New mum hormones: What you need to know
Understanding your hormones now you’re a new mum
You will have adjusted to the high level of pregnancy hormones throughout your pregnancy, but now your baby is here, what happens now?
Once baby is born, those high levels of pregnancy hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) you have got used to, will drop significantly. It is this that can explain why you feel you could take on the world one minute but be wailing in despair at an animal welfare ad on the TV the next.
Amazingly, your progesterone levels drop to what they were pre-pregnancy almost immediately after the delivery of your placenta.
Whereas estrogen levels remain high which naturally leaves you feeling moody and emotional – and prone to teary outbursts.
As well as the baby blues, there are other symptoms which may indicate a more significant hormonal balance especially if they are still felt 6-8 weeks after birth.
- Weight gain
- Poor sleep quality
- Extreme tiredness
Also, if you feel like your hormonal symptoms are stopping you from enjoying your baby talk to your healthcare professional about treatment options.
Not only are your hormones jumping up and down now your baby has arrived, but your adapting to less sleep and entering the realisation that this tiny, helpless baby is your responsibility.
These feelings are normal, so give yourself a break if you are feeling up one minute and down the next. It is known as the baby blues and kicks in around two to four days after you’ve given birth.
Accept this as part of your journey and you will learn to recognise your baby’s needs, hormones will level out and yes, you will adjust to less sleep.
There’s no better way to recover from giving birth than recharging your body with plenty of sleep, if only someone could explain that to a newborn!
But your body does need sleep, particularly straight after giving birth, so it is vital to take all the help on offer, whether your partner takes over to give you a couple of hours rest or friends or family, and as newborns sleep a lot (up to 20 hours a day) try to sleep as much as you can when they do.