This is Part 3 of a 3 part series in the podcast on Balancing Hormones, Part 4 is shared in my Facebook group The Postpartum Circle, so be sure to go join!
These episodes have been released through the month of July and August so if you missed the previous two parts of the series be sure to go back and listen! After that, be sure to go join my Facebook group, The Postpartum Circle.
So, why are so many women experiencing imbalances during postpartum? Your hormones are responsible for everything.
When you get an adequate amount of sleep and the right nutrition for your postpartum period you will be able to heal and recover so much faster.
These are two things that will help in balancing your hormones.
Today I am talking about the remaining two of the four key components that I mentioned in part 2 of balancing hormones.
Sleep and nutrition.
Without the right nutrition, you can’t produce the correct hormones that your body needs, and sleep needs to be the number one priority.
Come listen to part 3 of balancing your hormones where I share how to get out of the hormone imbalance.
In this episode, I’m sharing with you:
- How to get out of hormone imbalance
- Sleep is necessary for the development of those feel good hormones
- You have to make sleep your number one priority
- 8 to 10 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period
- How many hours of sleep are you actually getting a night?
- Sleep regulates your hormones
- Your body can’t regulate and produce the hormones you need while you sleep if you’re not able to create the hormones with the food and the nutrients that you give it
- There is a particular way to eat in postpartum.
- If that’s not supported, then deficiencies creep in really fast, especially after the birth of a baby and with breastfeeding, when most women are already depleted.
- Lacking enzymes in the first few weeks postpartum is a normal biological event during this time, and you have to eat a diet that supports that.
- Depression and anxiety are an inflammation issue
- Postpartum weaning depression
- My 1:1 program
We all get it: postpartum and the years after having a baby is no walk in the park. But you know what? It isn’t just about depression or anxiety either.
Hey, my friend, I’m Maranda Bower, a homesteading mama with four wild kids whose life, passion, and education is all about supporting mothers and providers in understanding the science, the art, and the sacredness of healing after birth. What we know as common sense in the postpartum years has many women feeling just plain awful. It’s time to bring back the truth, get you the tools you need to heal, and thrive in motherhood and beyond.
Hello, my beautiful friends. I am so excited that you are here for part three of the balancing hormone series. This show is going to be absolutely amazing for you. We’re going to be putting together some really big pieces, some really big myths, busting some just juicy, amazing information coming your way. This is one of the most favorite of the postpartum balancing hormone series, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Make sure that you have gone back to episode 18 for the first day of the series as well as Episode 20 for the second day of the series now.
This is not the end. There is actually a day four, which I will not be sharing on the podcast. If you want that information, along with the workbook that goes with this series, log in to your Facebook and go to the postpartum circle Facebook group. The link is in the show notes. Download that information, watch the fourth day of this series, and enjoy. I’m going to get straight into this.
This is going to be big. We talked the last couple of days really about the basics that you need to know about hormone balance. We talked about the postpartum hormone cycle. The last time we talked about the depth of hormone dysfunction, and we also talked about the neurological changes of postpartum and how that impacts your hormones. And today, we’re going to get into the real reasons – you know, the real reasons your hormones are out of balance. And so today, we’re going to dive into more about how to change that, how to get out of hormone imbalance. So here’s the good stuff. Okay, here’s my gift to you. I’m going to give you some hormone hacks. Are you ready? I’m so excited.
So first thing is first, and that is sleep. Okay, now I’m skipping around on the postpartum hormone cycle. If you haven’t watched yesterday’s video, please go do that. You can also follow along in the guidebook. You’re going to be able to get a lot of these hacks, tips, and tricks throughout that you can write down. I highly recommend that you do that because when you walk away from here, there’s a really good chance that you’re going to feel like, “Oh my gosh, what did she say?” There are so many different points. You might even want to come back and make sure that you capture this again and watch the replay again because there’s going to be a lot of information here.
Okay, and I’m going to be skipping around. So in the postpartum hormone cycle, we had nutrition and sleep and we had emotional support, and then we had trauma and stress. We talked about the cycle of this. So I’m first going to jump around to sleep and then we’re going to get into nutrition. And sleep is a really big topic, right? Like, how much do we miss sleep in postpartum? Like, who actually sleeps during this time, right? But its importance in postpartum is significant, okay? When you sleep, your body assesses your hormone state. It cleans up your hormones a bit, and it makes more of the hormones that you need, okay? This is the time when your hormones get regulated. It happens during sleep. And you know what it feels like when you don’t sleep for a bit. It really takes a toll on your body, right? Many of my clients tell me, “If I just slept better, I wouldn’t feel this way.” A lot of that is absolutely true.
