For me, one of the biggest challenges after delivery was adjusting to my new postpartum hormones.
I was so happy!
Then I was so sad.
Then I was soooo angry.
Then I felt pretty happy again.
(Give my man a medal…)
It felt like I was riding a rodeo bull, and any moment I was going to get flung off and smush someone.
Now that I’m in my thirties, “handling hormones” has become a common topic of girl talk conversation.
I never had PMS or hormonal issues before pregnancies ravaged my endocrine system. But it seems now like my pituitary gland is working hard to make up for lost time.
This means that you and I are riding in the same rodeo. You know how cowboys use those rodeo clowns to distract the bull and prevent them from being trampled to death?
My friends and I have been working up a list of ‘Hormonal Rodeo Clowns” that can do the same things.
These tricks distract your feelings from emotionally trampling you to death.
- Keep taking your prenatal vitamin. Those first several months are going to probably involve a lot more eating out or fast-food choices than normal (exhaustion does that). These vitamins are a must.
- Use an aromatherapy spray. The Happy Mama Spray uses a blend of essential oils and flower fragrances to open your olfactory nerves and dowse your senses in peace. Use it as a refreshing mist.
- Take a fish oil supplement. Studies have shown that extra omega-3 fatty acids can help with depression. 1000 mg a day should do it.
- Soak in the sun. Sometimes all you need is to get out of the House Cave to feel encouraged. Vitamin D does a mind good!
- Use a homeopathic remedy. Melancholy Lift is a consistent favorite for fans of all-natural homeopathic remedies.
- Try some essential oils. My friend Cecilia (essential oil queen) recommends something called Progessence Plus. It’s a non synthetic progesterone supplement with frankincense and other oils that help naturally balance progesterone levels. She can answer all your questions about it on her website.
- Get more sleep. hahahahahahaha *wipes tear* hahahahaha Okay, seriously. Try to get more sleep. Try. Ask a friend to watch the baby for an hour if you have to. It’s hard to think positively when your head is stuck in a marshmallow of exhaustion.
- Encapsulate the placenta. This type of thing never “floated my boat”, but if you’re a granola mom, and yours is collecting dust on the mantelpiece, here’s how to turn it into a gel-capped happy place.
- Use an estrogen cream. I added this hesitantly. First of all, you shouldn’t use it if your breastfeeding. Secondly, I would give your doctor a quick call to double-triple check it’s okay. But if he gives you the thumbs up, I have several friends who swear by it.
- Discover Evening Primrose Oil. This is my new best friend. I took it to give Bella the pregnancy eviction notice (10 days late!), but then forgot about it until recently when a friend brought it up again. So glad she did!
- Exercise your body. Moving your body around stimulates your brain to release serotonin. Serotonin is the “Happy Hormone” for a reason. Crank up the Taylor Swift and do some living room dancin’. (Something that happens weekly at my house.)
If none of these things seem to be helping, you may have a deeper issue that needs to be addressed. Don’t let it slide. Reach out to your doctor and go to Postpartum Progress for more hints on how to get back to your old self.
The Best Tip for Last: Talk it Out
Sometimes the biggest help is just to get it all out. To vomit all those emotions out and clear your system.
You aren’t an island.
You’re not alone.
Hormones aren’t just feelings. They are like liquid drugs, carousing around your body like a drunk clown – sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes dangerous.
Take a second to stop “going through the motions” and really think about how you’re feeling.
Are you wire-tight and angry?
Anxious and afraid?
Type it out, sister. Let other moms circle the wagons and help you tame this bronco down.
It’s what friends do.