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Episode 60: How Nutrition Impacts Postpartum & Lactation Hormones with Alison Boden, RD

, , November 12, 2021

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Jacqueline Kincer  0:03

Welcome back to Breastfeeding Talk: Milk, Motherhood, Mindset. I’m Jacqueline Kincer. And I am here today with Alison Bowden. And she is a registered dietician specializing in women’s health. So excited to have her on today. Because she’s the founder of Motherwell, nutrition, which was formerly called nourishing radiance. I love both names. And she helps moms replenish their bodies, balance hormones, feel good again, after kids all of my favorite things. She’s also a mom of two young boys. And she totally understands that feeding yourself well can be difficult after becoming a mother. And we’re going to talk about just some strategies, techniques, things that work in the real world and just talking about postpartum. And I don’t want to spoil it because I just want to dive in because I could just keep talking about Alison and how amazing she is. But welcome to the show. Thanks for being here. Thank


Alison Boden  1:33

you so much for having me. I’ve been so excited to finally chat with you after a long summer. Oh, and her son originally met. And thank you for having me. And I can’t wait to dive into all things postpartum nutrition. I could talk about this all day long if you let


Jacqueline Kincer  1:47

  1. Oh, absolutely. You know, I think it’s one of the biggest questions that I get just as a lactation consultant, or social media. And, you know, sometimes it’s, it’s, I love doing this episode with you, because I don’t always have time or chance to really dive deep, unless we’re working on food intolerances or something, right? And I’ll say, Well, you know, moms are like, Oh, is there anything I should eat or not eat? I’m like, just have a good diet, eat whole foods, you know, like, because I just, I just don’t have the time. But, you know, like, you know, it affects hormones and energy levels and so many things. And I think there’s a lot of maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like there’s a lot of concern about diet during pregnancy and then postpartum it’s like, oh, I can eat the things again. Yeah, it’s not that you can’t eat the things whatever that is for you. Donuts. Mercury filled fish. I don’t know, when should eat that’s not heated in the microwave. But sushi? You know, I don’t know. But um, yeah, there’s just so many misconceptions. And then also not even that I feel like it’s just just kind of a lack of good education and awareness. So I’m happy you’re here to chat about that with


Alison Boden  2:55

me too. And I completely agree with you that there’s so much attention in pregnancy, what’s an E, obviously, what not to eat, like you just mentioned all the things that that we crave postpartum and during pregnancy, but then they miss out. And Ghost Town, nobody’s talking about nutrition. I mean, the usually the only discussion around nutrition for postpartum is weight loss, and food intolerances for a nursing baby that might be having issues like, like you mentioned, and I really think that this lack of discussion on what postpartum nutrition is, and what our needs are, is one of the biggest gaps in health care, because it’s actually an extremely vulnerable time for Women’s Health. And I really think that the missing link is primarily nutrition, we get so many nutrient depletions from pregnancy and birth and nursing as well, that we become extremely depleted. And when we’re not, you know, given the education around what to do, and how to feed ourselves to kind of come out of that, you know, depleted hole. And then we’re also not not really allowed the space to rest and renourish ourselves, we really get this perfect storm of, of many of the symptoms that a lot of women complain about in postpartum that can drag on for years is really a combination of what I think of a perfect storm of nutrition, nutrient depletions and hormone changes in postpartum so when we work, targeted for that and eat in a way that’s appropriate for postpartum and work on our hormones. A lot of of the symptoms can can get better or completely disappear and I’m talking about like exhaustion, insomnia, brain fog, sustained hair loss. To a certain extent anxiety and and mood disorders are strongly linked to both nutrition and hormone changes. as well, obviously, they’re dynamic and multi multifaceted there as well. And hormone changes, like night sweats and stress and tolerance and issues with, with their cycle, your period. And and all of those things, so many of them are related to nutrition. So happy to have this platform today to chat about it and give you guys listening some tips on what to do about it.


Jacqueline Kincer  5:27

Yeah, oh, my gosh. And you just mentioned like all the things that anybody would want to know about. And I think about just what I experienced you and Oh, my goodness. Well, let’s talk about let’s talk about brain fog, because I feel like there’s just a billion memes out there, you know, about Mom Brain. And totally like, you know, depending on how your birth went, and the baby’s up all the time at night, like, yeah, sleep deprivation is definitely going to create some of that. But how does diet play a role with that, too, because I feel like, you know, you’re like 11 months postpartum and still talking about Mom Brain? Ah, I don’t know if that is like, really where things should be out for you.


Alison Boden  6:05

Right, exactly. You know, there’s a lot of things going on with with brain fog. You know, first, there’s just the evolutionary, you know, remodeling that happens during pregnancy, which you may have heard about before, there is actual changes to the brain matter to save space for learning how to mother and how to how to take care of your child. So there actually is physical brain remodeling. And that’s part of kind of like pregnancy brain, a Mom Brain. So that is part of it. And you know, there’s for a lot of these postpartum symptoms that I mentioned, there is some expected range of normal and then there’s things that get more severe when we’re looking at is this normal? Is this not we’re looking at severity and how long this is lasting, you know, if we’re like, a few years out postpartum, and you still feel like you’re thinking through mud, word finding is really difficult. You know, we’re, we’re having an issue there. When you’re in the newborn stage, and having some some brain fog and you’re not sleeping and you’re still healing from birth, that’s more expected, right. But when we’re looking at something like cognition and mental health, what we’re looking at is this from a few different angles. One, what’s going on nutrient wise, we know that there’s several different nutrient deficiencies that show up as cognitive problems, trouble thinking, trouble word finding, and B 12 comes to mind omega, three fats come to mind, an iron deficiency. And all three of those are really common postpartum deficiencies. So that’s something that we want to get checked out. See if we increase stamina, salmon, and fatty fish, take fish oil, increase, like egg yolks, and things like that for B 12, increase lean, lean red meats for iron and maybe get some of those tested. That’s definitely something that that we see with brain fog. And then we have a hormonal connection with with brain fog. We, you’ve heard of cortisol, the stress hormone. And we, a lot of times think of stress as the typical kind of like, emotional mental stress, right? Like I’m stressed out, but your body can also be under stress. And that can have the same relationship to feeling really stressed out and being in kind of a really stressful time or like a crisis. And so, if our cortisol is bouncing really high, really low due to lack of sleep, due to you know, this, this crazy road of motherhood and learning how to care for a new human, all of all of that is definitely really stressful. You know, not even to mention pandemic, pandemic parenting, right. And then if we also have the stress of as irregular blood sugar, not eating full enough balanced enough meals, not not eating all of the right macronutrients and the right balance, in addition to nutrient deficiencies, were going to have cortisol that’s just all over the place, sometimes too high, sometimes too low. And that a lot of times contributes to to brain fog type type symptoms. And so again, it’s kind of it can be a lot of the perfect storm of like, part of it is just the the normal wave of what happens during pregnancy and postpartum and we have like a range of normal there. And then it’s further exacerbated by things like nutrient deficiencies and and the hormone changes. No, it’s Yeah, faceted for sure. And not necessarily like Oh, brain fog, is this nutrient, like take that and then you’re gonna be fine. But it’s definitely there’s there’s this again, kind of like perfect storm of a few things happening at the same time. And when we address all of them, things usually get better.


