Does everybody remember puberty? Bad skin, mood swings, sweating in places that shouldn’t be allowed to sweat. We all went through it, and we all survived (thank God). Thanks to school systems and brave parents, most kids know what puberty is and aren’t completely blind-sided when it hits. Most of us are taught that at some point during our adolescent years, the evil hormones will attack and change us forever. It’s simply common knowledge. Something that isn’t common knowledge, however, is that those evil hormones will attack us again and again as we transition from woman to mom.
I’m not just talking about pregnancy hormones, either. Everybody knows that a pregnant woman is full of hormones, and therefore prone to some pretty epic mood swings. I knew that would be a challenge; so I wasn’t surprised when a bad hair day made me rage cry, or when I felt actual love for a pickle. But I was surprised by how many things hormones can have an impact on, and how long they can take to balance themselves out.
Pregnancy Hormones Aren’t Just For Mood Swings
When I was pregnant, I learned pretty quick that hormones were responsible for a lot more than bouts of rage, sadness, or ecstatic joy. Along with those wonderful emotions, I was gifted with extra thick and shiny hair, flawless skin, and boobies. However, I was also gifted with some not-so-nice stuff too. Hormones caused some of my ligaments to loosen up, which ended up having a negative impact on my hips. My hips were so painful that standing, sitting, and laying down for too long all hurt. After months of adjustments at the chiropractor, I was told this wasn’t a problem that was fixable until my hormones calmed down. Water retention was also an issue for me – my face, hands, and feet were always puffy. I felt like a marshmallow. As a nice cherry on top of everything, my thyroid rebelled against me and caused extreme fatigue.
While I lucked out with only a few negative symptoms, many pregnant women experience a lot worse. Hormones can cause nausea, issues with vision, taste aversions (or the dulling of your sense of taste), super veiny breasts, leaky breasts, stretch marks, hair loss, hyper-pigmentation, skin conditions that go beyond simple acne, dizziness, or problems breathing. I know, that was an earful. And that’s not even the full list!
Nobody Ever Talks About Post-Partum Hormones
Major hair loss. Broken, flaky nails. Constant back pain. Bouts of rage and sadness. Wacky periods…These are just a few of the things that blind-sided me after giving birth. It’s been 8 months, and I’m still struggling with hormonal issues. One symptom sorts itself out just as another appears. Most people will chalk this all up to “baby blues,” but it’s often a lot more than just feeling a little down. Our hormones are wreaking havoc on our bodies – much like they did when we went through puberty. Except this time, we’re grown ass women and nobody prepared us for this.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any remedies. My advice, however, is this: be patient with yourself, be open with your family and friends, and brush up on your self-care skills. Hormonal balance isn’t something we can rush. Your body will sort itself out, even it takes a little longer. In the meantime, ask for help – reach out to people who care about you and are willing to help when the going gets tough. Vent to your friends, cry to your mom. It helps. The most important thing of all, though, is allowing yourself to heal. That means taking care of yourself in whatever way you can – whether it’s taking a nice hot bath or reaching out to your doctor for something a little stronger.
Lastly, remember this Mama – you went through puberty and you survived. You made it through pregnancy and you survived. You pushed a human being out of your nether regions and you survived. Whatever happens, however bad it gets – just remember you will survive. You can do this.