A woman's body undergoes physical and emotional changes at various phases of her life. Nothing changes her body and mind, the way pregnancy and childbirth change. Life becomes a roller coaster ride for a new mother. At one side, there is this joy of bringing a new life into this world, while on other, you have to cope with some unpleasant physical changes.
Besides, life becomes so stressful that most young mothers have little or no time for themselves. The constant care and attention that a baby demands starts taking its toll on the mother's health. The first to get affected is the endocrine system, which regulates important hormones in the body.
Causes of Hormonal Imbalance after Pregnancy
A woman's body maintains a healthy balance of various hormones. Every month, the levels of reproductive hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, FSH, LH, etc., rise and fall depending upon the stage of menstrual cycle. However, when the woman conceives, some of the reproductive hormones are replaced by pregnancy hormones.
During this stage, the body undergoes myriad physical changes. Some of these changes also affect the functioning of non-reproductive hormones. By the end of pregnancy, the hormonal state in her body has undergone a sea change.
Again, after childbirth, some lactation hormones become active, thereby suppressing other hormones. The whole of this process creates a state of hormone imbalance in women.
A woman may suffer from bouts of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism during this phase. A condition known as adrenal hypersensitivity may cause your adrenal gland to work overtime. This results in depletion of energy levels, inefficiency, memory loss, etc. Similarly, sustained high levels of cortisol may delay healing and cause inflammatory response in body.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance after Childbirth
Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy affects a woman at various levels. She becomes extremely emotional and may get upset without a reason. Lack of time, stress and dissatisfaction with her looks may depress her. Apart from that, physical symptoms such as weight gain, water retention, change in skin texture, etc., are also indicative of a hormone imbalance.
Some of the common physical and emotional signs of hormone imbalance are as follows:
- Mood swings
- Low sex drive
- Feeling fatigued
- Irregular periods
- Sleep disorders
- Excess hair growth
- Anxiety and irritability
- Temperature changes
- Urinary tract infections
- Acne breakouts
Treatment for Hormonal Imbalance
After childbirth, your hormones may take some time to come back to normal levels and resume their usual function. Most mothers can cope with this phase, if they have a helping hand with a baby and an understanding partner. Eating a healthy diet is of utmost importance during this phase.
Make sure your diet is rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients so that your hormones are restored back to normal as early as possible. No matter how hectic your schedule is, try to squeeze some time for yourself. Perform some basic exercises, or take a walk in a park, catch up with your friends or indulge in any activity of your choice.
If the symptoms become unbearable, see a homeopathic or naturopathic doctor. These medicines work wonders for postpartum depression and similar disorders. Do not fuss too much over your body shape, as your body will most likely come back to its pre-pregnancy state in a few months time.
Also, do not get anxious over loss of libido as your body is only reacting in such way due to sheer exhaustion. You can expect your sex life to resume, or rather spice up within a couple of months post childbirth. With little patience, you can certainly come out of this difficult situation.
Now that you are well informed about hormonal changes during and after pregnancy and its effects, you should start preparing yourself for this stage during pregnancy itself. Do not expect too much out of yourself and enjoy your motherhood.