Jacqueline Kincer  9:49

Absolutely. Oh, goodness. I love that. You talk about that, you know, kind of, you know, there’s so many different factors that go into it. And also I like what you said about You know, some of this is actually to be expected some of this is normal, right? So, you know, one of the things that just irks me so much about a lot of people in the wellness community is this like purism about things like, Oh, if you have any brain fog whatsoever, you need my product or my course or whatever, because that’s not normal. And it’s like, I don’t know, do you live in the real world man, like driving in traffic could just, you know, spike your cortisol? Or do you know, we don’t all get to live in our, like, fancy beach house and and work from home? Okay. So I just that kind of stuff really irks me when people you know, just are constantly like, do you have brain fog? Try this, you know, it’s like, well, I just had a baby two weeks ago, I mean, like, and then that just adds to the anxiety where moms are like, should I be taking this? What do you recommend? What vitamins? What’s the you know? And you’re just like, Why do you have a cabinet full of supplements? Like, just chill? Okay, first of all, it’s focused on,


Alison Boden  10:57

eat some food, rest, and then googling every symptom? Well, and I feel kind of the same way, you know, my background as a registered dietician. And I also have additional training in functional medicine, functional nutrition. And in, in the functional world, we talk a lot about root causes, what’s the root of this? What’s the root of that, and I and I truly believe that that is where healthcare is, is going and what what we need to be doing, especially for a lot of like chronic diseases. But at the same time, we can get a little BandAid care to, you know, I was just talking to a patient about this today. It’s like, yeah, we want to work at the roots of what’s going on. But if there’s, if there’s something that we can do in the meantime, that helps you feel better, quicker, we can do that, too. You know, yes, I want you getting feeling good as quickly as possible, while we kind of like dig and uncover what what the roots may be for one particular issue. So we can involve such a good point at the same time. Yeah,


Jacqueline Kincer  11:57

I’ve def, I’ve definitely seen people who allow themselves to continue to be in a state of suffering, because they only want to chase the root cause. So that’s also a good point. I mean, there’s just there’s extremes on both sides, you know, and I’m like, Whoa, like, you don’t have suffer like that, you know, I worked with a client, you know, probably, you know, I feel like there was a lot of crossover in our work, right, where the baby just had very severe eczema. And obviously, it’s just a gut issue. And I was like, Look, at this point, though, it’s so inflamed, and his poor little body just doesn’t really know how to handle this. So you’re doing all the right things, things take time. And like, honestly, I really would go back to the pediatrician and get a steroid ointment, it’s not something we’re gonna use long term. But we’ve got to stop this, like overload that his body’s going through and comment down, and that’s gonna do it. And she was like, I really don’t want to use stuff like that. And like, I know, you don’t, but I’m like, the oatmeal baths and whatever, it’s all not working and, or you’re seeing very, very slow progress. And sure enough, within a few days, you know, that was able to get things calmed down and like, and now you’re now his body can better respond to all the other things you’re doing. So just to share an example for people like that’s what you’re talking about, you know, like, we can use band aids while we do the root cause stuff. Yeah, exactly. Another great example is, if I have a really bad headache, I’m taking 600 milligrams of ibuprofen, right?


Alison Boden  13:20

I’m getting a headache every single day. I’m finding out what what the root of that might be. Or if it shows up cyclically, every time before my period, you know, it’s related to hormones, or you know, myself or my patients, right. But like, in the moment, you can just get even get rid of your headache. Yeah. And at the same time, we can work on preventing a or reducing the severity reducing the frequency, right, so they can coexist at the same time.


Jacqueline Kincer  13:49

Oh, I love that. I love that. Well, yeah. It’s such a good point. Because yeah, there’s you don’t need to needlessly suffer in the name of trying to do things naturally. So I hope that more people hear that. And I think more people are listening to that. I love that. You also mentioned hair loss. Let’s talk about that for a moment. You know, what’s normal? What’s not? Because I mean, yeah, I feel like there’s just a lot of a lot of controversy, a lot of fear. And I think it would be great to have you just chat about that.


Alison Boden  14:22

Yeah, hair loss is super distressing. It feels in the moment when you are in the shower, pulling out that clump of hair, sticking it on the shelf, and well, you know that if I’m the only one that does that weird thing


Jacqueline Kincer  14:37

that I do it, okay.


Alison Boden  14:40

It’s super distressing. It feels like all your hair’s falling out. Right. And this is another perfect example of there’s normal, and then there’s a severity and a longevity of it that we consider not normal. And so typical postpartum shedding happens around four Months, it’s related to you the hair follicle life, and you don’t lose as much hair during pregnancy. That’s part of like, why your hair looks so good during pregnancy, not everybody. But you know, it’s why a lot of people notice that their hair is getting fuller in pregnancy, because we aren’t losing those hairs average is about losing about 100 hairs a day. And so I four months postpartum, the, the lifecycle of the hair follicle then then shifts and it’s in more losing stage. And so in general, we say you’re not actually like losing a net amount of hair, or at least the range of normals, where you’re not really losing a net amount of hair that that’s greater than before you started the pregnancy, it’s just catch up loss. And the again, the range of normal here is definitely to experience a shedding a more than average loss of hair. Around four months, they usually sit somewhere between three and six months postpartum, it peaks and then it slows down. That’s considered normal. Now, it’s, I often see it’s contained more to like the front of the hair, and things that we want to look out for, we want to make sure that we’re starting to see regroups, after maybe three or four months after you notice the peak, we’re starting to see regrowth and that usually looks like I don’t know if you experienced this after having your kids but like bangs that you didn’t cut. Oh, yeah, that show up, right?


Jacqueline Kincer  16:31

We’re like, where your heart is just like these little little, like Mohawk hairs sticking up.


