I will literally never forget the crash of hormones that follows the birth of a child – the Baby Blues, they say. It was day 4. My child was exactly 4 days old, and I could feel the hormones beginning to fall like a wave about to crest over me and smash me down onto the sand underneath. Only…there was nothing I could do to stop them. I couldn’t move out of the way or side step the hormones. I couldn’t take a special pill or eat a special diet to keep it from happening. That crash was coming, ready or not. And ready I was definitely not.
A hormonal imbalance and crash after the birth of a child is completely normal. Your hormones have been soaring for a solid 9 months, and even though there were some ups and downs, they mostly stayed fairly high. After the baby arrives, your body takes a few days, and then a signal is sent that tells your body to shut it down. No baby means no more high levels of hormones. The only problem is that your body doesn’t do this gradually. The hormones fall drastically, giving many women the sensation known as the baby blues.
The baby blues is the slight depression that follows the birth of a child. It’s not full on, hard core depression, but rather a negative or down feeling. Most women suffer through for a week or 2, and then the hormones begin to level out. The baby blues start to subside, and women begin to feel normal again. The important thing to remember with the baby blues is that it is normal, and for most women, it passes fairly quickly.
But, what happens when it doesn’t pass? What happens when the baby blues turn into the long term blues? When this happens, you can almost be certain that hormonal imbalances are at play. When the hormones are not in balance, it can cause a wide array of symptoms, one of which is a feeling of the blues or even full on depression. If your baby blues seem to be turning into long term depression, then your hormones are likely still imbalanced. They are not returning to normal levels as quickly as they should, and it is causing your body and mind to experience the blues.
If you find this happening to you, get help right away. The right treatment can turn hormonal depression around and stop it in its tracks. At HerKare, a treatment professional may be able to test your hormones, determine whether an imbalance is present, and get you an appropriate treatment plan. When your baby blues turn into depression, or you suspect a hormonal imbalance for any other reason, get to HerKare to let a physician help you today.
How many times have you thought to yourself, “Am I normal?” This question gets asked by most people pretty often. This is especially true when it comes to our bodies and general health. Something will happen and we immediately wonder whether or not our predicament falls within the normal range or whether we are just weird! Luckily, most of the time you can rest easy knowing that your current health situation is most likely normal.
Sometimes, however, even though it might be considered normal, it still isn’t something that you should live with. A great example of this is with our hormones. To find out whether your hormonal symptoms are normal, not so normal, or something that you just shouldn’t have to live with, check out these typical signs of an imbalance.
Turn Up the Heat
When your hormones are imbalanced, a great indicator is your body temperature. Many women that have hormonal problems suffer from some sort of temperature induced symptom. Night sweats and hot flashes are two of the most common. Whether you suddenly get so hot that you can’t stand it, or you wake up drenched in sweat, hormones might be to blame.
Another really, really frustrating symptoms is weight problems. On one end of the spectrum (and possible good news for some women!) is the potential for weight loss. Certain hormonal imbalances may trigger weight loss or the inability to gain weight. While this can seem like a dream come true, it is not the healthiest route to weight loss. On the opposite (and more frustrating!) end of the spectrum is weight gain. Many types of hormonal imbalances cause excessive weight gain or the inability lose. If you suddenly begin to gain weight, especially around the middle, with no apparent cause, hormones may be the ultimate culprit.
Of course, you can’t go through a list of hormonal symptoms without mentioning mood swings. Excessive or strong mood swings may indicate a hormonal problem. If you feel stronger or more frequent changes in general moods or disposition, and especially if it gets in the way of everyday life, it may be beneficial to see if a hormonal problem is to blame.
Though these are not the only symptoms associated with a hormonal imbalance, they are some of the most common. If you think you may have a hormonal imbalance, don’t be afraid to get checked out. A physician at HerKare may be able to do that for you. Get your hormonal levels checked, and if a problem is present, let a treatment professional help you get a treatment plan just for you. Get to HerKare and get your hormonal problems under control so that you can feel happy and healthy again.
