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FOODS + HERBS TO BALANCE HORMONES AFTER PREGNANCY

June 21, 2019

More than we are aware of, these things called hormones rule our life. I never felt “hormonal” until after having my son. At the beginning, I would have a rollercoaster of emotions from loss of identity, to sheer bliss. If you have struggled to find your identity after having your baby, here is what I did that helped immensely.

Why do our hormones get all out-of-whack after pregnancy?

Our hormones are on overdrive throughout our pregnancy.  Estrogen and progesterone are at an all-time high, then suddenly they drop right after giving birth, making your mood go all wonky. And that is okay. Seriously, just tell your partner and family to take nothing personally, and just focus on healing and that sweetest baby of yours.  You might be one of those women who experience adrenal fatigue caused by the surge of cortisol during delivery and the stress/overwhelm of having a new baby at home. Or perhaps you are experiencing a new “reset” of hormonal changes after breastfeeding.


All of your emotions are valid and normal. Do NOT let anyone say differently. Who cares, what matters is the health of you and your baby. Ride that rollercoaster with presence, grace, and without judgment. 


Having a dramatic change in my hormones after having my child allowed me to see through different eyes. While sometimes illogical feelings, they gave me a direct line to my heart. I had to feel it all (good and bad). I now know what I truly need to be the best expression of myself, when to ask for help, and what boundaries I need to put up. Postpartum “blues” were the best thing that happened to my mental state.

Of course, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, nausea, disrupted sleep, headaches or even bad skin postpartum are not fun; and if you’re experiencing hormonal imbalances, what your body might need is a reset to restore its balance. It could take several weeks for the body to get itself back into hormonal balance, so be patient.  Here are ways to support that shift with nutritional and natural methods as it happens. And certain foods can help you get there.

Reduce Inflammatory Foods:

Now I know all these foods are delicious and comforting, but before we start adding in the goods, we have to eliminate the bad.

Eliminate/Reduce: White Flour, Saturated fats, dairy, added sugars, trans fats, hydrogenated oils

Everyone’s different when it comes to what foods they can digest properly. Some may have trouble tolerating foods like gluten, nuts, grains, or night-shade vegetables, while others can tolerate those foods well. Check out the Elimination Diet and see if its right for you.


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Consume Probiotic/ Gut-friendly foods:

Everything starts in the gut. When our gut is imbalanced, everything can be thrown off. I love to take this probiotic every morning on an empty stomach and give a half packet to my 1-year-old. Sugar-free and guarantees 5 billion cells with its encapsulation technology. Many probiotics claim a high cell count, but don’t account for the digestive system breaking them down. This one always delivers and is a staple in our home.

Types of food that support healthy gut bacteria :

Fermented – Coconut Yogurt, Sauerkraut, kimchi, and Kombucha

High in Fiber – Vegetables, fruits, sprouts whole grains and seeds, and legumes

Prebiotic – bananas, oats, garlic, onion, artichokes

Focus on healthy fats:

Fats are not something to be afraid of; healthy fats are our friends.

Fats help to fuel the brain, support reproductive health, keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism, satisfy hunger, and even promote weight loss.

Eat fats like:

Chia seeds, coconut oil, avocado oil, avocados, nuts & seeds, and coconut yogurt. 

These hormonal shifts can be extremely intense for some women after having kids, while others might just feel slightly off and blame it on sleeplessness or stress.

Include phytoestrogens in your diet.

Found in soy foods, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, bean sprouts, and legumes such as garbanzo beans and peas, phytoestrogens are plant-based substances that can help balance your hormones naturally.

Limit the coffee

I love coffee, don’t get me wrong,  but the truth is that too much caffeine can wreak havoc on the endocrine system, especially if there are other hormone stressors involved, like pregnancy, presence of toxins, or stress. When I eliminate coffee for several months, I notice I no longer have that mid-day crash, don’t feel like I am dependent on a drink to get going, and have more sustainable energy throughout my day. Try it out!

Herbs to restore balance

Maca

This Peruvian root is packed with superfood properties, one being helping balance hormones. It’s also touted for increasing energy, improving mental function and boosting libido — something surely many mamas could benefit from.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha can reduce cortisol levels, regulate your endocrine system, increase sexual arousal, and reduce menopause symptoms. It’s a powerhouse adaptogen you need in your life. I love to throw it in my smoothies and I never taste a difference.

Vitex (chasteberry)

This is a new discovery for me and have yet to try it. Vitex is said to work directly with your pituitary gland helping to regulate estrogen and progesterone production.

Ginseng

Ginseng helps reduce chronic stress and anxiety by lowering cortisol levels. Better yet, ginseng can help stimulate arousal.

Ayurvedic herb Shatavari

Restores and balances hormones,  increase libido, fight fatigue, treats PMS and menopausal symptoms, supports healthy production of breast milk, strengthen the immune systems, and improve digestive health. I have been taking this for about 6 months and can feel a huge difference.

As always, check with your doctor before starting a new supplement to rule out any potential complications and interactions with other conditions.

I hope you enjoyed these tips. If you have any suggestions on how you balance your hormones, I would love to hear them. Don’t forget to follow me or reach out on IG!!- plantingseedsmamma. 

 

 

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