Alison Boden  16:36

Yeah, exactly. So we want to make sure that we’re experiencing the regrowth after a certain amount of time, other red flags, and you know, if it’s coming out, I mean, it’s gonna feel kind of distressing, even if it’s in the stages normal, just because it does feel pretty dramatic how much is coming out. If you’re starting to get visible bald spots, we want to go get checked out, if you are losing hair elsewhere, besides your head, particularly your eyebrows, the outer third of your eyebrow, if you if you find that you’re losing hair there, that’s indicative of a thyroid problem, and we want to go get the thyroid checked out. If the the cycle of hair loss doesn’t peak, and then get better. And it’s just like the same kind of cadence of loss, loss, loss, loss loss, and then you’re hitting like a year postpartum, and it’s still there, and you’re noticing very, very obvious hair thinning without the regrowth, we want to get that checked out. So again, it’s about like severity. And and longevity, I wouldn’t expect sustained hair loss past a year, you know, postpartum it should really peak somewhere around like three to six months, you know, be the worst, it’s going to be peak and then get better and kind of return to to normal at that point. And then the things we’ll want to investigate then and you know, bring to our care providers, we want to check our iron and and not just a CBC, we want to get a full iron panel with ferritin. And we see a relationship between hair loss, and ferritin. That’s below 50. So we want to get like a full iron panel. And we want to get a full thyroid panel to see if there’s some hypothyroid that’s causing the hair loss and postpartum hypothyroid is not uncommon. I think about like 10 to 20% of women have have it at least temporarily. And it doesn’t mean that if you’re diagnosed with postpartum thyroiditis, that you’re going to have thyroid problems for the rest of your life. It could be it could be just something that we’re dealing with in the postpartum period, and it gets better later. But it’s still something that will need to be followed by from our physician. Other things that we want to look at other mineral deficiencies, zinc deficiency is related to hair loss, we also see a relationship between protein deficiency and omega three fatty acid deficiency that that would more be like breakage, because we need omega threes for like the oil production in our hair. And so if we’re depleted or deficient in omega three fats, we’re going to see more breakage, and you know, can be you know, up up here, the crown of your head or a little bit lower. So those are all things that we want to get checked out. If we’re noticing that were not fitting into that what is normal, what is not box. And, you know, going kind of back to like kind of my my history with working with postpartum I wrote a blog called postpartum hormones normal versus not, and I, you know, no idea how to write a blog and how how to like rank in Google. But I must I hit a nerve with that, because that blog shot to just number one in Google when you Googled postpartum hormones. And that because I think that’s what a lot of people are searching for, right? Like, is this normal? Is this not where’s the line between normal and not because like the hair loss, for example, you hear like, oh, it’s normal and postpartum have hair loss, and that’s usually the end of the conversation, right? It’s not Like, but here’s the red flags. Here’s what we want to be addressing. Here’s why you want to get tested. And here’s how long you want to be dealing with this before you start asking questions.


Jacqueline Kincer  20:11

Huh? Yeah, I love that. And I love that you said about ferritin, too. And just you said you want to be about 54 lactation, you want to be 70 to 90, quite honestly. And there’s different values for lactation, then you know, when you’re just a normal woman, right? So like, I had a patient yesterday, send me her labs, that her provider was open to getting checked. And, you know, I went through and I’m like, Y’all, these things are off. But you know, the ranges, the reference ranges on that report are so wide that she looked like she was normal for everything.


Alison Boden  20:42

Although ferritin range is like, I think 10 or 15 is like the lower limit. And it’s pretty low. Yeah, there’s a lot of times where they get the, the Goldstar. I guess the lab reference ranges, and I’m like these, these maybe don’t indicate disease, but they’re not optimal. We’re gonna look through the lens of like, where are you gonna be thriving? what the numbers look like, where you actually like, feel good. And you know, that’s really my marker of recovery. And I say this a lot. And in why I named my program mother recover? Because it’s like, do you feel good, most of the time, like, if you don’t, we haven’t recovered yet from from pregnancy and birth. And it doesn’t really matter how far you are from birth. If you feel like garbage, three years after birth, I’m still gonna call you postpartum. Because we haven’t recovered. And I will I consider postpartum to be your sounds like a couple of years long at least. But if you’re beyond what my definition of postpartum would be, but never felt good when we haven’t recovered, and we need to kind of dive back in and take a look at what’s going on.


Jacqueline Kincer  21:55

Yeah, and why I think you brought something up here that’s really, really important is, you know, a lot of people want to have more than one baby. And so, you know, there’s kind of this sort of blanket recommendation of, you know, trying to wait at least a year before you get pregnant. But it’s not just timing. I mean, yes, your body is healing from the pregnancy and the birth, and you’re going through postpartum and all of that. But what about that pregnancy spacing related to everything that you’re talking about? Really? When does someone want to what do they want to address before they get pregnant? Again, if they’re specifically looking at that,


Alison Boden  22:33

right, I mean, definitely nutrients like have you refilled your nutrient cup. And that’s really like the number one thing that we want to be working on, and postpartum in general, particularly if, if you’re feeling ready to start trying for next, next baby 237, whatever. And the that is so important that actually the World Health Organization recommends two years between pregnancies. So that would be about you know, three year age gap. A lot of us aren’t doing that, you know, I am two years apart. You know, what a lot of us aren’t, aren’t quite doing that. But the reason why that recommendation is there is because of nutrient replenishment, and it takes about that long, there’s no real timeline, and how long how long, it really does take in real life, though, because everybody’s starting off at a different a different point, right. And obviously, lactation is going to mean more nutrients are given to the baby versus somebody who’s not breastfeeding. And so that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing, it means that we need to really make sure that we’re eating in a way that not only supports breast milk production, because that’s usually what what we’re asking, right, like, oh, how can I eat to support, you know, a good good breast milk production or more breast milk production, or whatever. But the question is, also, how can I eat to support my body from not getting totally depleted, as well as you know, supporting my baby’s nutrition with my breast milk? So we have to be looking at both of those at the same time. But for sure, looking at nutrient depletion, and doing testing as much as possible, because some things are really obvious symptoms, and some are not. And so it’s a really good idea to get just the nutrient panel and see what’s going on under the hood. And you know, sometimes we also want to look at, you know, what’s going on hormonally, between between pregnancies. And doing a hormone test is often what people really want to do because it’s like, kind of sexy, right? Like, I want to go check out my hormones, what are my hormones doing your head a lot of requests for that. But if we don’t have the right balance of macro, and micronutrients, macronutrients are like the visible food on our table, right? The protein, the carbs, the the facts, and if we don’t have the right combination of those, in addition to micronutrients are vitamins and minerals, we can make more Um, so we really have to focus first on what what we’re eating, what our plate looks like how balanced our meals are, how balanced our blood sugar is, and then, you know, the hormones, oftentimes will, will kind of fall in line as well.


Jacqueline Kincer  25:15

Yeah. Oh, that’s such a great explanation. I do agree most people are jumping towards kind of the hormone thing. And I see that with totally not breastfeeding related, but like, like older men, right? Like, they start to go throughout time. And they’re like, oh, I should get my testosterone checked. And I’m like, first of all, that’s just such a dude thing to say. But like, which is very much a stereotype. But it’s like, why are you getting that check? Do you know? Like, let’s look at other things. But how soon after getting birth? Should someone get a nutrient panel done? Or get their hormones checked? What would you recommend? Because they’re not usually getting labs done. They might do like a six or eight week follow up with OB or something. But I don’t see lab work getting recommended very often unless I’m telling someone to request it. Right. And also, I don’t, I don’t know. I feel I’m curious what you think. But when it comes to me for lactation, I’m like, can’t wait six weeks? No way we can wait six weeks?