Sleep has been linked to healing, and you, as a postpartum woman, need all the healing that you can get. It’s also been linked to mood disruptions like depression and anxiety because sleep is necessary for the development of those feel-good hormones. So how do you do that? How do you get more sleep? That’s the million-dollar question. Actually, it’s a multi-billion dollar question. Postpartum sleep is a multi-billion dollar industry, literally.
It’s massive, right? And there are several components to this, and I won’t be able to get through all of this because one, time and two, every situation is so different and it varies family to family. Okay? That’s the beauty of getting one-on-one support from me. That’s the biggest thing you need to know is that it is like all of the sleep books and all of the things out there. Some of that’s going to work for you and about 90% of it won’t because it’s not for your family. It’s not the thing, right?
So the biggest thing that you want to take away from this is that you have to make sleep your number one priority. When you make sleep your priority, like really make it important, okay? It can fall into place that much easier. And you know this sounds ridiculous, like “Maranda, seriously, is that your hack?” But I’m going to tell you I’m going to dive deeper into this, okay? On average, you want to be getting eight to 10 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, okay? Women on average need more sleep than men and in postpartum that number goes up even more, okay? To 10 to 12 hours, right?
How many of you are actually getting that or coming close to? How many hours of sleep are you actually getting a night, okay? And I’m gonna tell you a little secret here. The brain changes, the neurological changes that I was sharing with you yesterday. Your brain on postpartum is actually meant to go to sleep faster, rest and recover with a smaller sleep cycle, and wake faster to accommodate your baby and take care of your baby, okay? Your brain literally changes to support you in getting good sleep in short intervals. The problem is most women don’t have enough support, right? If at all, and then they only get those short intervals at night, not also throughout the day as they should be getting.
And that, when you’re only sleeping at night and you’re sleeping in these short spans, okay? When you’re sleeping in these short time periods and these little intervals and you’re only giving yourself the opportunity to do that in an 8 to 12 hour period, that significantly limits the amount of sleep that you have. But here’s the thing, right? When sleep becomes the absolute number one priority, okay? Your life will completely change. And I’m not suggesting that you have to get sleep during the day because I know I’m a mom of four. When you have a newborn and you’re chasing a toddler and you have an active five-year-old and 10-year-old, right? Like that’s impossible, okay?
I do give some amazing sleep hacks on my blog. You can go to MarandaBower.com/blog. We have literally spent hours on this conversation alone and in that blog post that I have specifically on sleep. But here’s a key component to this, okay? Every family is very different. What they’re comfortable with, what works for them is very different, okay? But when you make sleep your number one priority, multiple things fall in place, okay? And I’m gonna give you some examples that have happened to me as well as my clients, okay?
After the kids go to bed, okay? 8 p.m. rolls around, my kids go to bed by 8 p.m. It’s… I’m not working, I’m done. I don’t work on my business, on my company. I don’t clean the house. There’s no laundry, no dishes. I don’t care if they’re piling up in the sink. I don’t care if I have 10 loads on the floor. It does not matter how behind I am. I am going to make sleep my number one priority. When the kids are sleeping, it’s my time to go through my own sleep regimen and get ready for bed and go to sleep shortly after. No ifs, ands, or buts, right? There’s nothing else for me to do because sleep is my number one priority.
And when I make it a priority, right? When I’m like, no, I have to get some sleep. This is serious for me. Guess what happens? My family responds to that. When I take it seriously, or when my clients take it seriously, their husbands are like, “Oh, this is really important to you, right? Oh, okay, I’m gonna make that happen.” I will tell you, when I was postpartum, like new postpartum with my fourth, I had made it so clear to my family. I communicated, I told them, “This is really, really important and you will find me sleeping a lot because my body needs more time to heal. And when I heal and I’m able to rest and recover, that means that I’m gonna get better faster and be able to spend more time with you, okay?” That’s a conversation that I have with my kids, as well as my husband, right? And I told them, “I need your help. I need your help getting the most sleep possible so that I can heal and have fun with you.”
And you know what happened? Every time my baby fell asleep in my arms, they’re like, “Mom, it is time for bed. You need to go to sleep now.” They would close the lights, they would shut the door, they would put the blanket over me. They would all try to be really quiet. But, like you know, they weren’t always that quiet. Sometimes there was arguing over who got the right crown or whatever. But they tried so hard, right? And it made a world of difference.
