COLLAGEN AND POSTPARTUM HEALTH ~ KIM MCDEVITT MPH RD
I’m Kim, a Registered Dietitian with a Masters in Public Health.
You might remember me from the past anecdotal posts that I’ve contributed here at the withinUs blog. I’ve previously explained my decision to continue taking TruMarine™ during my pregnancy and how it helped me postpartum.
Navigating the world of supplements during pregnancy while nursing can be overwhelming and can feel like a whirlwind of uncertainty. While I’ll remind you that I am not a doctor - and you should always consult your doctor or midwife before adding something into your diet during this time - I am a real life mom, who has used collagen both during and after 2 pregnancies. In fact, my youngest will be a one year-old soon, and I’m still using collagen every day! And, I want to share with other moms out there how supportive it has been for me.
So here I am, more than 11 months after having my second baby, Jack, and finally feeling like I’m on the other side of postpartum life (except for sleep, that will return to my life again, right?). Many people talk about getting through the “4th trimester” but I’m confident when I say that those first 3 months are mostly magic - baby is (hopefully) peaceful and calm and just starting to wake up to the world, you’re in a blissed state and everything is new and exciting. But then the baby “wakes up”, if you live in the US your maternity leave is ending, you start to notice handfuls of hair in your hand every time you shower, your body is still feeling a bit softer than you perhaps were hoping, the reality of waking up 3 x per night is starting to wear thin, and you’re just desperate to return to some state of normalcy (both physically and mentally). That’s when this postpartum life suddenly feels uncomfortably real. And I think it’s at this point that we mamas end up searching for the supplements and the foods and the support that will help us to push through the real trenches of postpartum life, which is perhaps what has landed you here on this post.
Everyone talks about the dreaded postpartum hair situation but I’m here believing it is possible to have beautiful, shiny and thick hair postpartum! You’re not alone if you’re experiencing postpartum hair loss (perhaps desperate Google searches on the topic are what have led you here). I remember losing hair after Nora (my first) but with Jack, the amount i lost felt like a whole different ball game!
Yes, I panicked.
But, I am a through and through believer that collagen is essential to hair health and growth. And, I can’t say if collagen reduced the amount of hair I lost - because I didn’t dare stop taking it to find out (!) - but I will say for sure that the hair that has grown back is growing at a rapid rate and is thicker and shinier and just seemingly healthier overall than my hair has ever been. And, feeling good about my hair 11 months postpartum is enough of a win for me to keep taking collagen daily!
Secondly, perhaps the most noticeable difference for me this time around was how much using withinUs TruMarine™ Collagen, each morning supported my breastfeeding hunger levels. I am a runner, and have a full-time job chasing after a nearly 3 year old, so this time around breastfeeding made me constantly hungry. Using collagen to support those hunger levels noticeably helped me. Collagen is the most abundant form of protein in the body and the basic building block of our cells and tissues and I found that when I missed a day using it, my morning hunger was much greater and came on sooner. My blood sugar levels felt all over the place, my energy wasn’t steady, and I just craved more (and less healthy) quick carbohydrates when I skipped.
Perhaps the most frequently asked question in the comments from past posts relates to exactly how much I took, when and how. The reality is, I wasn’t exact. But here’s what I will tell you: I feel my best when taking 1 scoop (5 grams) every morning, and that’s almost always in my coffee. Some days I took a little more for no reason other than I felt like it, whether it was adding an additional scoop into a smoothie or making a Matcha Misto, and some days I skipped all together (though I tried not to after discovering how it helped to regulate my blood sugar and hunger levels in the morning). I typically never exceed 2 scoops / day.
My go-to has forever been the classic withinUs TruMarine™ Collagen, however the new Coconut Creamer + Collagen is quickly moving into first place.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this: motherhood comes with a host of challenges and changes - to your life, and your body. Our bodies, and our lives are a work in progress but sometimes a little nudge of support from a high-quality supplement is like a big hug for your body from the inside out. Make small changes, consult with your physicians, commiserate with friends, and always feel free to reach out!
Kim McDevitt is a Registered Dietitian (RD) specializing in sports nutrition and lifestyle optimization. She is a mom on a mission to help educate and empower other moms to get back to their pre-babe nutrition and fitness goals. Spurred by her love of running and devotion to clean, healthy eating, Kim left a career in advertising/marketing to pursue her passions professionally. Kim shares her post-baby journey in hopes of educating and empowering the other new moms out there.
If you’re looking for nutrition support postpartum, we highly recommend contacting Kim.
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