Ask The Diva: Why Am I Moody After Baby? | The Hormone Diva

Ask The Diva: Why Am I Moody After Baby?

Hi, 
I just weaned my third child cold turkey at 15 months because of herpes on my nipples. Let’s say birth pains are nice compared to that stuff going on… Now i have some serious hormone fog going. I am extremely moody, irritable and easily angry. I feel tired too. I know that one can get similar symptoms like post part depression after weaning… From my experience it will all be fine once my period starts but that can take 3 months from now like my former weaning experiences… my question is do you know anything that could help my body adjust quicker…? Basically I want to help my hormones get back to normal. I suppose I need to get rid of excess prolactin and oxytocin and get higher levels of estrogen. Now that I wrote it I should probably just have lots of sex,… No serious, any ideas? – Lydia F.
 
 
Thanks for your question Lydia! You are definitely NOT alone in this, mood and energy problems are extremely common in new moms. 
 
First of all, what are you really recovering from after pregnancy and post-weaning?
  • Pelvic floor muscle damage
  • Fatigue and muscle strain
  • Rapidly shifting hormone environment
  • Stressed out adrenal glands
  • Nutrient deficiencies: possibly Folate (B9), Vitamin B12, Calcium, Iron, Selenium, Zinc, Omega-3s
  • Sex hormone drop after birth- both estrogen and progesterone
 
How can you get your hormones and LIFE back quicker?
 

Foods

The best thing you can do for yourself is to pay close attention to what you’re putting in your body. Eating foods to balance your blood sugar and increase the health of your digestive tract will balance your hormones and mood very quickly. See below for my food recommendations. 
 
  • Gut healing: bone broth, grass-fed collagen protein powder, organ meats (especially liver)
  • Vitamin C foods for tissue repair + adrenal (stress) health: citrus, strawberries, rose hips, leafy greens
  • Zinc foods for immune and mood balance: pecans, seame seeds, cashews, dates, flax, oyserts, cacao, crab, poppy seeds, beef, eggs
  • Omega 3 foods for inflammation and mood balance: fish of all kinds (especially fatty fish like salmon and sardines), GRASS-FED beef, eggs
  • Balance of protein, fat and carbs with EVERY meal- avocados, collagen protein powders, healthy meats/fish, coconut products, nuts/seeds- avoid processed grains (products using flours, even if GF), as many green vegetables as you can eat
 

Detoxification

Something important to note is that while detoxification is 100% necessary, it should not be undertaken while breastfeeding, as toxins can be dumped into breast milk, and then into your baby. Here are some steps for successful post-baby detoxing:
 
  • Primarily eat organic foods- with as much green as possible
  • Include gentle exercise- yoga, pilates, barre classes, gentle strengthening with bodyweight or exercise bands
  • Be mindful and practice stress reducing techniques like meditation or yoga
  • Herbs- milk thistle is very helpful, and even safe while breastfeeding- it helps to repair/regenerate liver cells for proper hormone metabolism + mood balance
 

Stress Reduction

Reducing stress using radical self-care practice is essential to ward off the post-baby blues. Here are some suggestions:

  • Get help/support with your baby whenever possible. Have others cook, do laundry and run errands so you can rest.
  • Meditation/deep breathing/yoga
  • LOTS of sleep- whenever you can, even if it’s short naps
  • Monitor hydration – aim for your bodyweight in ounces of water per day
  • Implement a laptop curfew (no technology 2 hours before bed), stick to a bedtime routine, sleep in complete darkness 
  • Cognitive behaviourial therapy has been shown helpful for mood issues after baby
  • Regular sex- you are absolutely right that sex is important! Have it as often as possible to restore hormonal balance, reduce stress and encourage proper vaginal tissue tone
 

Bring Back Your Period

Now that you are done breastfeeding, bringing your period back is one of the best ways to ensure your hormone levels get back to normal.

  • There is some evidence that parsley tea can be helpful in bringing on a missing period. Assuming no kidney issues or possibility of pregnancy, 3-4 cups daily can be consumed.
  • Reduce stress as much as possible with the suggestions above
  • Blood sugar balance- your ovaries have a very finicky relationship with blood sugar, and having too many dips and spikes (from poor diet) will prevent a period (and ovulation) from happening
  • Cinnamon and/or ginger daily. Both help to increase blood flow and reduce stagnation in the reproductive system. They can be consumed as tea, powder used in cooking or you can try capsules.

Supplements

  • The nutrient deficiencies mentioned at the beginning- you may want to supplement and focus on foods with these nutrients
  • Parsley tea, up to 3-4 cups daily
  • Cinnamon and ginger, as tea, used in food or capsules
  • Turmeric- for inflammation, also very helpful for mild depression (1000mg per day)

 

 

Comments

  1. Lydia purple

    Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. I try to sleep well, and avoid stress and I do eat a pretty clean diet, but I will implement a few things that you suggested. i ate liver a lot during pregnancy and I never went anemic but I stopped after having the baby. I will start to incoperate that again! And parsley tea…Never heard of that but I’ll try it. Sounds like an interesting new tea taste! And regarding the sex, I can say now that since I wrote the question to you until today, the days after sex were a lot less moody and less irritable than the days without sex! That was really a lightbulb moment I had when I wrote this question… And I didn’t feel very sexy but I thought, hi why not get in the mood and have some fun, it won’t hurt… And the benefit seems huge. So funny that the hormones that are out of whack “lie” to you. Like they say ‘no don’t want sex, I am grouchy’ but sex is what will help you be balanced again.

    Thanks again for all these practical suggestions, I couldn’t find much info online on balancing hormones after weaning, so this is a real gem of information!

    1. That is SO awesome! Thanks so much for your kind words. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

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