Balancing Hormones Postpartum:
6 Tips For Natural Healing
According to Parents, it takes about six months for your hormones to return to normal after birth. Even though it takes half a year to get completely back to your old self, your hormone levels will change right after your baby is born.
When you get pregnant, your body creates high amounts of progesterone and estrogen. Immediately after giving birth, those hormone levels start to plummet, causing you to feel a wide range of emotions post-birth.
Knowing the different ways of balancing hormones postpartum is key to helping you through the post-pregnancy process. This guide will discuss the different postpartum hormonal imbalances you can experience and how to manage your symptoms.
Common Postpartum Hormonal Imbalances
Giving birth to your new baby is likely one of the best moments in your life. Most women feel an intense high when they meet their baby right after birth.
However, even though your body will have an oxytocin surge to compensate for your estrogen and progesterone level drop, it'll quickly disappear. You can expect to feel some baby blues the first few days after delivering as the oxytocin gets worked out of your system.
It's normal for your body to take several weeks or months to balance your hormones. Some scenarios include where your hormones fail to get back into their former rhythm. Let's discuss some of the most common postpartum hormonal imbalances.
High Estrogen Levels
Your body's estrogen levels will get the highest immediately before you go into labor. Some healthcare professionals think that labor begins when estrogen becomes your body's dominant hormone. Your estrogen levels will stay quite high after giving birth, giving you the emotional roller coaster feeling.
Estrogen dominance is a common hormonal imbalance. Symptoms of estrogen dominance include:
- Heavy and irregular periods
- Severe and intense menstrual cramps
- Weight gain
- Fluid retention
- Panic attacks, depression, and/or anxiety
Estrogen dominance can also cause other hormonal issues, including hypothyroidism. According to the Mayo Clinic, hypothyroidism is when your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough levels of hormones that are crucial to your body's function.
With estrogen dominance, your liver produces higher amounts of thyroid-binding globulin. TBG works to bind your thyroid hormone in your bloodstream. Once that happens, the thyroid hormones can't enter your body's cells to get used as energy.
Additionally, estrogen dominance can result in adrenal fatigue. Estrogen dominance can result in an increased amount of cortisol-binding globulin. CBG binds cortisol in the blood, preventing it from entering the rest of your body.
High estrogen levels can wreak havoc on various areas of the body. It can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms don't seem related to the actual problem.
Low Progesterone Levels
Progesterone is produced in the ovaries after you ovulate every month. It's a vital part of pregnancy and your menstrual cycle. While it helps regulate your period, its main function is to prepare your uterus for a baby.
When you ovulate, progesterone works to thicken your uterus's lining to get ready for a fertilized egg. If there isn't a fertilized egg, your progesterone levels will drop, and you'll have a menstrual cycle. If an egg gets implanted, progesterone will help keep the uterine lining intact during your pregnancy.
Your progesterone levels will drop dramatically after giving birth. Unfortunately, you won't start creating any more of the hormone until you have your first period. During that time, you can experience a hormonal imbalance.
Some common signs of low progesterone levels include:
- Irregular periods
- Depression or anxiety
- Hot flashes
According to the Cleveland Clinic, postpartum thyroiditis, or an underactive thyroid, is a rare condition. Only 5% of women experience it. Those with a prior history of thyroid problems or type 1 diabetes have a higher risk.
This condition occurs when antithyroid antibiotics start attacking the thyroid. Healthcare professionals haven't determined why this event occurs. Once the attack begins, the thyroid will get inflamed. At first, the thyroid might be overactive. Over time, it could result in an underactive thyroid.
The first phase starts one to six months after you give birth. Women typically don't notice the symptoms at first. The symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Hot flashes
- Increased heart rate
Most women will notice their symptoms during the second phase of postpartum thyroiditis. This phase occurs four to eight months postpartum. These symptoms include:
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Muscle pain
Tips for Balancing Hormones after Birth
You'll have your hands full once you bring your new baby home. While balancing hormones after birth might not be at the top of your list, it's important to pay attention to your body.
