Hayley’s BLOG

Do you have Depleted Mother Syndrome?


As a Modern Mama, YOU are the most stressed out and depleted person in your family. You are statistically getting less sleep, less nutritious foods and work longer hours than your own mother did!

And besides the completely unhelpful advice of , “chin up darling, that’s just motherhood”, there’s very little support once you’re a few months post-partum.

I don’t know about you, but I feel that in between giving birth and reaching menopause, we fall completely off the radar!

Modern mamas are expected to ‘just get on with things’ – after all, this is what we asked for, wasn’t it? To be mothers, have successful careers, look amazing, have homes straight out of Vogue Living…

So all this time – undetected – there you are, beautiful Mama, being everything for everyone, constantly giving and trying desperately to hold it all together.

With all that constant giving, it’s no wonder so many mamas feel used up, overwhelmed and are struggling with their physical and emotional wellbeing.

So what IS ‘Depleted Mother Syndrome’ and how do you know if you have it?

While similar to something like Adrenal Exhaustion or even Chronic Fatigue, ‘Depleted Mother Syndrome’ (also known as ‘Post Natal Depletion’ or ‘Exhausted Mother Syndrome’) is unique to women who are mothers.

And here’s why – modern mothers are living in a fast-paced world, vastly different from when we were hunter gatherers raising a family with a whole tribe around us for support.

Any stress was generally short-lived, like a quick run from a ferocious beast or a brief period of hunger. Now, while I don’t want to portray the ‘noble savage’ and pretend that life back then was without it’s challenges (no clean water or wi-fi, for example), there’s an important message here:

Our physiology developed back then and even though our world has changed, our bodies haven’t. We just can’t handle the chronic stress, social isolation, nutrient-depleted foods, toxic chemical overload and general frantic pace of our modern lives.

As Modern mothers, we tend to go into pregnancy already under-nourished and with chronic stress levels. Pregnancy, breastfeeding and mothering an infant 24/7 further deplete our reserves.

And then what do we modern mamas do? We return to the workforce.

If you experience any number of these symptoms, even if your children are now up to 10 years old, then you may be post-natally depleted:
  • Feel fatigued and absolutely exhausted
  • Have become ‘hyper-vigilant’, where your radar is constantly on, so that when it’s finally time for bed, you find you have insomnia.
  • Feel emotionally fragile, overwhelmed and irritable most of the time – it’s kind of your ‘new normal’
  • Have anxiety or feel ‘tired yet wired’
  • Have foggy thinking or ‘baby brain’ even though the kids are no longer babies
  • Have lost your body confidence since becoming a mama – you just can’t shift the weight and it’s getting you down
  • Have low libido
  • Are always misplacing things like car keys and your wallet (but, to your credit, you’ve never yet misplaced the kids!)

Thing is, if we continue on like this, we WILL burn out eventually. I’ve seen it happen and it isn’t pretty. And it could even show up as a serious illness.

Research indicates that women with post-natal depletion have dangerously low levels of essential nutrients – which plays havoc on their hormonal, immune, digestive and nervous systems.

Did you know that motherhood increases a woman’s risk for:
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Thyroid disease
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Intensified PMS
  • Gallbladder and Kidney Disease
  • Some types of cancer

(list taken from the book, “Mother Nurture: A Mother’s Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships”)

Point Is: A modern mama’s body & mind needs urgent love and attention!

Now I know we can’t go back to being cave women, and most of us do need to return to the workplace after having our babies. If you’re anything like me, I actually love my work and my business, so I was always going to go back!

But we NEED to find a way to manage all of this and ensure that we don’t fall to pieces in the process.

No one wants to see Mama have a meltdown!

So, if you think that you may have ‘Depleted Mother Syndrome’… what can you do about it?

Firstly, you need to drastically increase your nutrient intake through nourishing wholefoods so that your depleted stores can start to replenish.

It is my belief (and in fact I have seen this to be 100% true in clinic, plus a whole lot of other experts agree with me) that nutrition is the single most important thing to address.

Everything else stems from there.

Supplements, prescribed professionally, may be necessary to kickstart things and get key nutrients into your body quickly. Nothing, however, can replace the benefits of eating a nourishing, wholefood diet.

Fats and proteins are especially important for depleted mamas. They help to balance blood sugar, hormones and energy and often are the missing piece to those struggling to lose weight post-baby.

Working out which body systems have been most affected is key to healing. It’s different for everyone… for example, it was my nervous system and HPA axis that took the biggest hit. For other Modern Mamas, it can be their blood sugar and metabolism, for others it’s their digestive health or their hormones.

Once we have a clear idea of where your body needs help the most, we can put together a PLAN to get you back to match fitness, pronto!

After Nutrition, there’s another form of nourishment that is SUPER ESSENTIAL to get yourself out of a depleted state.


It’s a total non-negotiable, especially for depleted mamas.

I plan to write more about Self-care and how to create life-long practices that ensure your soul is nourished and you reduce stress on a daily basis, so stay tuned!

If you feel you may be a Depleted Modern Mama, and its getting in the way of you showing up as your best self, then please reach out for my help.

There are many ways to work with me. Head here to find out more


Hayley x
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