If there’s one thing that all new moms can agree on it’s that they are exhausted. The stress that the body experiences during the 9 months of pregnancy, the stress it undergoes during labor and delivery, the recovery, the fluctuating hormones, the round-the-clock feedings, and just adjusting to life with a newborn baby – no wonder new moms are so tired!
But once a new mom recovers from childbirth and the baby is on a regular schedule and starts sleeping through the night, moms should start feeling better rested, right? Not completely rested because, let’s face it, once you have a baby, sleep is never the same. However, eventually, mom should be able to get more sleep and start feeling “normal” again.
If it’s been months since you had your baby and you are just feel like you just can’t catch up on your sleep, you need more caffeine to function, and you just don’t feel like yourself, something might be off… You could be suffering from adrenal fatigue.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
The adrenal glands are about the size of a walnut and sit on top of the kidneys. They are a part of the endocrine system and produce several essential hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which play an important part in how your body responds to stress.
Under normal circumstances, the adrenal glands should only activate the stress response when you’re facing a challenging situation that could potentially put you in dancer. However, if you undergo long-term stress and aren’t taking proper care of yourself (both of which can easily happen after having a baby), your adrenal glands can kick into overdrive. In other words, they think that you are always stressed, so they produce an influx of cortisol and adrenaline, which can send you into adrenal fatigue.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is associated with a number of symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms that can be experienced with postpartum adrenal fatigue include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- A marked lack of energy
- Decreased functioning of the immune system
- Decreased libido
- Brain fog
- Chronic fatigue
- Digestive issues
- Skin issues (hives, breakouts, eczema)
- Weight gain
- Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
Of course, many of these symptoms are often experienced during the postpartum period; however, they should subside within a few months. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms – or they are worsening – several months after having a baby, speak to your doctor. There is a good chance that you could be suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Treating Adrenal Fatigue
If you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, take comfort in knowing that you can treat it – and the methods for treatment are actually pretty simple. Here’s a look at some proven ways that you can give your adrenal glands the rest that they deserve so that they can start functioning normally again and you can start feeling more like yourself.
- Get more sleep! That can be tough when you have so much on your plate, but really make an effort to get more rest.
- Eat a well-balanced diet, and eat regularly. Eating unhealthy foods and not eating on a regular schedule can throw your adrenal glands out of whack.
- You could also try cortisol supplements. When the adrenal glands are fatigued, they produce more cortisol, which contributes to the symptoms you are experiencing. A supplement that blocks cortisol can reduce the production of the stress hormone, improve the health of your adrenal glands, and make you feel a whole lot better.