Did postpartum turn your world upside down?
I don't know about you... but I was not prepared for my first postpartum experience.
Everything I had seen during pregnancy led me to believe that I would just sail right though it and bounce back to my full-of-energy, happy-go-lucky self.
What no one told me, however, was that the extreme stress I experienced due to my dad's cancer diagnosis during pregnancy would tap out all of my emotional reserves, making it extremely difficult to "bounce back".
(side note- I don't think bouncing back is even a term we should use when we reference postpartum- personally... I think it leads to making decisions that don't benefit our mental or physical health and can lead to feelings of defeat.)
When my now 9 year old daughter was born- I thought I was just tired. I mean, she wasn't sleeping through the night so I figured that was somewhat normal. But what I didn't quite know how to articulate was the anxiety that was creeping in and slowly beginning to overtake my mind.
I figured once I started sleeping again- my anxiety would decrease- but it didn't. In part, because I never got back to sleeping again.
My insomnia was more obvious when she began to sleep through the night and I was now unable to go to sleep and stay asleep.
I tried just about every OTC med- and none of them worked.
My anxiety became worse and worse and it was getting harder to leave my home.
I had well respected friends tell me what I was experiencing was all spiritual and that I just needed to pray more to get through it (please don't ever say this to someone struggling with anxiety or depression... it isn't helpful and just ends up heaping shame on an already painful situation).
Prayer is a powerful tool- absolutely. But in my case, and many women that I work with, it is a piece of their healing puzzle but we cannot ignore the very real hormonal shifts that cause women to feel this way.
Okay so back to what I was talking about- my anxiety became worse and I slowly began having panic attacks every morning at the exact same time. I would wake up in a cold sweat with my heart beating out of my chest and was filled with sheer terror over what was happening.
This got worse as I dropped 10 lbs in a week, couldn't keep food down and lost my milk supply.
I went to my PCP and begged her to test my thyroid and cortisol, all of which came back "normal" but I knew something was wrong.
I wasn't thrilled with the options that she gave me, and left feeling like I wasn't really "heard" in that appointment.
I couldn't take the benzo's she prescribed for the anxiety because they completely knocked me out, not to mention passing through my breastmilk. (I am NOT in any shaming medication! They can be a very necessary part of women's postpartum recovery- I am just saying that for me, I knew there were some underlying causes that needed to be looked at).
Out of sheer desperation and panic as I was losing my milk supply and couldn't afford the allergy friendly formula that was $80 a can, I found a functional medicine doctor who went over all of my labs, my family history, diet, stress, sleep etc and gave me a plan to move forward.
And this is what I want to talk to you about today: knowing what to ask of your doctor and how to advocate for yourself can mean the difference between a fast recovery and prolonged suffering.
It can feel so overwhelming and vulnerable to be in this position, and it's my aim to make sure you have the tools you need to know what to ask for when you visit your doctor. It doesn't have to be this way.
Make sure to grab the free download below where I go over what labs to ask for to make sure that your hormones are being addressed as part of the whole picture as well as some simple strategies you can begin implementing immediately.
If you're feeling stuck and overwhelmed, then I want to also invite you to book a complimentary call with me so I can help you pinpoint what is working, what is not working, and offer you next steps to move forward. You can book your free call here.
I've been so privileged to meet some amazing women along the way who are transforming women lives along with me- make sure to give them a follow.
Practitioner, and mom
To your wellness,
RN, BSN, Health and Life Coach
I help women get rid of their mood swings, insomnia, night sweats, painful periods and low libido for good!