Alison Boden  26:08

Yeah. Yes, and no, because you’re, if I ran the world, everybody had their six week visit, we’re going to comprehensive nutrient panel done at that point, because nobody’s getting them really ever, right. But in when we’re looking at hormones, I mean, first, we have to say nobody’s studying. And so we don’t have great data on like, Oh, two weeks is the point where things kind of settle down and we want to check your hormones. So or check your check your nutrients, or you don’t want to it’s really. So I generally, like sooner, the better with with checking out some nutrients, there is some stuff that might kind of peak and then go normalize a little bit like you might have had a lot of blood loss during delivery. And once you kind of start eating, and if you have lactation a Maria, you’re not getting your period for a couple cycles that might kind of normalize if it wasn’t too bad of a blow as far as how low your iron goes. So there might be there’s some shifting in those in those first weeks. But again, we don’t have research like in comparing like, Oh, if we took one, one person after they gave birth, and we checked their nutrient status and pregnancy check did the same panel. Right after delivery two weeks later, like doesn’t change at all, like so we don’t really know what the perfect time is. But it’s really, I think, once you kind of come out of the fog of delivery, and are ready to start kind of focusing on yourself, that’s, that’s a great thing to get done, you’re going to the doctor anyway, a six week visit. So that’s a great time to be requesting things so that you don’t have to take multiple trips to head to the doctor kind of come prepared with a list of things to ask, generally you want to you want to go with a list to to ask for and not not really just say like, Oh, can you check my nutrients? Because they might not know exactly what kind of panels to run? But if you say like, Oh, can you give me a full iron panel? Or can you check me think levels or check maybe 12 levels, those are all things that you can generally get from from primary care, I run a nutrient panel in my practice, that’s a, it’s an easy home test, it’s a little finger prick. And it gives us you know, a ton of different vitamins, a ton of different minerals, amino acids, and an Omega three index. So it’s a really great home test to do. But that’s usually something that’s kind of a specialty functional test, rather than something that primary care would have access to. But you can still get some of the basics at primary care if the kind of morphing into stuff isn’t isn’t accessible, you can still get some of the big guns like like B 12, zinc, iron, magnesium, and all of those types of things. So I didn’t really answer a question. So your timeline, you know, but no one


Jacqueline Kincer  28:50

needs to be requesting this while they’re still admitted to the hospital is what I’m hearing you say? They feel like, you know, sometimes see moms are like, Oh, well, they’re already there. I could take them up. I’m like, wow, you first come on. Exactly. And


Alison Boden  29:01

that might honestly that might be a no to that request. Yeah. So you know, there, there’s other priorities in the hospital that time right. away these days. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So and there could be some things that kind of, like I said, my my peak in the Normalize because there’s so much movement and so much activity and we know that when there’s big fluid changes, like there are in those first few weeks postpartum, you know, that can dilute you know, the the sample and you might get not not a great reading on that, you know, there’s, you know, inflammation that’s happening because you’re healing you, no matter what kind of birth you had, you’re healing from it. And inflammation can also change, change ferritin in particular, if your inflammation is really high, your ferritin might not be accurate. So you know, there’s I wouldn’t really do it in those like first days, maybe not even first first weeks, but I think six weeks is a good, good time to think of six weeks that’s like the time to do stuff. So you might as well request it when When you go, and


Jacqueline Kincer  30:01

I just want to interject really quick and say to that, because I know there’ll probably be some listeners thinking about this. If your milk hasn’t come in, like, by seven days postpartum, you need to go get hormone labs done for lactation, like you cannot wait for six weeks, it’s going to be too hard to try and get you the the correction that you need, and something’s definitely going on. So I just want to let people know like, if things are generally going well, it’s kind of normal ish postpartum, like, Yes, I think Alison’s got some great suggestions. But like, please, please, if your milk is not coming in, not at day two, but like you got to a week and you’re like, it’s just not here. I don’t know what’s going on. Please, please go advocate and get that lab work. And if you’re not sure what it is, I do have a reel on my Instagram page, but just send me a DM and I can tell you what you should ask for because I don’t want people to think, you know, put that off for laceration specifically,


Alison Boden  30:58

right. And that brings up a really great point in general, this is really like, kind of a normal person’s journey of postpartum, right, then yeah, it’s a great time for most people. But if you are experiencing some kind of symptom, you go to the doctor right now.


Alison Boden  31:13

You don’t you don’t wait, you know, if you’re having you know, we talked about headaches earlier, if you’re having extreme headaches, a couple days after delivery, when you first get home, and you’re having swelling, you go to the doctor and you you you call them up, because that might be a medical emergency, if you are if you’re not coming in at seven days, like you mentioned, like that’s not, and we want to go get get that checked out. But as far as folks that are dealing with just the kind of typical journey of postpartum and are thinking like, oh, I want to get get something checked out. And you know, really earlier, the better, but probably at least after a couple weeks, so like the big things just start to start to settle. But again, like if you’ve lost a ton of blood in, in delivery, like much more than than usual, I want your iron checked at the hospital. Because you might need it, you might need an iron infusion or a transfusion, you know. So there’s, there’s definitely things that are outside that range of normal, but for the typical journey, as early as possible, 60 could be a decent time. But if you don’t, you know, you’re listening to this, and you’re six months postpartum, and you’re still feeling super deleted, you did not miss your window. You know, we can get this anytime and I run you know, my specialty panel on pretty much all of my patients even even if they’re not postpartum, because it’s such a like a foundational thing that I that I want to see what’s going on, I have a recent patient coming to see me for really bad PMS. And we did a nutrient panel and it was like a goldmine of stuff to work on. Like she was deficient in all the classic things that are related to PMS and Western as we started replenishing, that she felt like heaps better. So there it’s not just postpartum that that we want to be looking at this, this stuff is really foundational for everything. And timeline of getting your hormones checked. Again, unless there’s some some symptom or something that’s that’s bringing you earlier to the doctor is a little bit more complicated. Because, again, there’s no research. I’m actually trying to facilitate the research on this, but it’s becoming logistically challenging. So it’s going to be a while I think before I’m going to be able to do this. But we don’t really have baselines for why your hormones are talking estrogen progesterone, particular man, when I’m talking hormones, should be looking like at really any stage postpartum. And so we can, you know, we can do a hormone check that women tests that I use is called the Dutch test, it’s a urine test that you can do at home, it looks at a couple different metabolites of progesterone, a few of estrogen, your androgens, and then a full day’s worth of the highs and lows of cortisol. And that test is a favorite of mine, something I like running on a lot of patients. If somebody is breastfeeding, three months postpartum, no period in sight, we just don’t really have the firing rate ranges for like what your estrogen progesterone should look like at that time. So it is interesting to get that info for anybody. But there’s not a whole lot we can do is we expect lactation to be suppressing estrogen and progesterone. Right? And but we don’t really know how much is too much, or how much is too little right? And so when we’re really looking at like, have my hormones come back to normal, we want to look at or like my baseline, we want to look at that after the period comes back. Usually after like we get maybe three postpartum periods, then that’s a really good time to do that. Again, you can do it earlier, especially if you’re like super curious and want to find out what you’re doing. baseline is, you know, you can do it early, it’s not gonna harm you. But we’re not, you know, if we find that like estrogen is really low, and if your estrogen is really low and you’re not ovulating, that means your progesterone will also be low because progesterone really peaks after ovulation. We’re not going to like, aggressively go in and try to like boost those up, if somebody is three months postpartum, and hasn’t gotten their period back, right. And we can still do things that support your hormones for coming up when they’re ready. So they can be kind of the highest that they can be given what stage postpartum you’re in. But we’re not going to like go in and start using like vytex, or other herbs, or like hormone replacement therapy, or something like that, when some of these hormones are well in that context. So it really just kind of matters. Like what what we’re trying to what we’re trying to do and accomplish by by testing hormones, if we don’t necessarily like have a really strong symptom, that’s, that’s bringing us to do that test. Cortisol, we can do any time though. And that’s, that’s a hormone I like to run. Because sometimes we have symptoms of high cortisol symptoms of low cortisol, we tend to talk more about high cortisol, on social media, and then low, but I’m actually finding that a lot of my patients have low cortisol more often these days, I don’t know if that’s just like a year inside the pandemic, finding out everybody’s adrenals. But so sometimes that can be helpful, you know, particularly if somebody you know, one is curious, and you know, just wants to run the test, but to, you know, if they’re, if they’re having really severe symptoms of, of either of cortisol dysregulation, whatever that might be, it might be, really their blood sugar swings, because there’s a very intimate connection between cortisol and blood sugar, could be that they are having really bad insomnia, they can’t seem to wind down at night and baby sleeping, okay, but that they’re not able to sleep, and could be related to stress tolerance might find that they’re kind of getting more more upset or kind of mommy rage things a little a little bit easier than than usual for them. Really bad fatigue, particularly earlier in the day, those are all signs that we might have some cortisol stuff going on. And that one, we can really do any time. It’s not particularly related to hormones.


