Posted by Dr. Della Parker on November 18, 2015
Prevent Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression, baby blues, leave momma the hell alone, whatever you want to call it, it sucks! You just had a baby! Now life is supposed to be filled with rainbows and butterflies, but all you want to do is cry. Then sleep, then cry some more. Or your energy is so tanked that you can’t even get off the couch. Not that you need to, the baby is attached at the boob and he prefer you keep your butt put anyway. A couple weeks go by and we call this all normal. After all, your body just created a human and it needs to repair itself and hormones need to normalize. But what is going on with the mamas I see in my office having these same complaints months and months later? Symptoms that are getting worse over time instead of better?
I know, you are probably sick of hearing that term, but it makes the world go round, I’m sure of it! First a quick review: Adrenal glands (you have 2) sit on top of your kidneys and have many functions in the body. We commonly call them the stress handlers because that’s what they do! They respond to inflammations, low blood sugars, hormone imbalances, help to manage fluids, work with thyroid to run metabolism and provide energy, provide tone in the body to keep ligaments and sphincters (say what?) taut, and probably a lot more that is not on the tip of my tongue.
These glands work their tails off in pregnancy. Hello! It’s a little bit of stress to grow a human. So if you enter into this 9 month journey with pre-existing low adrenal function you can bet they are about to get tanked! Wait… your baby has adrenal glands! Now you can use theirs, and what do ya know, you feel great when you are pregnant! Better than ever! This is the hallmark sign that things won’t be pretty after you give birth to that little adrenal providing biscuit.
After birth, your adrenal support is literally removed from your body. Now your own adrenal glands need to kick into gear fast! They have just been chillin’ while your baby’s adrenals did all the work. This is why it is always recommended to taper off steroid medications. So your own glands can re-establish function over time instead of being thrust back into action. Now you are hopelessly tired and may be plagued with out of control inflammation. Whether it be mastitis, eczema, IBS, back pain, endometriosis, or any other inflammatory condition, your adrenals just can’t get a handle on it. Next those adrenals drag down thyroid function creating hair loss, dry skin, brain fog, constipation, and more fatigue. This either sounds quite horrifying or all too familiar. Either way, what do you do about it?
Prevention is key
Supporting these glands through pregnancy, no matter who you are is a must! Remember growing a baby is a stress on the body. I keep saying this because it’s true! This additional to all of life’s normal stressors. Your adrenals make the backbone of all hormones. Hormones… pregnancy. They also support tone in the body. Ligament laxity causing back pain and heart burn due to floppy sphincters (say what?) are very common symptoms of pregnancy that can be avoided or improved. Most importantly you can support the use of your own adrenals instead of stealing your babies.
The impact on adrenal fatigued moms using baby’s gland are not just on moms. These babies are often born with decreased ability to manage all those things that adrenals do. We typically see these kiddos having increased rates of asthma, allergies, and eczema. Its ok, you didn’t do it on purpose! Let’s just get it fixed, early!
How to support those adrenals
Eat! Yes, eat real food. Eat protein and lots of it, you are growing a human remember! 90 grams daily preferably. And eat often. Nothing stabilizes blood sugar and heals up adrenals better than eating protein every 2-3 hours all day long. This is super important at the beginning stages of healing.
Sleep! Rest flips the switch to turn on you parasympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for proper digestion, cellular repair and regeneration… healing! 6 hours just won’t cut it! Quit letting society make you feel lazy and give your body the 8-10 hours of sleep per night it needs to heal!
Stop eating sugar! That stuff will kill you! It is a roadblock to you and healthy adrenals, really between you and healthy anything! If you are craving it, use the frequent protein eating to help stabilizes blood sugars and help decrease those cravings. This is very important! Sugar creates inflammation in the body and subsequently more work for the adrenals.
Supplements There are many options for support, and what might work for one may not work for another. This is why I always recommend a visit to your local Naturopathic doctor to determine the best nutrients for you. Nutrition Response Testing is a tool I use in practice to identify the exact nutrient or herb your body needs to restore health. It takes the guess work out and asks a patient’s body what it needs to restore health. It is very powerful and I recommend it to everyone!
Listen… Growing a baby ain’t easy!
Check out this amazing resource from momlovesbest.com to help you keep up your energy while your body does all the work to turn that little blob into a human.
For more information check out my website drdellaparker.com
or call 503-344-6631 to schedule a free discovery call.