When you think of a hormonal imbalance and the symptoms that may come with one, you probably imagine the big ones like mood swings that make you shudder or hot flashes that stop you in your tracks. While these can certainly be a symptom of hormonal imbalance, sometimes the symptoms are so slight that they go unnoticed. Take a look at these 2 common symptoms of a hormonal imbalance that often go ignored by women everywhere.
Extreme fatigue is often one of the first symptoms of a hormonal imbalance. The problem is that many women feel tired all of the time. If they don’t feel tired, then they expect to feel tired in the near future. It’s almost a rite of passage into womanhood. Oh, you’re tired? Welcome to being a woman. With kids and spouses to look after, careers to build, houses to maintain, and then the endless community and other obligations, and it is no wonder that women think fatigue is normal. While a little bit of fatigue can be normal, don’t think that you have to be overly tired all of the time. You don’t. And what’s more, if you are exhausted literally all of the time, it is likely that there is more at play than a busy lifestyle.
This is another thing that many women just expect. If you are gaining weight or adding just a little bit of extra padding around the middle, many women see it as a “normal” process of getting older. They believe that it is inevitable. The higher the age, the higher the number on the scale. While a little bit of muscle loss and fat gain might be relatively normal, especially if you don’t really watch your exercise habits and diet, excessive weight gain or weight that won’t budge even with maximum effort on your part may not be so normal. This might instead be an indication of hormones that are not working optimally.
If you suspect that you have a hormonal imbalance, whether from these 2 symptoms or others, get help at HerKare. A physician at HerKare may be able to diagnose whether or not you have a hormonal imbalance. If so, they can get a treatment plan just for you. With properly functioning hormones, you may find more energy and weight loss happen before you know it. Get to HerKare for the hormonal help you need.
A lot of first time moms think that pregnancy weight will just fall off quickly after delivering their babies. We’ve all heard of those people who say they wore their pre-baby skinny jeans home from the hospital, and you might bring yours, too, thinking that’s normal. However, a lot of people quickly find out that it doesn’t really work like that. Weight loss after pregnancy can be much more complicated than that.
Post baby weight loss may be hard for many reasons, but there are solutions to help you shed those extra pounds.
After delivering your baby, there are healthy ways to lose the extra weight while taking care of you and your newborn. Following a good diet and exercise program approved by your doctor is one way to start chipping away at the extra weight you gained during pregnancy. However, what do you do if you’re following these guidelines and still can’t lose those extra pounds? Sometimes, postpartum weight can be incredibly stubborn. If it’s harder to lose baby weight than you expected, there may be several reasons for this, including sleep issues, breastfeeding, and hormone imbalances. Read on to learn why these things can affect your postpartum weight loss and some tips to help you lose weight healthily after pregnancy.
If you’re struggling with weight management, make an appointment with our team today. We can help identify underlying causes to get you the help you need to live a healthier, happier life.
Lack of Sleep Hinders Weight Loss
As a new parent, you’re probably familiar with some level of sleep deprivation. Your bundle of joy is likely keeping you awake at night and throughout the day, cutting into the amount of sleep you get. Keep in mind that sleep and weight loss are linked pretty closely. So, if you’re struggling to get enough sleep, that might be the problem making it hard to lose the post baby weight.
Lack of sleep isn’t just frustrating, it can also affect your body in many ways, including by making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose weight. Many studies show that poor quality sleep is linked to weight management issues. There are a few reasons for this.
On one hand, when you’re feeling extremely tired because you’re not sleeping enough, you’re more likely to reach for calorie-dense foods. Your body knows it’s tired and often looks for ways to increase energy through food. That means you might start craving really high calorie foods that aren’t very good for you in high amounts, like refined carbs and sugars. As a result, you might be eating more calories than you really need, leading to your body storing that as extra fat to burn for energy later.
Also, sleep deprivation can affect your hunger hormones and throw them out of whack. For instance, sleep problems can actually increase ghrelin, a hormone that increases your appetite. So, once again, this can make it really easy to overeat, which makes weight loss hard after pregnancy.
Finally, there is some evidence that sleep deprivation can affect your metabolism. Your metabolism affects how many calories you burn over time. However, lack of sleep can actually lower your metabolic rate, meaning you burn fewer calories than normal, which can encourage your body to hold onto extra weight.
