\nKelly Benton – Pregnancy \u0026amp; Baby Nutritionist\nWe are often prepared or have at least heard about the highs and lows of pregnancy and postpartum, but left a little on our own when it comes to weaning. The process of weaning can be an emotional time, not only are you giving up those sacred moments shared with your little one, but there is also a significant hormonal shift going on which impacts women to varying degrees.\nSo what is going on in the body? Prolactin is a hormone released by the anterior pituitary gland and together with other hormones, initiates and maintains milk production. Its levels rise during pregnancy, peaking for the first 6 weeks of postpartum. In addition, oxytocin, is released by the anterior pituitary, in response to baby suckling at the breast, triggering the ejection of milk. Oxytocin promotes a deep sense of relaxation and helps you feel good. As breastfeeding reduces, these hormones also decrease. Couple this with increases in oestrogen and progesterone that bring on your menstrual cycle and associated PMS-like symptoms, and you have a recipe for an intense emotional and physical rollercoaster.\nWhen starting the process of weaning you may experience:\n- Anxiety\n- Sadness, weepiness\n- Mood swings, irritability\n- Reduced motivation\n- Poor, disrupted sleep\n- Nausea\n- Acne\n- Headaches and migraines\nMy number one tip during this time is to go easy on yourself. Weaning is another sign that your baby is getting older, so naturally this is going to be difficult. Investing in self-care, such as a massage or facial can help promote relaxation as well as act as a mini celebration for yourself to signify the end of this beautiful journey.\nNutritionally speaking, here are some things to consider:\n\nEat a range of whole, nutrient-dense foods to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs. Some of my favourite bangs for your buck are fatty fish, eggs, colourful veg \/ fruits, nuts and seeds\nReduce caffeine and refined sugar, which could further disrupt the endocrine system\nIncorporate protein and healthy fats with meals and snacks to help stabilise blood sugar and improve fatigue \/ mental fog\nConsider adaptogens, such as a good quality maca powder to support energy, mental function and hormonal regulation\nConsume magnesium-rich foods, such as cacao, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and oats which are a great way to naturally support any headaches, muscle aches or sleep disturbances you may be experiencing\nSee your doctor for a blood test to check thyroid function and nutrient levels, such as iron, folate, vitamin D and iodine (via urine sample), especially if you plan on trying to conceive again in the not-too-distant future\n\nIt may take a few weeks for your body to start to feel normal again, so make sure you tune into what’s going on and listen to what it needs. Prioritise time and touch with your little one, lots of kisses and cuddles to make up for the loss of bonding time that comes along with breastfeeding. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge the journey you have both been on, for it truly is amazing.\nKelly Benton is a Nutritionist specialising in maternal and paediatric nutrition. She is a mother of two little ones, right there in the thick of it with you. After experiencing maternal nutrient depletion through her first pregnancy and postpartum period, Kelly saw a need to educate and empower other women to proactively take health into their hands so they can have a more positive experience. Kelly is available for 1:1 consults, to book please visit her website or Instagram page.