How to restore your health and vitality through nutrition, gentle exercise, and simple strategies to feel like yourself again
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourselves, your journey, and your mission at The Tenth Co?
I'm Frida, and I'm a mother of two incredible boys who are now 4 and 6 years old. When I embarked on the journey of developing The Tenth, my youngest had just turned two.
Before The Tenth, my professional background revolved around building an international corporate career in the health and beauty industry. I had the opportunity to work with globally leading brands in various locations such as Helsinki, Melbourne and Los Angeles. Throughout my career, I always had a deep passion for health and wellness. I pursued certification as an integrative nutritionist in New York because I wanted to learn more.
While I genuinely enjoyed my corporate career and cherished the experiences and connections it brought, I knew deep down that I wanted to be part of something greater. I wanted to contribute to a cause beyond myself, leaving a positive impact on the world, this urge just grew bigger as I had children. I found myself thinking questions about how I could make a difference. However, I hadn't quite figured out what that would be until I faced my own health crisis.
In essence, The Tenth Co is so much more than a business to me. It’s a real passion. The Tenth Co emerged from my personal journey: I was battling exhaustion, burnout, and overwhelm as I navigated motherhood, my career, and everyday life. A story I’ve seen resonate with so many women also trying to ‘do it all’.
Dr Oscar Serrallach, is well-known in the field of postnatal health that we are oh so lucky to have as our advisor at The Tenth. He is also the founder of The MotherCare Project; the place for all things relating to the work of Dr Oscar Serrallach.
He is my own personal doctor, that I had through my pregnancies, and most recently as a working mother facing depletion got to experience his treatment protocol for depletion. During my recovery with Dr Oscar Serrallach, my solo health journey soon became a bigger one with an unwavering mission: help other women avoid what I went through, a passion Oscar shares and has devoted his clinical practice to as well.
Oscar had a personal journey into the importance of postpartum; through his personal family experience and the lens of functional medicine, he came to realise the huge impact that nutrition, lifestyle and environment have on the postnatal period. Dr Serrallach has spent the last eight years devoted to the identification and treatment of Postnatal Depletion, he has written the book Postnatal depletion cure, which is endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek, Dr Alejandro Junger and so many more.
What is matrescence?
Matrescence-term is the "time of mother-becoming", as defined by anthropologist, Dana Rafael back in the 1970's in her essay "Matrescence, Becoming a Mother, A New/Old Rite de passage”. Dr Oscar Serrallach loves the term “Matrescence” as a far more “all-embracing” way of describing the postpartum phase, with a much less defined period of time attached to it.
Dr Oscar Serrallach says there are both more hormones and more brain changes involved in matrescence than adolescence. While there is a plethora of textbooks on adolescence, there is hardly any information on matrescence. Needless to say “Like adolescence, matrescence needs support" says Oscar.
What is postnatal depletion?
Postnatal depletion is a term that Dr Oscar Serrallach put together, in his search for answers when he had countless mothers coming through his clinic that asked "how do I get my life and myself back after becoming a mother?”. They all had symptoms of:
- Fatigue (We often confuse tiredness with fatigue - if you are tired, you can have a couple nights of rest and be recovered - which doesn’t happen if you have fatigue)
- Hyper vigilance - hyper focused on smaller details/things being a particular way, feeling "always on" and the feeling of being "wired but tired".
- A lack of stress resilience i.e. not being able to cope with stress as easily as before
- The feeling of 'baby brain' e.g the symptoms of poor concentration, poor memory, general brain fog...
- Overwhelm, and a sense of not coping.
Most of the issues that occur to mothers postnatally are neuro-inflammatory,” says Dr. Serrallach, “which is why it can't be corrected with just sleep, because it’s much more than that.”
What impact does it have on new and seasoned mums?
If a new mom isn’t allowed to fully recover from the demanding requirements of pregnancy and child birth, the aftereffects can last for years. Dr Oscar Serrallach has treated women who were still depleted ten years after their kids were born.
What are some of the known key contributing factors?
There are multiple factors contributing including, lack of postpartum planning, lack of support, personal expectations of motherhood falling short and ignoring your biology.
e.g. We live in a society of continual ongoing stress and majority of people these days don’t even know how to relax or switch off, because of the endless demands of today’s world. This has profound effects on are overall health including hormones, immune function, our brain, and gut health. Which then is connected to that women tend to be in a depleted state going into motherhood with careers, demanding social schedules, and the chronic sleep deprivation being the norm in our society.
And we can’t ignore the profound effect lack of sleep of having a newborn: Some research suggests that in the first year the average sleep debt is 700 hours. Reduced family and societal support is very common, as well.
In addition processed, nutrient-poor foods make up a large percentage of the typical diet these days unfortunately. Some even say “two mouthfuls of food for one mouthful of nutrition.”