Tips for Sleep-Related Weight Issues After Pregnancy
So, what can you do to help prevent sleep issues from affecting your weight loss goals after pregnancy? Of course, the easy answer is to simply sleep more, but obviously that’s easier said than done with a baby who needs your attention. However, don’t be afraid to get help where you can. Reach out to friends or family to watch the baby while you catch up on some rest. Also, rest whenever you can, even if that means letting some house chores slide a little.
Other things you can do include splitting up nighttime feeds between you and your partner. Taking it in shifts or alternating duties can allow you both to get some much needed sleep. As your baby grows, they’ll start waking up less at night, but until then try to do what you can to manage sleep health.
Also, keep in mind that you might need to fight off insomnia after pregnancy. Even when you feel so tired you can barely stand, you might still find it hard to sleep when you have the ability to. If this sounds like you, take some steps to make it easier to sleep. For example, making sure you have a dark and quiet environment and avoiding screens as much as possible before trying to fall asleep.
With these tips, you can start getting more sleep to give your body the rest it needs. As you start prioritizing your sleep and getting good quality sleep, you not only may feel more energy, but weight loss may become easier. If you’re still struggling to get a good night’s rest, then consider whether you might be suffering from a sleep disorder like sleep apnea and seek help from our medical team.
Breastfeeding Can Make it Hard to Lose Post Baby Weight
Many of us have heard that breastfeeding helps you lose weight after pregnancy, but this just may not be the case for you. Nursing does burn quite a lot of calories, but there are other things that can complicate weight loss if you’re breastfeeding. For instance, your body may actually hold onto a set amount of weight to hold in reserve so you can feed your baby even if food becomes scarce. This is because if you get too skinny, you won’t be able to feed your baby. So, your body may actually hold onto about 10 pounds or so while breastfeeding.
Part of why your body might do this is because of the hormone prolactin. You need prolactin to create breast milk. It can also encourage fat storage in your body. Prolactin usually increases during and after pregnancy and remains at high levels until you’re done breastfeeding. If you choose not to breastfeed, then prolactin levels will usually return to normal a few weeks postpartum.
Additionally, breastfeeding can trigger a pretty hefty appetite, which may lead you to overeat. There’s a misconception out there that you need to essentially eat for two when breastfeeding or that you can eat basically an unlimited number of calories because you’re burning so many by nursing. However, this simply isn’t the case. Most women only need an extra 300 to 400 extra calories to breastfeed. Yet, many breastfeeding people eat more than that by snacking on high calorie foods or eating more frequently than they really need to because breastfeeding can make you feel really hungry.
Weight Loss During and After Breastfeeding
If you’re having a hard time losing weight while breastfeeding, you’re not alone. In some cases, it may simply be a matter of waiting until you wean your little one. This helps restore your prolactin levels to normal and may allow you to start losing the extra weight your body held in reserve to feed your baby.
However, make sure that when breastfeeding that you’re using good portion control. As we mentioned, many breastfeeding women eat more than they really need to, which also affects your weight loss goals. A good place to start is to know how many calories you should be eating a day. Talk to your doctor about your specific needs. You can use the daily reference intake calculator to estimate how many calories you should be eating based on whether you’re lactating and how long you’ve been nursing for to get an idea. From there, you can adjust your diet to make sure you’re not eating too many calories that are getting stored by your body as extra weight.
Postpartum Hormone Imbalances Make Weight Loss Difficult
For a lot of women, postpartum weight loss issues stem from hormonal imbalances. Obviously, pregnancy causes a lot of hormone changes. Your hormones probably won’t snap back to normal the second your bundle of joy is here. In fact, it can take quite a while for your hormones to return to normal levels. For many women, it takes three to six months to get their estrogen and progesterone back on track, depending on whether they’re breastfeeding or not.
Also, keep in mind that many women also struggle with more chronic hormone issues after pregnancy. For instance, a lot of women struggle with low progesterone in the postpartum period. This can lead to estrogen dominance, which can encourage your body to store more fat, particularly around your midsection.