I see this in my clients too, right? When you make sleep a priority and when you actually really get into, “No, this is not a choice. This is number one,” it will shift dramatically for you. My clients are completely surprised that once they make it a priority, everything changes for them. Most women I support go from three to five hours a night to seven to eight hours of a night working together. And nearly every single one of them will say, “Oh geez, like I knew that. Why did I not think of that?” And that’s because you’re in the thick of it, right? It’s so hard to apply the things that you know when you’re in the middle of sleep deprivation. It does not work.
Okay, now, there are tons more that I can tell you, but again, it varies for everyone. I have a track record for getting clients some serious sleep consistently, not because I just throw out advice willy-nilly. I’m not going to do that here, but because I cater to the individual needs. So, I’m going to move on. Sleep is important and an important factor to this. It regulates your hormones. So, that’s my first hormone hack for you. Are you ready for number two?
Yeah, it’s so easy to get caught up in chores, right? Especially when we make that, when society has made that a priority for us, right? And we’ve taken on that responsibility. That’s really hard. Okay? There’s times when my house is a complete mess because sleep is my number one priority and I don’t care. My mental health and my body and my well-being is far more important than whether or not the dishes get done. And my kids are at this age now, like one is seven, one is 11. Like, wash your own dishes. My husband is fully capable as well. Wash your own dishes, and you can wash the dishes for the younger ones and me too, right? This is not an issue.
Okay. All right. So, I’m going to jump into nutrition. This is where I start every mother at when I work one on one with a mom. You guys have heard about the postpartum nutrition plan. If you haven’t, you need to go check the links that are posted in the announcements because that is significant. That is where I start everyone. This is the foundational piece. And I know that I miss, I kind of move things around, and I talked about sleep first rather than nutrition, but I’m going to tell you upfront that nutrition is the most thing. You can get all the sleep in the world, but if you’re not getting the right nutrition, guess what? It’s not going to matter. Because even your body can’t regulate and produce the hormones you need while you sleep if you’re not able to create the hormones with the food and the nutrients that you give it.
Okay. This is the cycle. This is the cycle that works together. When one is out of balance, so is the other. So, this is why so many women fail in creating balance because they normally only focus on one thing when all of them work synergistically together. You can’t just work on sleep and expect great results. If you’re going to change your life, you have to work on all of these components that I shared with you in the postpartum hormone cycle yesterday. You have to do all of those components to see massive results. Otherwise, you’re only getting two steps forward, right? One step back, maybe another step forward, and it feels kind of like you’re in limbo. It works really great, but you’re never going to get over that hump.
So, let’s dive into nutrition. What we know in postpartum about nutrition is so radically different than what’s being taught right now. It’s almost sickening. It is why so many women experience an increase in food allergies and sensitivities and autoimmune diseases. I don’t know if you have seen this from me before, but I talk about this a lot. You are at a 30% increased risk of developing an autoimmune disease in postpartum. It is absolutely insane.
So, here’s what you need to know about nutrition in postpartum. In the very early stages of postpartum, your body lacks digestive enzymes. These are the necessary components to break up your foods so that your body can use the nutrients from it. But if you aren’t eating foods that you can digest easy and bypass that normal need for enzymes, you aren’t getting any of the nutrients that you’re consuming. There is a particular way to eat in postpartum, and if that’s not supported, then deficiencies creep in really fast. Especially with breastfeeding, especially after the birth of a baby when most women are already depleted. So, you’re basically stacking depletion upon depletion upon depletion. And then it spirals out of control. And let’s face it, usually, when we’re in this life transition that is postpartum, the easiest foods are snacks and junk food, right?
Those are our main go-tos, like we need quick, we need fast, and that’s if you’re eating at all, right? So many of us postpartum don’t even eat at all or don’t even eat in a way that they need to. I know many of my clients struggle with not being able to eat anything because they feel so crappy, right?
So if you aren’t eating in a way that supports natural enzyme growth, that is, easily digestible foods, foods that don’t sit in your gut essentially waiting to be processed and essentially “rotting”, okay? It’s causing gas. It’s causing bloating, constipation. Any of this ringing a bell, right? Does this make sense for you guys?