Jacqueline Kincer  37:16

Right? Yeah, that makes sense for sure. And, you know, I guess, just to kind of chat about some of the things like you had talked about in the beginning that there’s a lot of focus postpartum on diet for losing weight. And that is such a big thing. There’s a big push right now for keto? Can we talk about keto?


Alison Boden  37:38

Do we have to talk about keto, we have to talk


Jacqueline Kincer  37:41

about because I get asked about it all the time. And then I could just be like, go listen to this episode with Alice. Yeah.


Alison Boden  37:46

He doesn’t know. I know from me.


Jacqueline Kincer  37:50

Yeah. But I tell you to say it,


Alison Boden  37:53

or it’s a it’s a hard now, keto and intermittent fasting are hard. Now. For me, I’m in the postpartum period. And it’s one of those things that is obviously saying aging myself when I say all the right, and it’s like, it’s there’s research, the research is primarily on that. And there is a lot of research saying that like, Oh, this is this is great for fat loss, blah, blah, blah. And but when you actually like dig into the research, it’s, it’s mostly a man, it’s definitely not on postpartum women. It’s definitely not on breastfeeding, postpartum women. And we really risk a lot of things, you know, further exacerbating nutrient deficiencies, because we’re taking out a really big chunk of where our nutrients can come from, I find that low carb diets or any kind of restricted, restricted eating in general, can really tank hormones, particularly progesterone. And so kind of depending on where somebody died if they’ve gotten a period back or not, and built different kind of symptoms where it will show up there. But in general, progesterone, we we correlate with anxiety, and progesterone gets too low, we have more anxiety. And so if somebody kind of goes and starts doing a really restrictive diet like that, all of a sudden their insomnia and anxiety goes through the roof. That’s probably what’s going on. And it can, it can definitely harm your milk production. And because you know, your body is not going to let you completely wither away. If it knows that you aren’t getting proper nutrition, you know, you’re going to be saving your energy via one way or another right, and that summit hungry milk supply. And then I really see that things like keto intermittent fasting, doing too much high intensity interval training also kind of falls into this category. If we are doing that on top of a rocky Foundation, meaning we’re not eating regularly We have some hormone stuff going on, cortisol is high and low and backwards and forwards. And, as I said, not sleeping well enough, then restrictive diets like that, or too much exercise is actually seen in the perspective of your body as an additional stressor. And so we can go way more into fight or flight mode, which can actually mean weight gain. So it’s not uncommon for women that are trying to lose weight by doing kind of a typical carb restriction, high intensity interval training type stuff, but on that rocky foundation to experience what you gain and sort of loss. And then that is frustrating, right? As you really think you’re doing all the things, and then you have the opposite


Jacqueline Kincer  40:50

out. And is that related to at all? Where I’ll have some moms say, you know, Oh, I thought breastfeeding was supposed to help me lose the baby weight. I’m like, Yeah, you burn a ton of calories all day long. If you’re have a full explain whatever, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to lose weight and is not losing weight, or putting weight on while lactating a sign of some imbalance going on. Yeah,


Alison Boden  41:13

I mean, it can yes, and no, you know, there’s, there’s, again, a range of normal and stuff that we want to take a look at, you know, when when I’m working with a breastfeeding mom, who is is trying to lose weight. First of all, I’m not going to touch weight loss until at least six months, like nine to 12 is more and more my preference and the first six months, it’s about these foundations, I want you to feed yourself, I want you to eat really great balanced meals, snack when you’re hungry on a nice balanced snack, and really work on just like setting the stage for supporting your hormones to come to come back up. That’s like all I’ll do with somebody in terms of of weight management, when we’re in the first six months postpartum, and breastfeeding, they’re not and and so that can set the stage for some weight loss when we balanced blood sugar when we can support their mouths when your body is not confused, because you’re nutrient deficient and then sending you cravings for things. So to get those back up, that can help by itself with weight loss. And we might see then that breastfeeding Helps Weight Loss better, when again, we’ve we’ve balanced that foundation, and the foundation isn’t Rocky. But you know, when we’re in terms of why breastfeeding, my hit at weight loss, one hunger, you know, the the breastfeeding hunger monster is very real, right. And it is so much worse. If there’s weight loss goals in the back of your mind, when you’re looking at what am I going to eat, right? If you’re having a really light, light breakfast, if you’re having a salad for lunch, and then come 4pm You’re exhausted and starving, just didn’t eat enough. And if we can balance out those meals earlier in the day, you might not find that you’re so hungry, and then it’s easier. And we might just like see some weight loss, I’ve seen that happen in a really effortless, effortless way. And so that’s like number one, and then you know everything that happens with more nutrient depletions and stuff in postpartum and then our nutrient demands in breastfeeding. And if we’re not meeting those demands, again, can can signal more cravings. Another thing I see is that some some women might just hold on to about 10 pounds until they finish breastfeeding, even when we do some of these techniques. And it’s just, that’s just kind of what their body wanted to do in five to 10 pounds is pretty common there. And sometimes it just kind of slips right off. And that could have just been could have been hunger, it could have been related to hormones, you know, breastfeeding is suppressing your estrogen and progesterone and we store estrogen in our body fat and some of our estrogen Well, our body doesn’t really want it to be low and so we’re might hold on to more body fat, just so you can have a little bit of estrogen. So I see that in postpartum I also see that in perimenopause and menopause and that that’s a there’s a relationship there when your estrogen starts to dip so that could be related to what’s going on and why and can easily can can go back. Oh,


Jacqueline Kincer  44:18

fascinating. Yeah, there’s a lot going on. So much. Oh my gosh, can you guys tell how freaking smart Alison is? This is just mind blowing. Wow, yeah, it’s funny. There also is the thing where when I cuz I breast when my son got married with my daughter kept going, you know, so I never really had like a break from breastfeeding. So when I stopped breastfeeding my daughter when she was three, that breastfeeding hunger monster. I kind of kept that piece of eating and all of that lovely baby weight that I had lost was starting to come back. So that was it wasn’t hormones. It was just me eating too much.