What we want to change is the notion that the mother has to be “everything,” and as result many mothers suffer in silence and not receiving needed information or support. Multi-generational support for mothers have been part of indigenous cultures traditionally, though they are sadly largely absent in our world today.
What would be an ideal way of preparing for postpartum?
To also plan for the postpartum, not just the pregnancy, there are many cultures where they honour the mother and allow her to recover and she is supported, this is unfortunately currently not the case (yet) in western culture.
Here is Dr Oscar Serrallach’s three main principles of Postpartum Planning, to optimise your wellbeing:
1. Deep Rest 1 month
2. Deep Support 100 days
3. Priority on sleep 1 year
What do these principles look like when applied to the postpartum time?
1. Deep rest 1 month - the focus is on your healing from birth, and a gentle time - for your hormones to return to balance and simply, to connect with your baby.
2. Deep support 100 days - for a healthy Nervous System it is fantastic if a Mother can feel the ongoing support and safety that is provided by trusted family & friends. This looks like: a roster for meals, housework and child care where there are older siblings. Don’t forget that dads / partners also need support.
3. Priority on sleep 1 year. Many Mothers say, “but the evening after baby goes to bed is when I get time to myself!” But is it more important than getting enough sleep? Maybe get some support during the day for some me time, and get yourself early to bed… this is paramount.
If you are a mum who didn’t get the ideal rest and support in your postpartum time, this might bring up sadness and mixed emotions. We feel that it is never too late for postpartum healing. Why not make a plan for yourself to enact these principles of rest, support and sleep in a different way? Your nervous system will thank you.
Also - sharing this information with other pregnant and new mothers can also be incredibly healing. We believe when one Mother heals we all heal.
What are your top 3 wellness tips to address postpartum depletion?
Having vitality and more energy is the end result of multiple body systems being in sync, being in ‘flow'. Being fatigued is the result of these body systems being out of sync. Dr Oscar Serrallach finds a combination of addressing micronutrient deficiencies along with macronutrient imbalances being a good start; as well as lifestyle changes.
Step 1 Replenishing micronutrients and vitamins.
The physical demands, the stress and toll of pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding can deplete essential nutrients, hormonal reserves, and energy stores from You. When we are pregnant the mother is kind of the bank of nutrients for the baby, all the nutrients go to the baby, and what is leftover (if any) gets passed to the mother, or the mother becomes deficient herself. Our Flow State supplement could be an wonderful recovery tool to address some of the key nutrient deficiencies that occur in depleted mothers.
Step 2 Activities that support Your Nervous System
As You are starting to feel better form being more replenished, you’ll start to think more clearly, and have more energy, you will have the headspace and resilience to consider other activities that will have a compounding effect on your wellbeing.
Dr Oscar Serrallach has a great framework that is easy to implement to your everyday.
- Tiny things frequently (20 sec or so) (deep breaths, having a glass of water…)
- Small things daily (being in nature, light movement, like a daily walk)
- Big things once a week (perhaps attending a yoga class, going for dinner with a friend)
- Bigger things once in a while (going away on adults only holiday, retreat etc)
Essentially do the things makes you feel relaxed and recharged - this will be essential in your recovery, which isn’t always easy when you feel you ‘should’ be doing other things; the sooner we realise the to-do list will never end, in fact it is essential to make ourselves a priority, because when we feel food it has a ripple effect around us.
Step 3 Get support over help
Dr. Oscar Serrallach believes that support is more important than help in the postpartum period. He says that help is often reactionary, coming after the mother has already reached a point of crisis. Support, on the other hand, is preventative, coming before we reached a point of crisis. Dr. Oscar Serrallach compares support to a life vest, and help to a lifeguard. A life vest is there to keep you afloat, even if you're not drowning. Help is there to rescue you after you've already fallen in the water.
Dr. Oscar Serrallach says that the best way to support a postpartum mother is to offer her and for her to ask for practical support, such as cooking meals, cleaning the house, or taking care of the other children. He also says it's important to offer emotional support, by listening to her, validating her feelings, and letting her know that you're there for her.
We believe when mothers are supported, we are more likely to thrive in the postpartum period.
What is a Flow State of mind?
Dr. Oscar Serrallach defines flow state as a state of mind where you are completely absorbed in the present moment and your actions are effortless, you loose track of time, you are ‘in flow’. In this state, you are focused and motivated, and you experience a feeling of satisfaction and joy. This in return can reduce stress and anxiety, and be quite restorative, ultimately increasing overall happiness and well-being.
What’s coming up for The Tenth Co?
We have been overwhelmed by the response since our launch this year, we are almost sold out! We are working hard on getting more stock (coming August 10th) then we are working on some really exciting new products, collaborating with beautiful brands like BareMum and so much more (sign up to our newsletter to be first to know www.thetenthco.com)