And when it happens too frequently, that leads to major hormone imbalances. Your hair falls out. Night sweats kick in full force, right? Eventually, food allergies and autoimmune issues, all of that, okay? Postpartum depression, anxiety, all heavily linked to nutrient deficiencies. All of that is very, very tied to nutrition. It’s actually really difficult for me to say that something or someone has a hormone imbalance when it’s really straight up a nutrient deficiency.
Take that in for a second. I rarely tell someone that they have a hormone imbalance. I rarely, rarely see someone with a hormone imbalance because it’s generally a nutrient deficiency, almost always, okay? One of the most common misdiagnoses in postpartum depression is an iron deficiency. Vitamin D is also a hormone, okay? I encourage you to look that up, okay? Vitamin D is not a vitamin, it’s a hormone. It’s also linked to postpartum depression as well. Same with magnesium and several others.
Lacking enzymes in the first few weeks postpartum is a normal biological event during this time. And you have to eat a diet that supports that. And so here’s what you do. You eat foods that are easy to digest. They are warm and very nutrient dense, okay? So think like soups and broths and organic free range, you know, chicken and oats and rice porridge, right? Stay away from raw foods, raw vegetables, raw nuts. Even your nuts need to be cooked, right? Raw fruits, just stay away from that for a while, okay? Get your veggies cooked into soups, okay?
And the reason why vegetables and fruits are something that you want to cook, the reason why your foods need to be cooked is because they’re complicated for the body to digest. You need more enzymes to do so, okay? So you’re making it easy on the body. You’re requiring less energy for your body to digest your foods, okay? We don’t have a lot of energy to spare and we don’t want it to, we don’t want to use the energy we do have to digest our foods, right? It’s not working out for us.
So as you heal, your body will start producing more enzymes and by six to eight weeks postpartum, you can slowly start adding those things back in. This is why I always say if you aren’t healing in postpartum or you’re experiencing symptoms of imbalance, smoothies and salads will be your worst enemies. Absolutely hands down. This includes those protein shakes. They’re enticing, but don’t do it.
Now, I also know that many of you are joining me and you’re well beyond the first six to eight weeks, like your early postpartum period. And many of you are joining me that are years out, right? You’re three, four, five years postpartum. What do you do when you are that far out in postpartum and you obviously can’t go back to the first couple of weeks, right? And you’re still struggling. You’ve got depression, anxiety, any of those, extreme hair loss, you’re still experiencing any of those symptoms and going beyond, right? Your enzyme levels may have never recovered. You’re too nutrient depleted that your organs are not functioning properly, okay?
So you start with the exact same protocol I recommend in my postpartum nutrition plan. You eat what I recommended here, right? Like the slow, the broths, the soups, the stews, right? And you slowly add the veggies and fruits back into your body as your body allows, paying very consciously, you know, consciously paying attention to what’s happening and how your body feels, right? And it’s really important to really listen into what your body is telling you because your body tells you in everything that you’re doing, remember? Like the hair loss, the constant headaches, the aching joints, those are symptoms. Those are symptoms. Your body is telling you, it’s communicating with you, right?
And I also want to speak to this too. Dairy, for most people, is really inflammatory. Gluten is too, but on a lesser scale than dairy. But most of the time, when we have issues specifically related to depression and anxiety, that’s an inflammation issue. Depression and anxiety is an inflammation issue.
I’m just realizing that I’m throwing things out there that you may not have heard before, and these are really big deals. So I apologize if you’re listening. I have so many things that I can tell you, but dairy and gluten only exacerbate that issue and make it worse. So while you’re healing, you may want to get rid of those so that it is easier for your body, and then you can add them back in later after you feel significantly better, okay?
Let’s talk about periods and postpartum as well as weaning, okay? Weaning from breastfeeding. And I will tell you, both of those are just as significant as the postpartum period. Well, I won’t say just as significant, but it is significant, okay? We have something now where we are understanding that there’s such a thing as postpartum weaning depression where depression doesn’t enter our lives or anxiety doesn’t enter our lives until we are weaning our baby two, three, four years after having them, okay? This is something that we want to address. We need to address, okay?
And then, not to mention periods in postpartum when our period returns. And for some, that happens really quickly after having a baby. And for some, that doesn’t happen for two years after having a baby, right? That doesn’t mean that your body is not balanced. It doesn’t mean anything of the sort, right? But when that period returns, how many of you have experienced a period that is really heavy, really painful, or even emotionally difficult? And sometimes emotionally difficult for months before your period even happens. And then you get your period and you’re like, “Oh, that’s what all that was about,” right?
