Night sweats, hair loss, low libido, low mood, irritability and sensitivity.
This collection of symptoms sound very close to what a would a woman would experience in menopause, but actually occur after pregnancy and childbirth.
Post-baby hormonal crash
That’s according to Dr Sneha Wadhwani, a GP who told Kinderling Conversation it happens because of a crash in hormone levels, usually experienced after pregnancy and childbirth.
Why does it happen?
“When you’re pregnant, you have high levels of progesterone and oestrogen and when the baby's delivered those hormone levels come crashing down to pretty near menopausal levels, and hence all these symptoms come out,” says Sneha.
Perhaps the worst aspect of these symptoms is also that nobody really tells you to expect them.
“A lot of women I see at the six-week post-baby check tell me how sweaty they are. And they say things like, ‘I’m so hot, I must have a fever'.
“But I have to tell them – no – this is just your body reacting to the loss in hormone levels. And it’s almost exactly what your menopausal friends are feeling too!”
Listen to Sneha Wadhwani on Kinderling Conversation:
How to support yourself through the post-baby hormonal crash
- Make sure you are well-rested and have lots of emotional support.
- Eat well - fill the fridge and freezer with high nutrition foods like fruit, vegetables, lean meats and dairy.
- Remember that usually most of these symptoms will go away by themselves; each one arrives and exits at a different rate. It’s important in the postnatal period to give your body time to get over it.
- Sometimes it's a matter of wait and see; but if the symptoms hang around longer than normal, check in with your GP and rule out perimenopause, infection, or other blood conditions.
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