Balancing postpartum hormones at 40

Prior to finding out the greastest surprise of our lives (we were expecting) I honestly thought I was days away from menopause. Life is funny, folks. I had all the perimenopause symptoms; lethargy, hormonal breakouts, canker sores, hot flahes, night sweats, thinning air etc. It was a big list with not-so fun symptoms, but I chose to address these symptoms primarily with diet and vitamins! Then we found out about baby girl and all these symptoms went away with those blessed pregnancy hormone increases, thanks daughter.

Which brings me to the postpartum phase and what I’m doing to prepare for the lower levels of hormones again. I have not had strong postpartum issues with either one of my boys pregnancies, however I’m much older (43) and am preparing accordingly! So here’s my battery of vitamins, tonics, herbs, and strategy for addressing the dreaded drop off of hormones following birth. ( I’m writing this prior to giving birth, but will come back and update what’s really working for me!)

Postnatal Vitamin- Mama Bird Postnatal or Mom Boss are two I plan on trying. I’m a bit funny about vitamins, if I don’t notice an active difference, I try other brands. Also, I check the ingredients on every supplement, I have to watch how much iron is in there due to digestion issues and assure it’s gluten-free.

Collagen– I’m new to the collagen world, but not hair loss, ha! I sware by biotin, but havent been taking it during during pregnancy, will be picking that back up and it’s included in this supplement I’ll be trying.

Postpartum herbs– Read wonderful reviews on this Milk Moon brand, plus hello pretty bottles! I purchased the postpartum tonic, cloud nine, and no worries. Hoping these herbs combat any low feelings following delivery, particularly anxiety.

Placenta encapsulation– I get it, if this totally sounds scary, but to me its worth a try for all of the positive testimonies I’ve read. Encapsulating your placenta is the process of dehydrating it and preserving it into capsultes to take as supplements during postpartum. Essentially the hospital just throws it in biohazard waste and it is full of nutrients and vitamins that can potentially support that postpartum phase, so why not give it a try. I’m open to trying anything to help with hormone imbalance. Here’s the contact for the gal that provides this service in Okinawa Japan, Bringing Baby earthside-Birth Services by Jackie Ryan.

Breastfeeding– So this can go either way. Nursing a baby can be a positive or negative experience and therefore affect your mood and overall health. If you have a postiive experience, I believe it can be helpful with bonding and releases oxytocin (feel-good) hormone, bonus. However, on the contrary if there are issues, I wouldnt beat yourself up and move on to what works for you and just simply feed that baby. I will say this, I’ve nursed both of my boys and have done it wrong twice, ha! So there is a learning curve for both mama and baby and don’t be afraid to have that lactation consultant on speed dial, they are so helpful. Education is key with breastfeeding. I’m researching all the tips and tricks again because there is technique to it and requires overall patience. I’m most excited to try Haaka device pictured in the graphic, which attaches to the opposite side you are nursing on and catches the let down milk. This silicone device wastes none of the liquid gold and can create a solid milk supply in the fridge! What a win.

Calcium, magnesium, zinc– I call this my feel-good pill and have been taking it throughout pregnancy. It has sucessfully stopped my leg cramps at night and truly boosts my mood. Also, this particular brand doesn’t hurt my gut.

Bye Bye Bloat– One of the secrets to feeling good in the brain is feeling good in the gut. This supplement is unbeleivably effective in de-bloating and includes digestive enzymes, perfect for those that are gluten senstive like me. I sware by it and am on my third bottle.

***UPDATE. Now that I’ve had baby girl there’s one product missing from this list that’s been essential to healing following a delivery especially if you’ve torn called dermaplast. It will be your new best friend. It’s an anti-itch and numbing spray, I use it daily and it been so helpful. The hospital here in Okinawa issues it to you, make sure you grab the bottle they give you following birth and the one included in your bag upon discharge. So you are going home with two cans because this amazing product does not ship to our island, trust me I tried!

In addition to dermaplast, the haaka silicone milk catcher is a must if you are breastfeeding. I’ve been able to get a good start on a freezer supply of breast milk just by latching the haaka the opposite side I’m nursing baby girl on! It’s truly a genius invention. I like both the haaka original and the ladybug which fits inside your bra and is smaller, brilliant.

Also, another brillant tip I got off instagram is to make a bin in the bathroom containing all your postpartum products so that everything is ready and availabe for you within arm’s reach. Set this up prior to having baby, it’s truly a life saver.

To be honest, with all my babies, I get so focused on taking care of baby that I don’t pay much mind to how I’m feeling. I’m hypervigilant on baby, especially since little girl was so tiny (5lbs 15oz). The mission was to feed, feed, feed to help her gain weight, get rid of the jaundice, and regulate her temperature to stay warm. Overall, I’ve recovered well, I have the weird anxiety moments with her about her general welfare, but that’s just me with all my kiddos. Also, as taxing as nursing is 24/7, I think it gives me those good- loving baby feelings, but I know its different for everyone. I’m just so overwhelmed that she purely exists which keeps my mindset in a grateful stance daily, helping my overall health.

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Hey, I'mMaria

A Christian, married to an insanely gifted and talented Marine husband, mother to Gideon (15), Boaz (10) and our rainbow baby, Shiloh. I’m actually an R.N turned accidental photographer, currently living in Fredericksuburg, Va after completing our final tour in Okinawa Japan. You'll find travel, Jesus, and lifestyle posts here on the Journal.


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