Are you feeling The Mother Load? So is… ELISE CONTENT, 37
Motherhood is amazing, but pregnancy is taxing, in every sense of the word—I’m wiped out, and worry that I’ll never recover. I wish I’d had this the entire time.
It goes without saying that preparing to be a mom and becoming a mom are incredible experiences that stay with you…forever. But the territory also takes a physical toll—the process is inherently depleting from a nutrition perspective. And while a lot of focus goes toward making sure growing babies and littles have everything their developing systems needs, many moms suffer from nutritional deficiencies even several years post-birth. These gaps in nutrition can result in a frustrating malaise of symptoms—from lethargy to anxiety, sh*tty sleep, low libido, memory/concentration issues, and a weakened immune system.
Dr. Oscar Serrallach, the foremost expert on postnatal depletion (his first goop piece on the topic still resonates years later), is incredible at (compassionately) helping women reach their peak health post-pregnancy. We’re thinking of The Mother Load vitamin-supplement regimen as his special sauce—i.e. the extra support that new and not-so-new moms need to get back on their feet. (The bonus is that it’s the Rolls Royce of prenatal vitamins, too, so you should take it pre-conception and throughout pregnancy, as well.)shop this vitamin regimen
THE MOTHER LOAD FOOD PLAN
Food-wise, what Dr. Serrallach generally finds most important for recovering moms and moms-to-be is eating a low-inflammatory diet, given that pregnancy is inherently meant to be a controlled inflammatory state that you don’t want to overdo. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant, already there, or have kid(s) in tow, these nourishing guidelines work just as well.
Foods to eat:
- Rich, colorful, above-ground vegetables (peel nightshades such as peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes)
- In-season ripened fruit
- Moderate amounts of good quality animal products
- Liberally use health-regaining fats such as avocado, coconut, butter (or ghee), cacao butter, quality lards and duck fat, olive oil
- Fermented foods
- Ample amounts of water
Foods to avoid:
- Deep fried foods
- Grains, especially wheat (some gluten-free grains from time to time are okay)
- GMO foods
- A1 casein from cow’s dairy
GOOD RECIPES TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR ROUTINE
Chia/Acai Smoothie Bowl
Why choose between an antioxidant-packed acai bowl and a nutrient-dense chia pudding when you can have both?
Spring Veggie Scramble
As easy as it is elegant, this scramble is pretty much guaranteed to become a permanent addition to your breakfast/brunch repertoire.
This quick and easy hummus is a great base recipe, and you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen. It’s great as is, but feel free to dress it up.
Egg Drop Soup
Egg drop soup may seem like an odd breakfast, but this fortifying bone broth is actually the perfect thing to drink in the morning.
Lunch & Dinner
Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi Salad
This is a detox-friendly version of one of our favorites, a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich.
Five Spice Salmon Burgers
These Asian-infused salmon burgers are a new favorite around the office. If you’re not detoxing, make three large burgers and serve them on brioche buns.
MEET DR. OSCAR SERRALLACH
Oscar Serrallach graduated from Auckland School of Medicine in New Zealand in 1996. He specialized in general practice, family medicine, and did further training in functional medicine, working in a number of hospital and community-based jobs, as well as in an alternative community in Nimbin that exposed him to nutritional medicine, herbalism, and home birth. He has been working in the Byron Bay area of NSW, Australia since 2001, where he lives with his partner, Caroline, and their three children. Serrallach currently practices at the integrative medicine center, The Health Lodge, and his first book, Mothermorphosis, comes out in 2018 from goop Press.
Why he developed the protocol
Many mothers-to-be are already depleted leading up to conception and pregnancy time. The extra demands of being pregnant, having a baby, and breastfeeding—all of which have years-long lasting effects on the body—mean that moms require a lot of nutrients to recover and hit their stride again. This supplement regimen speeds up the process, while fixing any specific deficiencies that good food alone might not be able to right for women pre-conception and post-baby.Read More
REQUIRED READING WITH DR. SERRALLACH
Healing the Mother Wound
The mother wound, as Dr. Serrallach describes it, is both ancient and modern, entwined in Western patriarchy and also a thought—in other words, a learned behavior.
Consider this: If you’ve had a child within the last decade, you might still be suffering some consequences—lethargy, memory disturbances, and poor energy.
IS THE MOTHER LOAD PROTOCOL RIGHT FOR YOU?
If you are thinking about starting a family, this protocol is the right choice for you. If you are post-natal, and you answered yes to more than three questions, then it is also a good choice. If you answer yes to three or more questions on multiple protocols, we recommend choosing the one that addresses your most acute need. (Learn more about: Balls in the Air, High School Genes, Why Am I So Effing Tired?)
- Do you have children under the age of seven?
- Are you currently pregnant, or hoping to become pregnant in the next year? (If so, this is reason enough to take The Mother Load as a prenatal vitamin.*)
- Are either your concentration and/or short term memory not what they used to be?
- Do you feel easily overwhelmed and unable to keep up with everything?
- Do you have feelings of anxiousness that are out of context for what is actually going on?
- Do you not have enough energy to get through the day?
- Do you have cravings?
- Do you feel like your general system isn’t functioning properly, as evidenced by new or exaggerated symptoms of skin issues, digestive issues, weight issues, or fluid retention?
- Are you experiencing a lower than normal libido?
* Check with your OB/GYN.
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