Another hormone imbalance that a lot of women struggle with after pregnancy is thyroid issues. Many people experience what’s called thyroiditis, which means the thyroid gland gets inflamed and can’t work properly. As a result, you might experience both hyperthyroid and hypothyroid issues. At first, your body may produce too much thyroid hormone in response to the inflammation, which can make you lose weight even with a higher appetite. However, over time, thyroiditis after pregnancy will lead to hypothyroid, which means you have too little thyroid hormone. This can actually make you gain weight or not be able to lose weight no matter how hard you try.
Get Your Hormones in Check to Help with Baby Weight
If you have a hard time with weight loss after pregnancy, it might be a hormone imbalance. In these cases, it’s important to talk to our team about your hormones and how to achieve your weight loss goals. Often, treating the underlying hormone imbalance will help you lose weight healthily if your hormones are stopping you from losing weight. Our healthcare professionals can test your hormone levels to determine if you have any imbalances and create personalized treatment solutions to help restore balance.
When to Consider Weight Loss Treatments
If you’ve tried to lose post baby weight without success, then it might be time to seek help from our healthcare team. We offer weight loss treatments tailored to you, including diet and nutrition planning, weight loss medicines, and hormone care all designed to address underlying issues that affect weight management. We work with you to understand why you’re struggling to lose weight and provide treatment solutions to help you healthily lose the weight and keep it off.
So, if you’re carrying around extra weight and you can’t lose it even with a healthy diet, portion control, and regular exercise, it might be time to reach out to see if there are underlying conditions affecting your weight and how to treat them so you can get back to a healthy weight after pregnancy.
Get Help Losing Weight with Personalized Solutions from HerKare
Our team at HerKare provides personalized healthcare to women at every life stage. We’re proud to provide a wide range of healthcare services to help you live your healthiest, happiest life. When you find yourself struggling to lose weight and keep it off, our team can help with weight loss solutions tailored to you and your lifestyle. Reach out now to schedule an appointment and take the first step to feeling like yourself again.
This past week, I went to the hair salon for the first time in 11 months. It had been nearly a year since my last appointment, and for a woman with long, color-treated hair, that is an exceptionally long time.
As I sat there getting my hair washed, dried, and generally pampered, I thought about how amazing it feels to get your hair done. You leave the salon refreshed, relaxed, and feeling fresh. When you really think about it, our hair is a huge part of our physical appearance, and so for many of us, it is also tightly linked to our self esteem. It can also, however, give us a clue as to the health of the rest of our body. For some problems, like hormones, hair might be one of your first signs of a problem.
Hormones affect hair in a big way. Think about when you were pregnant, if you have ever been pregnant. For me, pregnancy was the one time in my life that my hair was thick, long, and dare I say…luscious. I couldn’t get enough of my pregnant hair. I curled it, and it stayed. I straightened it, and it didn’t lie flat against my head. It was glorious. Then came baby. And very soon after baby, there went my beautiful, thick, to die for hair.
The hair that I had after baby is another great example of how hormones affect your hair. It was the opposite of glorious. It fell out in chunks. It was flat, dry, splitting at the ends, and as thin and lifeless as it had ever been. And, just like that my self esteem flipped from one extreme to the other. While these sorts of hair extremes are common around pregnancy, having these sorts of problems other times may indicate some sort of hormonal problem. Luckily, however, you don’t have to just live with it. If your hair woes are hormonally driven, there may be an answer out there.
So, how do you know if your hair is just going through a rough patch or suffering from hormonal problems? For starters, you know your hair and body best. Have you had a sudden change in hair that seems to have come out of nowhere? Do you have other accompanying symptoms such as mood swings, night sweats, weight gain, or fatigue? If so, then you might suspect hormones to be the culprit of your changing tresses.
If you suspect a hormonal problem in your life, get to HerKare and let a treatment professional help you. A physician may be able to determine whether a hormonal imbalance is causing your hair problems or other symptoms. If it is, they may be able to get a treatment plan in place that is just for you. Get your hair, your body, and your self esteem back on track with the help of a physician at HerKare.