Feeling teary and emotional are common. Knowing when the side effects you're experiencing are part of a hormonal imbalance is key. There are ways you can manage your postpartum hormonal shifts.
1. Try Postpartum Hormone Balance Supplements
Postpartum hormone balance supplements can help your body in so many ways. Certain supplements can help with your energy production and metabolism.
New moms don't always have the energy or time to eat and prepare healthy meals. Supplements can provide them with the essential nutrients they need and balance their hormones.Knowell
The Knowell supplement includes various minerals, botanicals, and vitamins that can positively influence your hormones. Some of the ingredients you'll find in our capsule are:
Not having enough vitamin D can result in a hormonal imbalance. Having enough vitamin D in your system can help reduce your estrogen levels and regulate your body's sex hormones. Vitamin D can also work with the parathyroid hormone, balancing how much calcium you have in your body.Magnesium
Magnesium does wonderful things for our bodies, including helping our bodies produce progesterone and estrogen. It can also improve our sleep patterns. Not having enough magnesium can result in anxiety, muscle pain, and hormonal imbalance.
2. Focus on Getting Lots of Rest
It might sound ridiculous to try and get a lot of rest while you have a newborn. You don't want to overextend yourself after giving birth.
Don't use the time when your baby is sleeping to do chores. You need to rest during that time, even if you just relax on the couch. Ask others for help managing your chores.
3. Eat Nourishing Foods
Your diet plays an essential role in your postpartum health. You should avoid eating inflammatory foods that contain GMOs. They can contribute to your body having elevated estrogen levels.
Other types of inflammatory foods you should avoid include:
- Refined carbs
- Soy-based foods
- Fast foods
- Trans fat
Keep in mind that consuming meat from different animals that have been injected with hormones will affect your hormonal imbalance. You should focus on eating animals that have been raised naturally and hormone-free.
Focus on eating the following types of foods:
- Organic fruits and vegetables
- Protein, such as lean meats, legumes, and eggs
- Iron-rich foods, like leafy greens
- Healthy fats, such as avocados and seeds
4. Drink Lots of Water
You should be drinking a lot of water and nourishing fluids after giving birth. Nourishing fluids can include:
Being dehydrated can result in brain fog and fatigue and increase depression symptoms. As a result, your hormonal balance symptoms can feel worse.
You should avoid drinking a lot of caffeine and sodas. A lot of coffee can cause dehydration. It can also make you feel jittery and anxious.
Avoid consuming soda, especially diet sodas. Diet sodas contain artificial sugars that are harmful to your body. They can also increase your body's hormonal imbalance.
5. Try Low-Impact Movements
Exercise will help boost your energy levels and endorphins while decreasing your depressive feelings. Modest and low-impact exercise is a wonderful way to balance your hormones.
You should remember that your body is still producing relaxin, a hormone that softens the ligaments in your pelvis. Try gentle movements since you're at a higher risk of muscle strains and sprains.
Walking is a great way to lose weight. You can also explore yoga. Yoga is a whole-body exercise that teaches mindfulness.
6. Reduce Stress with Massage or Acupuncture
It's not realistic for you to avoid all of your stressors, especially as a mother of a newborn. It's important to find different ways to manage and minimize it. Identify your triggers and find healthy, manageable ways to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Take some time to yourself to get acupuncture or a massage. Reach out to family members and friends, and lean on your partner for support. They'll be understanding if you tell them how you're feeling and that you need an hour to yourself to practice self-care.
Get the Support You Need for Postpartum Hormone Balancing
We understand how difficult it can be to get the support you need after giving birth. If you're experiencing any of the symptoms we talked about, make an appointment with your healthcare professional immediately. Your doctor will help you create a treatment plan that gets you back on track.
Discover Why Balancing Hormones Postpartum Is Important
Giving birth is an exciting time in your life. You want to enjoy every minute you have with your new baby. Knowing the ways of balancing hormones postpartum will help you get back to feeling like your normal self.