Alison Boden  44:59

You get acclimated to it, right?


Jacqueline Kincer  45:03

Bigger, you know, like normal amounts of food. But it’s funny, you do adjust and you do balance out. I want to ask you probably one of the burning questions that people love to ask, which is dairy. Yeah, you’re gay, especially when breastfeeding because I feel like so many moms are automatically like, no dairy or the pediatricians like, no dairy, you know, but I don’t I don’t know. I’m not convinced that dairies evil, what are your thoughts?


Alison Boden  45:29

I’m not a fan of limiting any mom’s diet? And what kind of foods she can have? Like, do I think dairy is the is the, you know, got milk campaign, and I’ll be all of health. No, and I a lot of people definitely have have trouble with dairy. But it’s a really rich source of fat and protein, and of course, calcium. And if somebody doesn’t have a problem with dairy, then I think, great, you know, grass fed sources, organic sources of full fat, dairy can be a great compliment to somebody’s diet, particularly when we’re in that vulnerable nutrition state where we need more and not less, right. Yeah, and when it comes to, oh, is dairy affecting my baby’s tummy? Right? That’s that’s often a really good question. And you know, this you can give me your advice on this and what what you think as well, I don’t jump straight to elimination diets for moms, when when we’re dealing with that. I want to talk about like, oh, maybe we can support they use digestion, we can look at latch we can look at oversupply to make sure they’re not getting you know too much whey protein or something that’s bothering their tummy. And we can look at doing some like infant formulated probiotics to see if that helps with digestion and things like that, you know, bicycle wheels, that kind of thing. And before jumping into something super restrictive with with mom, you know, there’s definitely times where eliminating dairy is helpful, but I don’t I don’t love it when when moms start eliminating like a really big laundry list of foods straight out of the game with that because then I’m probably not healthy. We’re already at this really depleted state and then we’ll rest you know, major continued depletions. And and I don’t see that the benefit is there necessarily. Because I don’t find that that that food sensitivities from baby are are related to that many different foods.


Jacqueline Kincer  47:33

Absolutely. Absolutely. And quite honestly, for people listening like your baby being fussy or gassy is probably not food or tolerance. It can definitely be a latch issue or something or a milk intake issue or something else. But food intolerances are usually pretty obvious you’re going to have bowel or skin issues most likely in infants you know, or colic like a witching hour that lasts like three hours long kind of a deal. You know like you’re it’s it’s not going to be like Oh He’s fussy maybe I should take out dairy like no, that’s probably not it and it may not be dairy you know, I I’ve definitely had clients who I had a mom who was like, when I give formula my baby doesn’t spit up. When I give breast milk in the same bottle. My baby spits up in a super fussy and I was like, that’s probably gluten because if there’s one thing formula doesn’t have it’s gluten, it has soy, it has corn, it has milk it has all of the other potential allergens, but it does not have gluten and so I was like that’s the food you need to take out. So now mystery solved. Yeah. So but don’t take out. Corn soy dairy. Yeah, what are you going to eat? I mean, you cannot live on carrots and hummus. Okay, so


Alison Boden  48:48

long. I’m being


Jacqueline Kincer  48:51

my gosh. Oh, yeah. What about that? Do you do foods that make adults gassy? make babies gassy?


Alison Boden  48:58

Again, there’s not a lot of research here, right. And it doesn’t really make scientific sense to my brain. Because fiber fiber is not digestible. Meaning that it’s there to supply food for your gut bacteria and keep you as mom running regular, and it’s not getting absorbed into your system and showing up in your breast milk. And so like I don’t really see how that’s possible but I I never want to 100% percent say that no beans are not causing that Strama because some of these experience is going to overrule the data right if if every time somebody eats a certain thing, and and can immediately notice a change in the rating and we don’t eat that they’ve never noticed that particular thing in a baby with enough info right? Like when you when you see that and it’s the same thing for you like If you eat something that every time you eat it, it just agrees with you. And when you don’t eat it, you’re fine. Like, you got a problem with it doesn’t, we don’t have to get a test to verify that you don’t have to have, you know, somebody with a bunch of letters after their name to verify that, like, that’s your, your truth and what was happening with your body. You know, somebody can be have a sensitivity to like lettuce or a salmon or something like that, but don’t typically show up on the list. So like, you know, I come kind of at two angles for this, like one, I don’t want to unnecessarily restrict one side ever, and, but to if she’s noticing a correlation, give it a try and see, see what happens. But we don’t want to do like, jump into like autoimmune paleo, like, out of out of the gate. Oh my gosh, that because that’s just too restrictive. And in this context, in this time of your life, right, you know, you’re trying to feed a newborn like, and then we don’t want to have like 12 foods that that we’re not eating that can be wholesome in or that


Jacqueline Kincer  51:03

you have to spend all this time cooking and learn about your bone broth everyday like, Okay, I don’t know, if you can, that’s amazing. But I would say you’re the minority there. So yeah, yeah, my


Alison Boden  51:17

I love that I was definitely lazy. And I have a a workshop inside. Inside my, my program, called, when I’m bored, I called it a She probably just changed the name of it to like Lazy, Lazy cookie. What I consider it but like fast meals or good meals fast or something like that a time crunch meals and like it, can you talk about my brain. And remember what I mean? time crunch meals, that’s what I call it. And it’s all about like, hey, let’s here’s, here’s the components we need on the plate doesn’t need to be fancy, we don’t need a recipe, like, here’s some quick stuff that that we can we can throw together in order to make that plate, a nice balanced plate without having to sign up for a bunch of like, you know, recipe meal plans and things like that, that can, you know, we do for a couple of weeks. But then it becomes unsustainable when we’re having to like look at our ingredient list for all our recipes, and then shop for it and plan for what day and some people are really good like that, you know, I’m not, they’re not a good plan. And, you know, some some people really like to kind of like plan all their meals out on on Sundays or whatever. But I’m kind of like, let’s have Yeldon in the room, and then an hour before dinner off.


Jacqueline Kincer  52:28

Yes, that’s me too. So I think that we’re probably the majority, you know, and more power to you, if you are the type A that is, you’re probably in any Enneagram type three, like, just got it all we’ve got, you know, the next three months of meals planned, if you’ve got a month of freezer meals, like good for you, I did a month of freezer meals one time, by the way. And it took me five straight hours in the kitchen to prepare it all. And I was old sure proud of myself when I got it done. But that five hours in the kitchen was so incredibly exhausting to me. I never did it again, it’s probably been four years, like, there’s no way that I could put myself through that five hour block on a Sunday, once a month. I just could not do it. Which obviously, five hours over the course of a month spaced out is very little time. But I need my small chunks like, what can I make in 2030? And I would rather have more hours spent in total in the month then like cluster it all in that one? And then maybe you don’t even want that. So three weeks later. Oh, for sure. Some of the recipes weren’t even good. And I was like, Oh man, like now I have to like go through the ones I want. Don’t want. It was so much. And oh my gosh, was a lot of food to buy at once too. But I bet Well, let’s, let’s do this. Like let’s chat about like, what are some common sense things, you know, for a breastfeeding mom earlier on in postpartum or midway or later on? Like, what are the basics? What kind of macros does she need? What are some good ideas for for foods if she’s looking for more variety, like and just, you know, kind of chat about that because I feel like this information is great. What do I


