Pregnancy changes a lot of things, one of which is our hormones. During this time your hormones are fluctuating up and down causing you to not fully feel like yourself. As your pregnancy goes on, eventually your body will adapt to these changes. But what happens after pregnancy when your body has to adjust yet again? The good news is your hormones should only be imbalanced for a few weeks to a month after giving birth. The struggle between your hormones changing, your estrogen being increased and trying to control all of these changes happening can feel like a rollercoaster. Adapting is the hard part, once you do you’ll be able to manage this confusing time and get it under control.
Some women think that pregnancy hormones only exist while being pregnant, this is in fact not true. Your body after pregnancy and delivering your newborn is still there and can possibly feel worse. These changes can cause several problems such as hair loss, insomnia and mood swings. All of this tends to happen due to an increase in your estrogen levels, causing estrogen dominance.
Understanding estrogen dominance during pregnancy
During pregnancy, your estrogen levels are significantly increased being that they play a key role in the development of the fetus. The estrogen in your body is what initiates the growth of many organs in the fetus, so as you can imagine, this is important. Whether you are looking into breastfeeding or not, your breasts will need to prepare for milk production which comes from the increase of estrogen. This happens by enlarging the milk ducts preparing for feeding. Your body, skin and health will go through many changes during this time. You’ll notice that the increase of estrogen spikes during your first trimester and then from there it is usually steady and easier to maintain.
If you notice any of these symptoms after giving birth, you are more than likely experiencing hormonal imbalance:
1.Mood Swings and or Anxiety
This is very common in pregnant women and new moms. Especially if you have suffered from estrogen dominance throughout your pregnancy, you will notice that it will be more difficult after giving birth. The hormonal imbalance will naturally affect your emotional being which leads to increased mood swings.
2. Loss of sleep
Having difficulty staying asleep or even falling asleep is a big sign of unbalanced hormones in your body after pregnancy. In addition to this, you may feel extremely tired throughout your days, feeling constantly restless. Although if you just gave birth, this is normal and over time your sleeping schedule should return to normal. There are some tips and tricks that you may follow to get your sleeping patterns back to normal.
3. Menstrual Issues
Any increase in bleeding or extreme pain is due to hormonal imbalance which is caused by estrogen dominance. When your estrogen levels are not balanced, this will throw off your cycle. On the flip side, some women may even notice very light bleeding after giving birth. Any unusual bleeding whether it be too heavy or too light is a clear sign of your hormones being thrown off.
4. Unable to lose weight
Although right after giving birth this should not be your concern, if your baby weight has not left after some months have gone by, this is typically caused by hormonal imbalance. Your weight in the first month should not be an issue. Naturally, your body will get rid of extra weight on its own and anything in addition to that should only be a concern a few months down the road. Every new mom wants to get her body back to the way it was before pregnancy, but you could be hindering your own weight loss. Be sure to stay on track with your eating and dieting.
5. Loss of hair
Some women’s hair grows and some women suffer from hair loss. Your hormones during pregnancy may fluctuate up and down causing them to become unbalanced leading to loss of hair. Postpartum hair loss is nothing to worry about too much as many new moms go through this. After your hormones get back on track you should experience your normal hair growth cycle a few months after giving birth.
How to restore hormonal balance
All of this can be frustrating as you go through these hormonal changes during pregnancy and even after pregnancy. The good news is, they don’t last forever and you can get your hormones under control. On the other hand, most women would like to know how they can restore their bodies after giving birth. It won’t happen overnight and it will take your body some time to adjust, but you can take it into your own hands.
As you’re restoring your hormones you’ll want to avoid a few things:
- Alcohol is one of the big ones! We understand after pregnancy you may be ready for your first drink, but we advise staying away from alcohol as well as sugary caffeinated beverages if your hormones are out of control. Alcohol can trigger your hormones and set them off. In addition, you should wait until you are completed with breastfeeding.
- Your body may need extra supplement intake at this moment. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can come from your lack of mineral balance which leads to hormonal imbalance. Therefore, being sure to take all of the right vitamins and supplements during this time is vital. You can look into hormone balancing vitamins that can help balance them out.
- Avoiding soy products is another important step in helping your body after pregnancy. Soy products contain phytoestrogens that trigger your body’s natural estrogen levels. Therefore, avoiding soy altogether will be best.
- You’ll want to avoid simple carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, rice, and sweets. These items lead to weight gain causing high blood sugar which will throw off all of your hormones. Replace these options with whole grains or alternative options such as brown rice, wheat bread, sweet potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, and oatmeal.
- Avoid hormonal birth control after giving birth. Although you may be wanting to avoid any more pregnancies for some time, be sure that you consult with your doctor to find a birth control method that won’t interfere with your hormones. Otherwise, you may delay or worsen your imbalanced hormones. Many birth control methods are an active cause of the effect of your hormones in itself. So if you are taking birth control, this could be the reason your hormones are out of whack.
Should I see a doctor is I am having hormonal changes?
If you just gave birth and are suffering from some or all of the things that we have mentioned, you may want to consult with your doctor. You can try natural remedies to take control of your hormones on your own, but if the situation does not get better, you’ll want to see your doctor. In most cases, hormonal imbalance doesn’t last longer than a few months after giving birth, but everyone has a different experience. Your doctor will be able to tell you if your symptoms are due to estrogen dominance or hormonal imbalance and find a solution to get them under control. Stick to healthy clean foods, moderate exercises, and daily vitamins. Natural remedies work, but they do take time, so be patient with your body as it is going through many changes.