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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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)