Alison Boden  54:07

absolutely. Um, so a couple of things to work on. And generally, I like to focus on what I call a postcard template. And what that is, it’s formulaic, you’re you’re looking at your plate, you’re dividing it into equal thirds, I want a protein, I want to starch, I want a veggie and you know, some good fats kind of sprinkled in my and we’re like cooking with olive oil or your protein is a fatty piece of salmon, something like that. That does does a few things. It guarantees my look, nothing’s a guarantee. It makes it easier to balance blood sugar. And when we’re eating these fuller meals throughout the day, it gives us the protein that we need. It gives us the fiber from the veggies and the micronutrients that we need and gives us the starch that we need for our energy in order to sustain really feeling good And to support replenishing those nutrients that that, you know, maybe stealing right baby still some nutrients from us from all throughout pregnancy prenatals typically are enough to help baby stay healthy, but they don’t really keep mom replenished and we lose more than right, we were talking about that I’m beating a dead horse with that. But in general, the the plate method that I use ends up being bigger meals for the majority of women. And I find that a lot of people having really small breakfasts, either skipping lunch, having a bar having a handful of goldfish crackers, if you got toddlers running around anyone, or having something on the lighter side like a salad and and then they’re just not filling the nutrient cup or not balancing your blood sugar and kind of feel crappy by the time you know, four or 5pm hits, and then we have a really big dinner, right. And so that’s really number one. And this by itself can make a really big difference in a lot of people’s hormone symptoms as well as as fatigue. And, and having that big breakfast that you know, really nice sized lunch. similar sized dinner for breakfast. One of my favorite things for breakfast is like these really beefy oatmeal, where you cook some oatmeal on the stove, add some coconut butter have ever had coconut butter, Oh, I love coconut butter, add some generous spoonful of coconut butter to it and add some fresh fruit, some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and then have that with some grain free granola or chocolate something like that. It’s it’s really filling, it’s really satisfying. I actually find that for most people, it’s more satisfying, even then like an egg dish in the morning. And eggs are great. You know, I love them, particularly for like lunches, usually eggs or my protein for lunch. But I find that that that Oatmeal Recipe is really filling. And if we add some flaxseed to it, it’s not only supporting our breast milk production, but it’s also supportive of estrogen and coming back up if we add some ground flaxseed to that. So that’s like really number one is we want three square meals now three, like grown up sized meals throughout the day, because when we get into the trap of having smaller meals, and then our blood sugar is just like crashing over two hours or reaching for a snack and then our blood sugar crashes and we reach for a snack. And so I much prefer these like bigger, much more filling meals that keep us full for longer rather than having like snacks every two hours. So that’s number one, it can go a really long way. And then number two is is go to bed early. As much as possible. Because that’s another thing and we’re like staying up late. You know, sleeping when the baby sleeps, is a bit of an eye roll from me because I’m not a Napper. And I’m never been able to do something like that. But resting in particularly from the fourth trimester right? Resting as much as possible, like not trying to do new load of laundry, clean up the house, something like that when the baby’s napping, like really trying to take it easy. You know, putting on a show for the toddler if you just have your second baby or more or something like that. And then if, if you’re not if you’re not sleeping overnight, an early bedtime like 9pm deadpan bedtime is like my strong recommendation. Like at 9pm, which sounds like like so dorky, early, but that can make a world of difference with with how you feel getting that extra like hour or so at night. And that’s usually when the baby’s sleeping, the longest stretch, right? Is that like earlier? Yes, part of the night anyway. So if we can get that, you know, obviously, depending on how old your baby is, and how often you’re breastfeeding the baby. But if we can get even like an hour more sleep from you, that will make a major difference in how you feel. And it’s a really simple change just going to bed a little bit earlier. Or maybe it’s a lot earlier. If you’re like a midnight go to bed kind of person, but we can change your way there. So if you’re going to bed at midnight, and um, you just heard me say go to bed at 830 and you’re like who is this crazy?


Alison Boden  59:13

15 minutes, like 15 minutes earlier or 15 minutes earlier even if you if you’re going to bed at midnight and you land going to bed at 10 That’s still going to make a really big difference to you. So just like inching inching forward and and and go to bed early as long as baby’s awake at night basically.


Jacqueline Kincer  59:32

Huh? Yes. I love that. Yeah. And you know, it kind of makes me think of I’ll never forget I had a class in college with this friend of mine and her boyfriend’s they they were both in the military and he was a ranger and he would always talk about his his training and you know, it sounds pretty tough. And he would say that, you know, they actually purposely would like sleep deprived them and stuff and just, you know, set them up for these more time situations. And he was like, what we learned as Rangers is that your body needs energy and it’s either gonna I get it from sleep or food. So if you’re sleep deprived, you eat more. If you’re food deprived, you sleep more. And animals know this. Animals operate purely on their biology. And they know this, whether or not we realize that as humans, though, if you’re staying up too late, now you need a nighttime snack. But if you went to bed at night, and like Alison said, You’re not going to need a nighttime snack. And so if you’re struggling with like, Man, I just feel like I’m putting on weight and whatever, stop snacking at night and go to bed. And that’s a little harsh, but like balances


Alison Boden  1:00:32

your cortisol too. Because when you’re right, you’re fighting out and your cortisol is like upside down, you are going to crave carbohydrates. And because you’re insulin resistant, cortisol makes you insulin resistant, when you’re when you’re in that that state, and you’re gonna be pressured by folks, yeah, for sure. Oh, my gosh, there’s so many hormonal connections to milk supply. But it’s also like, you know, we put all this pressure on ourselves as moms to just bounce back that new bounce back I’m err, quoting that. And, you know, the reality is, we are, if we’re not eating in a way that supports our energy, our basic bodily functions, and on top of that, replenishing our nutrients, and we’re not getting anywhere near enough sleep, we’re gonna feel like garbage every day. And then we have this, like, oh, I should be feeling better, I should be able to do this, I should be able to go to this meeting and have my brain functioning just like before kids are a you know, should be able to feel water shouldn’t be snapping at my kids or my husband, you know, but when you’re utterly depleted from every angle, you’re not going to be thriving and feeling feeling your best. But because we have that disconnect of what we see, like, in the media, about people having a baby, losing the weight really fast, and then like out and about in a full face and makeup and just kind of going about their day, you know that that disconnect between how it’s going in reality and how you see and becomes, you know, part of mom guilt, right? Like, I should be able to do this, what’s wrong with me? Like what’s wrong with my body and broken blah, blah? What what what I’m saying is when we gave ourselves just like the really basic building blocks, which can come down to just bigger meals, and a little bit more rest and sleep, that can make a tremendous difference, you know, we’re usually looking for like, what supplement Oh, what is what is this nutrient that I need? Or what is this hormone supplement it but like, if you are not eating and not sleeping like those hormones or supplements are not going to do for for you? Or do like so little, it’s going to be almost undetectable. And we have to get those those foundational elements First, not sexy, but


