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Throughout pregnancy and for some time after, the body’s hormonal balance and composition shifts. Once the pregnancy ends, many women find their bodies in a state of hormone shock. In addition to all of the fresh duties motherhood brings with it, the body must also adjust to the new normal of postpartum life.

What causes these hormonal imbalances?

While the simple answer is “childbirth,” there’s more specifics going on here. The most common imbalance is that of estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are incredibly important to the development and continued health of both mother and child during pregnancy as well as after. The reason these fall out of balance is because throughout pregnancy, the placenta produces large amounts of progesterone, and the rest of the body adjusts estrogen production to match.

Once the placenta is delivered, the regular source of progesterone is gone, but the body is still producing far too much estrogen. This is known as estrogen dominance. Symptoms of estrogen dominance include insomnia, mood swings, and difficulty losing weight to name a few. Usually these levels balance out over time, but there are several ways to speed up the process.

How do you combat these imbalances?

Increase Fiber Intake

Increasing fiber intake can go a long way towards cutting down on abundant estrogen in the blood. Fiber binds to estrogen as well as cholesterol, and carries it out of the body. High in fiber foods like lentils and whole wheat pastas are great sources of the fiber your body needs.

Avoid Refined Sugars

Excess carbohydrates and sugars are stored as fat in the body. Bodies that have more stored fat produce more estrogen, which would exacerbate the situation. Instead of eating foods like white bread or most kinds of pasta that contain processed sugars, shoot for some low-carb options. Replace the bread on your sandwich with some crisp lettuce leaves!

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

These substances can cause your hormone levels to shift unpredictably, making it difficult to treat any existing hormone imbalance. By interfering with the hormone producing glands like the thyroid, ovaries, and pancreas, these imbalances can become much worse and lead to long term problems.

Increase Vitamin D intake

Vitamin D can potentially lower estrogen levels in the blood. You can raise your vitamin D intake by spending more time in the sun, or adding a supplement to your diet.

Get More Rest

Make sure to schedule in plenty of rest, as lack of sleep can lead to even more problems when it comes to hormonal imbalances. Sleep is a time for our bodies to recover, and without that rest period, the body is more susceptible to future hormone imbalance issues.

Speak with a professional

If your hormone levels are out of sync, it can seem like you are alone, but you’re not. Millions of women experience the same imbalances after pregnancy, and there is help out there. If you’re looking for assistance with your postpartum hormone imbalance, the experts at Renewed Vitality are ready to help! Schedule a consultation today.

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