Four Ways Hormones Mess You Up After Giving Birth


You all know that I don’t believe in fearing the future or warning moms of the awful stages to come, filling them with dread and robbing them of the joy of today.

Still, you also know that I believe in living life openly, authentically, and honestly.  Life around here is real.

And so it’s in that spirit that I’m sharing this today.  Not as a warning, but more of a “things-I-wish-I-would-have-known” for another mama out there who might be waiting for her little one to arrive.

We’ve all heard about the baby blues, but those postpartum hormones showed up in some really unexpected ways in the days immediately following the births of my kids.  And I expected to maybe have mood swings, be weepy, and tired, but I didn’t expect this stuff.  So here you go.  Fun things to look forward to after the birth of your baby.

1.  The Day 5 Meltdown.  I’m not sure what it is about the fifth day postpartum.  Maybe it’s because you’re approaching nearly a week of broken sleep, you’re still struggling to heal, or it’s just the perfect storm of those two things plus hormones.  But somewhere on Day 5, I turned into a puddle.  Like, not just a little weepy.  I’m talking full-on bawling to the point that my husband had zero idea what to do with me.  I have no idea what the trigger was, and then, it was over.  It was very short-lived, but it still came out of left field.  So there you have it – The Day 5 Meltdown.

2.  The Sweating.  Oh my gosh the sweating.  I was hot all the time, and couple that with the fact that I was carrying a little heater around with me all the time, it was ridiculous.  Not to mention soaking the sheets with night sweats, which was the most unpleasant of all.  I think that subsided within the first week or two, thank goodness.

3.  The Anxiety.  My baby was up all the time but I could not sleep.  At least not deeply.  I was constantly concerned about him.  There are differing levels of this and if it persists could be a sign of true, clinical postpartum anxiety but just having it coincide with adrenaline and hyper-alertness in the short days after birth is pretty normal.

4.  The Acne.  Oh, the acne.  Can you say brutal?  Me and poor skin have been in a dysfunctional long-term relationship for about 20 years now, but after my firstborn arrived I exploded in some fabulous cystic acne.  It was awful.  Thankfully, that doesn’t happen to everyone and with the birth of my second I didn’t experience the same problem.  I hope that you won’t, either.

What do you wish you had known about those first few postpartum days?  What little nuggets of information can you share with other moms to help – not scare! – expectant moms?

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4 thoughts on “Four Ways Hormones Mess You Up After Giving Birth

  1. Thank you for sharing! I too remember the inability to sleep in those early days after my first born. I felt the need to keep checking her breathing because I read so much about SIDS I was paranoid. I wish I’d understood the phrase sleep when they sleep that first time around.

  2. I am losing a lot of hair at almost three months after baby. I know it is normal and won’t last long but it’s a little scary to see so much hair in rhe shower drain!

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