During pregnancy, there are a lot of hormones in fluctuation in your body. Some of the main hormones people tend to think about are estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin and prolactin.
After delivery, progesterone and estrogen drop, and there is a spike in oxytocin and prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone that encourages the production of breast milk. Even if you choose not to breastfeed, your body will have this spike in prolactin until your milk dries up.
Things will generally settle down 6-8 weeks after delivery, but prolactin and oxytocin will remain elevated while breastfeeding!
When you begin the process of weaning breastfeeding, prolactin and oxytocin decrease -- which can sometimes lead to delayed onset of PPD/PPA ***if you notice feeling off, intrusive thoughts, etc - seek help!***
While you should always talk to your doctor about hormonal support if you are feeling off or noticing significant physical or mental changes, here are some natural ways to support your hormones postpartum:
- Slow weaning (if breastfeeding)
- Taking a magnesium supplement (always check with your dr before starting supplements!)
- Add cruciferous/leafy greens, healthy fats, omegas (salmon, flax, chia, hemp) into diet
- Continue to take a prenatal or postnatal vitamin to help fill in the gaps
Did you have any noticeable hormonal changes postpartum? Let me know in the comments! 👇🏽
(sources: What to Expect, and Flo)
*disclaimer: the does not serve as medical advice*