You’ve heard the rumors.  Adaptogens can help you reduce stress.

This may be ONE of the secret ingredients you need to break through postpartum depression and anxiety.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take them while breastfeeding? Guess what? You can.

You’re afraid they will do more harm than good, but how long are you going to struggle with sleep, overthinking, fatigue, and crying?

It all boils down to this…

  • are you going to do nothing and just wait it out?
  • or can you start medications AND work on healing your body?
  • or can you add just one botanical and see how your body feels?

But hang on…the reality is – it takes a multi-directional approach to heal postpartum depression and anxiety. And.. adaptogens are just one piece of the puzzle.

So, let’s get started.

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Adaptogen definition

What are adaptogens?

  • Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help us adapt to stress.
  • They also can reduce adrenal fatigue or the burnout we experience from sleep deprivation after childbirth.
  • When you’re in burnout or fight or flight, you may experience increased heart rate, increase blood pressure, and a sudden need to pee, and moms usually get a startled wake-up.
    • Sounds smell, and colors may bother you because all of our senses go on high alert as well.
    • You may notice you have intrusive thoughts as well. Thoughts of harming yourself or your child.

The problem is that many of us live in a chronic state of fight or flight, especially in the postpartum years when you’re being woken up at all times of the night, or constantly having to jump up every time a baby cries.

  • Over time, this can lead to dysfunction. If you’re struggling with Postpartum depression or anxiety, you’re probably stuck in this mode as well.
  • Adaptogens can help regulate this stress response.
  • In traditional medicine systems, these are also known as “tonics” and their purpose is to help restore adrenal health, ease anxieties, and reduce cortisol levels.

Adaptogens postpartum include

  • Ashwagandha
  • Holy Basil
  • Reishi
  • Shatavari
  • Stinging nettles and more!

Postpartum adaptogens effects

  • reduce fatigue as you can go to sleep faster and stay asleep longer
  • reduce heart racing and panic attacks
  • reduce the monthly cold you may get before your period
  • you’ll build stamina to withstand the long days of motherhood
  • bring a little peace to all of the chaos



My favorite adaptogen to use with a postpartum breastfeeding mom is Ashwagandha, known as the “strength of stallions”.

  • It strengthens the immune system
  • reduces cortisol levels
  • balances thyroid hormones
  • (It’s considered a Level 1 category, in the herb/risk during lactation categories and considered safe to take when you’re breastfeeding.

Postpartum exhaustion

Adaptogens can improve your sleep and help reduce postpartum exhaustion.

Watch this video to learn my favorite adaptogens that are safe while breastfeeding.


Here’s the thing….

  • If you choose not to take medications, you’ll suffer for many years with insomnia, depression, and anxiety. And, It may get worse.
  • If you choose to take medications, you may struggle with side effects like loss of libido, incontinence, and weight gain. {some women do need this and it’s ok!}

So, you have to decide what is right for you at this time in your life.


When taken correctly, adaptogens and nervines can support you when you are going through anxiety and depression.

If you’re struggling with depression, please ask for help.  Medication may be the right answer for you, but it doesn’t mean forever.  Diet, community, sleep, and nutrition can help reduce your symptoms and help you feel like yourself again. Just take one step today.

I’d love to know your thoughts.  Have you tried adaptogens? Let me know your questions in the comment area below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.


What causes postpartum depression? Dr. Kelly Brogan

Certified women’s herbal educator, Tara Gregorio is helping moms around the world reduce medications with herbs & homeopathy. Learn more about Tara here:
Why adaptogens are perfect for postpartum depression and anxiety