are very effective in preventing diabetes as they also improve glycemic control.

Food sources: Fats from pastured meats or rendered fat (lard, schmalz, tallow, etc) dairy fats (butter, cream, yogurt) egg yolks, ghee, coconut and olive oil.

Omega 3 sources: fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon, trout and eel. Avoid foods rich in inflammatory omega-6 fatty like corn, soy, canola, safflower, peanut, and sunflower oil.

Supplementation: A balanced ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is 3:1. In addition to recommending several helpings of omega 3 rich foods weekly (see above), you can take a daily concentrated fish oil supplement, with at least 1,000 milligrams of omega 3's including EPA and DHA. Mother Nutrient's Omega 3 DHA + EPA includes 1,200 mg.

  • Vitamin D. This vitamin is vital for insulin production. Requirements for vitamin D are increased during pregnancy and lactation, as vitamin D plays an important role in the development of the baby's brain and skeletal structure. Therefore, if the mother’s intake is inadequate, pancreatic function (insulin production) may be sacrificed to the needs of the growing baby. A study showed that the majority of mothers with gestational diabetes had a vitamin D deficiency when tested following pregnancy.(5) Another study showed that vitamin D deficiency correlates with gestational diabetes and heightened the risk for the future development of diabetes. (6)

Food Sources: Vitamin D rich foods include oily fish like eel, sardines, herring, and salmon. Cod liver oil, pastured beef, chicken liver, egg yolks, and butter are good sources as well. Animal forms are the best sources since these animals have already gone through the vitamin D creation process themselves. Plants are low in vitamin D, but the best plant sources are dark leafy greens like kale, chard, spinach, beet greens, turnip greens, and collard greens.

Supplementation. The ideal way to optimize vitamin D levels is by getting regular sun exposure. It is estimated, however, that up to 75% of adults are vitamin D deficient, therefore supplementation is recommended to achieve a level of 40-60 ng/mL. Vitamin D3 is found as a supplement in capsules, tablet and liquid form. Make sure you choose a vitamin D3 supplement as opposed to D2. D2 is a controversial form of vitamin D that is added to commercial milk, processed foods, and most multi-vitamins. D2 is not as active as D3 and some say it even causes adverse effects. Mother Nutrient's Vitamin D3 comes in liquid form and contains MCT oil (derived from coconut oil) since Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is better absorbed when you consume it with fat. (6,7,8)

  • Fiber. Soluble fiber helps to slow the body's breakdown of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar, helping with blood sugar control. In a recent study conducted by researchers at the Imperial College London, those who had the highest intake of fiber (more than 26 grams a day) had an 18 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest intake (less than 19 grams a day). Another way in which fiber helps blood sugar regulation is through prebiotics, which help nourish beneficial bacteria in the gut. Inulin, a prebiotic fiber found in onions, leeks, and garlic (among many other foods), has also shown particular promise for type 2 diabetes. Women with type 2 diabetes who consumed 10 grams of inulin a day for two months had improvements in glycemic control and antioxidant levels. It's thought that inulin may work to improve diabetes by improving gut microflora or due to a direct antioxidant effect. It is recommended to consume 20-50 grams of fiber per day.

Food Sources: Highest sources of soluble and insoluble fiber: Chia seeds, berries, brassica vegetables (broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage), cauliflower, flax seeds, root vegetables and tubers (sweet potato, onions, beets, etc), avocados.

Prebiotic fiber: Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, chicory root, dandelion greens, garlic, leeks, onions

Supplementation: Fiber is more effective when consumed from foods, as opposed to supplement powders. If you need to take a supplement, supplements from foods are best: glucomannan (from konjac root), psyllium, guar gum, defatted fenugreek seed powder, seaweed fibers (alginate and carrageenan), ground flaxseed and pectin. Glucomannan lowers postprandial glucose by 20%, insulin secretion by 40% and produces whole-body insulin sensitivity index improvement of 50%, which is unequaled by any drug or natural product. (8,9)

2. Exercise.

Exercise helps cells become more sensitive to insulin, helping them overcome insulin resistance.

This is why exercise is key in treating diabetes; it helps to control blood sugar by burning glucose. Check with your doctor if you are ready to start an exercise program. When you are ready start with gentle forms of exercise like walking, yoga or low-intensity swimming. Exercising a few times a week, even if only for 30 minutes can be benefial. It is better to exercise a little every day than to have longer sessions once a week.

3. Sleep and stress reduction. Stress hormones induce blood sugar production.

There are only two instances when insulin springs into action. The first is when we eat carbohydrates and the second is when our body senses stress. The stress hormone adrenaline helps the body produce more blood sugar to fuel action, which insulin can then move into the cells. Another stress hormone, cortisol, then blocks the effects of insulin, leaving blood sugar high. When the stress response is chronic, this will lead to chronically elevated blood sugar.

Therefore, reducing stress is an important part of blood sugar regulation.

Yoga, meditation and Qui Gong and very good ways to reduce stress and are gentle enough for postpartum women to participate in. Sleeping is another way to reduce stress and therefore insulin. The stress hormone cortisol is elevated during the day; it peaks in the morning and steadily goes down during the day and tapers off at night when we go to sleep. This is why sleep is key! The longer we stay awake, the longer cortisol is elevated and the longer insulin is produced. Good sleep is recommended to be at least 8 hours. Managing stress and sleeping adequately will help keep your blood sugar under control.(9,10)

We can help!

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We also offer a free wellness quiz that will create a customized nutrition report complete with diet, lifestyle, and supplementation recommendations.

Was this article helpful? Please share with someone you think might benefit from this information.

Content found on this website is not considered medical advice. Please consult with a physician before making any medical or lifestyle changes.


1. Kresser, 2015. Nutrition for fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

2. Evans, Aronson, 2005. The Whole Pregnancy Handbook: An obstetrician's guide to integrating conventional and alternative medicine before, during and after pregnancy. Gotham Books, Penguin Group New York 2005

3. Jovanovic-Peterson, 1994. Alternative to insulin therapy: diet and physical exercise. Journ Annu Diabetol Dieu. 1997:95-124.

4. Fallon Morell & Cowan, 2005 . The Nourishing Traditions book of Baby & Child care. New Trends Publishing, Inc Washington DC 2013

5. Nichols, Lily, 2018. Real Food for Pregnancy. The science and wisdom of optimal prenatal nutrition.

6. Shin, Choi, Longtine & Nelson, 2010. Vitamin D effects on pregnancy and the placenta.

Placenta. 2010 Dec; 31 (12): 1027-34. Epub 2010 Sep 22. PMID 20863562

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, CHA University School of Medicine, Seul, Republic of Korea

7. Yeow, Lim, Hor, Khir, Mohamud & Pacini, 2015. Impact of Vitamin D Replacement on Markers of Glucose Metabolism and Cardio-Metabolic Risk in Women with Former Gestational Diabetes – A Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS One. 2015; 10(6): e0129017. Epub 2015 Jun 9. PMID: 26057782

8. Mercola, 2015. More Evidence That a High-Fiber Diet Can Curb Type 2 Diabetes June 2015

9. Pizzorno, Murray and Joiner-Bey, 2008. The Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Medicine. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, St. Louis Missouri

10. Wiley, Formby, 2001. Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival. Atria Books.

Content found on this website is not considered medical advice. Please consult with a physician before making any medical or lifestyle changes.

© 2020 Mother Nutrient

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