Jacqueline Kincer  1:02:45

you have to eat. I know it’s not sexy, but it’s but it’s doable. And anything to like, just to piggyback on that we make such an excellent point is when you’re not feeling while you’re like oh, I should be getting more done, or I should have more energy. And then what do you turn to coffee? Tea and or energy drinks? Yeah, I’ve got a whole podcast episode on why that’s not healthy. Yeah. Episode Nine with Dr. Steven Tedeschi. Because he dives into the science of why caffeine is more depleting and will ruin your hormones. So if you’re like up to a pot of coffee a day right now, or you’re drinking more than a couple of cups, like you’re in the danger zone, and it’s not going to help you’re you’re stealing energy from your body. And at some point, you’re going to have to repay it. So I always like to tell people that like, you know, I’m like, how much coffee do you have a day, and most breastfeeding moms seem to want to avoid it, because they have this idea, it’s gonna affect their baby. Quite honestly, it doesn’t most of the time, but it’s going to affect you. And so definitely make sure like you said, I think the whole point of what Alison saying here is like, your baby will probably be fine. It’s you that we’re worried about, right? Like, your body’s like, cool, I’ll make milk for the kid. And I’ll just take it all from you. So like, or if you’re so depleted, that your body can now no longer make milk for the kid and whatnot. And you know, and you’re so depleted like that, there’s just nothing else to steal from, then you just don’t make as much milk. So this is just kind of like, that’s a simple way of putting it and you’ve made such excellent points. And I love your approach because I feel like you simplify things. And just like you said about the postpartum pleat, and just not being a purist, or, you know, an extremist on either end of things like we just need more kind of realistic, like what’s doable? What what do we need with good science and like, let’s just help people and I just think you’re so so great at that, Alison, and, you know, you’ve got this awesome program called Mother recover, that teaches moms how to meet their nutritional needs while balancing their postpartum hormones and of course, supporting their milk supply. So I really just for anybody who is has listened to this and is like, mind blown I need Alison’s help. That sounds like an awesome program. So where can people find out more about that, and I’ll link it up in the show notes. Yeah,


Alison Boden  1:05:07

so that’s mother recover with a hyphen between the words mother dash recover calm, and, and it’s open year round. So you don’t have to wait like six months for me to open the doors or anything like that I have a couple of different options. It I made it as affordable as I can some some of its more kind of self paced and do it yourself. And then I have some other levels that have more of my personal help in there as well. And I’ve had several 100 People go through the program, I get lots of feedback on it that people have made. But it feels like really minimal changes to their day to day, but have pretty tremendous outcomes and how they feel. And that’s, that’s the kind of feedback that I always like, I nailed it, then that was the point, like, you’re not to add more to your plate or your proverbial plate, maybe add more to your actual plate and find out more to the actual plate. But you know, I think of it as a way of, if you’re completely depleted and exhausted, and, um, you know, have a lot of mood issues going on, and insomnia and feel just like really hormonally unwell, that is such a burden on you all of those ways that you’re feeling and you’re just like, you know, hiking for mud, right? By making some really simple changes to your nutrition, we can really lift that burden off of you, so that you can have more energy to do stuff. So I make it as easy as I can. So that it’s like, let’s make these small tweaks to what you’re already doing. We don’t have fancy recipes or anything within that. And it’s really all about like making some small changes veteran have the biggest impact. And so that’s how I recover. And that’s, that’s definitely like my pride and joy. As far as my third baby.


Jacqueline Kincer  1:07:04

Yeah, all these things. Yeah, they are babies, right? Cast is one of my babies, because I just like bringing on someone like you who has this whole other level of training and expertise, and you see different things. And I just think it’s so incredible. And you know, from everything you’ve said, like, you know, Pregnancy is a big life adjustment, you know, if you’ve never done this before, there’s just this sort of, you know, black and white, kind of, like totally different way of living life, whether whether it’s even just regular prenatal appointments that all of a sudden you’re going to write, and then you give birth, and you know, it’s just a complete change in everything, your routines, your habits, your your mindset about things. I just interviewed someone earlier. And she’s pregnant her first baby. And, you know, she’s like, Yeah, I can I am used to working 5060 hours a week, like, I’m totally plan on doing that. And I was like, just like what’s after you have the baby? Because I know, you think that you can still do the same thing after and you can. But are you going to want to? I would say most people, things change pretty dramatically. And so when you go through something where you have some guidance, and you have some direction, and you’re not just like piecing together some stuff on recipe, blogs, and social media, and you’re like, Okay, let me just like come to the source here, get what I need. You set yourself up for healthy habits for life, like postpartum is for life. And I love that you said the postpartum years, Alison, because that tells me you get it. Thank you for being one of the people out there that’s helping moms and that who gets it. And you just have so much empathy and compassion, maybe because you’ve been through it. But I think it’s just who you are. And it’s in your nature. And I think you just gave us so much awesome info today on the podcast. So if you need more, I’ll link up everything for Alison in the show notes. And you guys can go check that out. It’s great. Well, thank


Alison Boden  1:08:53

you again for having me and all your sweet words of encouragement. I really appreciate it.


Jacqueline Kincer  1:08:58

Oh my gosh, it’s an honor to have you really you’ve just you’ve done me a favor by allowing me to make this episode and put it onto the world and I could just be like, here’s the best episode.


Alison Boden  1:09:08

Thank you. Well, thank you again for letting me be here. This was this was really fun. And you know chatting with you is it’s always a joy to have me back whenever you want. We can do this chat again. I’d love to I’d love it. I also have a I’m going to send you and you can link it to the show notes, my PDF for new moms supplements that’s kind of like the basics what what to take either keep taking or start taking after the baby is born. And it’s great for fourth trimester moms, but it’s really great anytime to that mom is starting to realize that she’s feeling kind of depleted and needs some extra. So I’ll I’ll send it to you so you can put in the show notes as well.


Jacqueline Kincer  1:09:48

Absolutely. Yeah, definitely go check that out. That’s free. Thank you so much Ellison for offering that to the listeners and thank you for being here today.


Alison Boden  1:09:58

Thanks you too.


Jacqueline Kincer  1:10:01

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Today we’re talking to Alison Boden about all things postpartum nutrition. What can you eat?? What should you avoid?? There are SO many misconceptions about diet in the postpartum period, and especially lactation. We usually hear a lot about diet during pregnancy, but there’s more to postpartum nutrition than weight loss and food intolerances.

Pregnancy, birth, and lactation can deplete us of nutrients, so it’s our jobs to re-nourish ourselves to replace what’s been lost. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to hormone changes and mood disorders. But a lot of other things go under the radar like night sweats, inability to handle stress, and much much more!

Alison Boden is a registered dietitian specializing in women’s health. She is the founder of Motherwell Nutrition (formerly Nourishing Radiance)–where she helps moms replenish their bodies, balance hormones and feel good again after kids. Also a mom to two young boys, she knows that feeding yourself well can be difficult after becoming a mother and offers techniques and strategies that work in the real world.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Keto diet
  • Weight loss
  • Mom brain
  • Hair loss
  • Labs that should get checked for a nutrient panel
    • Full iron panel—ferritin
    • Zinc
    • Omega 3
    • Thyroid
  • Pregnancy spacing
  • Dairy & gluten