Signs of Hormone Imbalance After Pregnancy + Natural Remedies

Exhausted mother holding her newborn baby.

Hormonal imbalance after pregnancy is a common condition that occurs because the body undergoes significant changes during and after childbirth. The endocrine system, responsible for producing and regulating hormones, experiences fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone. 1 These hormonal shifts are essential for sustaining the pregnancy but can lead to imbalances during the postpartum period as the body recalibrates.

The abrupt decline in pregnancy-related hormones may trigger various physical and emotional symptoms. 2  While these changes can be a natural part of the postpartum period, they can contribute to conditions like postpartum depression and anxiety in some pregnant patients. Monitoring and managing hormonal fluctuations through proper nutrition, rest, exercise, and healthcare support can aid in the restoration of hormonal balance and overall well-being.

Common Signs of a Hormonal Imbalance

  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability 
  • Changes in skin and hair texture

 

Natural Ways to Balance Your Hormones After Pregnancy

Avoid Refined Sugar

Avoiding refined sugar is recommended for post-pregnancy hormonal balance. Refined sugar consumption can lead to rapid spikes in blood glucose and insulin levels, contributing to insulin resistance, inflammation, and weight gain  Refined sugar may also exacerbate mood swings, energy crashes, and nutrient deficiencies. 3 4 To minimize your intake, read food labels, choose natural sweeteners in moderation, and focus on whole, unprocessed foods rich in essential nutrients. Prioritizing a sugar-conscious diet supports energy levels, mood stability, and overall hormonal health for new parents. For personalized dietary guidance, consult a naturopathic doctor.

Eat More of These Foods

In addition to reducing refined sugar intake, it is important to incorporate foods that support hormonal balance. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts play a key role in regulating hormones.5  Additionally, including antioxidant-rich foods like berries and leafy greens in your diet can help protect cells from oxidative stress.6 Ensuring an adequate intake of protein from sources such as lean meats, legumes, and dairy is essential for hormone synthesis.7 For those who are lactating, it is crucial to consume enough protein, fat, and calories to support lactation, regardless of whether the protein comes from plant-based or animal sources, depending on individual preferences and dietary needs. 8 

Get Regular Physical Activity

Regular exercise is vital for hormonal balance. It helps regulate insulin levels and promotes the production of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones. 9 10 11  Choose a mix of aerobic exercises like walking or jogging and strength training to maintain a healthy body composition. Keep in mind that excessive exercise can lead to stress on the body, so it is important to find a balance that fits your individual needs. A naturopathic doctor can help you find a postpartum exercise routine that is manageable and right for you.

In addition to the above tips to help balance your hormones postpartum, remember that your body needs time to heal after this significant transformation (and potentially surgery, if you had a C-section). Be gentle on yourself and take rest when you need it.

 

 

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