Always, always, always go back to the basics, and the basics are nutrition and sleep, hands down. Those are the most fundamental pieces to this puzzle, okay? And when our period returns and when we are starting to wean, we need the utmost support and care as well. Treat your period returning and your weaning as if you are new in postpartum. You give yourself ample rest. You give yourself ample nutrients, right? You give yourself lots of space to grow and to kind of come into your body.
Journaling is absolutely amazing for this, especially as you’re needing to put words to feelings, okay? That is absolutely critical for this. And when that happens, when you are getting the support that you need, both physically and emotionally, right? You’re addressing your sleep, you’re addressing your nutrients, and you’re addressing your emotional needs, right? When your period returns and when you begin the weaning process, it will not be difficult. You should not have period pain. You should not have crazy emotional mood swings that make you think, “Oh my gosh, who am I? What is wrong with me? Who is this person?” Right? Those things happen when your body is not being supported, okay?
So I just want to make sure that you are fully aware, and I talk about this in my postpartum nutrition plan too. Oftentimes women want to come back to the postpartum nutrition plan, what you would do to heal your body when your period is returning and when you’re weaning, okay? So there you have two incredibly important tools to support you in postpartum, tools to help you eat better, to get more sleep. And these are just two pieces alone that can make your hormones very happy, especially when they are supported together, okay?
I know that I give you a lot here, and I am going to talk even further because we’ve only addressed two of the hormone cycle. I want to address all of them. We’re going to talk about the emotional support, and we’re also going to talk about trauma. And I’m not talking about just, you know, like birth trauma. I’m talking about life traumas and how they affect your postpartum experience, okay?
So I give you so much here. I have a tendency to give away everything, right? Like I think I just gave you like 10 sacred hormone hacks, but there’s more to this picture, okay? That’s basically what I’m saying. And I have a lot more components that I wanna dive into. So I will say like this and many of the things that I have shared with you so far, like I’m trying to cover in short periods of time here over the course of four days, right? But I work with my clients in a five-month-long program, okay? And so what I’m giving you here is like little snippets. I’m trying to give you the best of the best. The initial console when I have a client goes over all of the details. When I work with a mama, I need to know what she eats for every meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. I need to know her history with birth control, right? With antibiotics, her history with surgeries, illnesses, every single symptom that she’s feeling. I mean, we literally go head to toe with her body and assessing it.
We talk about her family history, her birth and postpartum experiences, and her children’s history because that speaks to her own health, okay? When a woman has postpartum depression or anxiety, that increases the child’s chances of ADHD and sensory processing disorders, okay? So, we cover so much. All of that, all of those details, paint a picture of what’s going on in her body. It shows us where to focus to bring about the biggest change and kind of take away a lot of the stress initially because we get immediate answers. We have a place to focus. And then we are able to develop an entire plan for healing just for her based on those answers, okay?
So, I can’t possibly cover all of that for you here, but I can do my best to give you all of the things that I know that work for most of my clients, okay? And if you want to connect with me one-on-one, if you want to look more into this, you can absolutely message me privately, and we can talk further about getting you into my schedule and seeing if it’s something that’s even right for you, okay? But tomorrow, we are going to dive deeper into the next several components, and I promise you, you will not be disappointed. So, I am super excited for this next half.
Let me know how this all feels for you. It is really, really important for me that this is something that you feel you can glean information from, that you can use to transform your life. And if you are not sure how that is, please, please connect with me. Reach out because it’s very much like I’m not doing this just to throw out information. I’m trying to know how this is supporting you. I want to know how this is helping you. Feel free to reach out in a private message if you feel more comfortable. Many of you have already done that, and I so appreciate it. And if I haven’t gotten back to you, I promise I will. I know I have like 20 messages right now in my inbox that I haven’t gotten to, but I promise I will. Thank you all so, so much. I hope this was helpful for you.
Bye. Thanks for tuning in and taking the time to learn about how to support your body and deep healing. We don’t do this work just for us or for you. Your healing impacts your children, your relationships, and your community. We do this work because the health and vibrancy of our world begin with its mothers. I hope you have taken some valuable information today and applied it to your own life.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, reach out about working together one-on-one or at a minimum learning about my postpartum nutrition plan, which is where I start every single one of my clients. And you can do that by going to MarandaBower.com. Hope you enjoyed this episode. Let us know by leaving a review, and we will see you next time.
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