During pregnancy, the placenta is a hormone-producing powerhouse. Hormones are produced in various different organs and glands in your body and during pregnancy, by the placenta too. Hormones are chemicals that regulate all sorts of different things in your body, like sleep, stress, digestion, lactation, moods and much much more.
Hormone Changes Postpartum
During a healthy pregnancy, the placenta will raise hormone levels in the mothers body from 3, to up to 1000x’s the levels of a non-pregnant woman, depending on the hormone. At the time of the babies birth the placenta is delivered as well and suddenly the body is left without this amazing hormone factory. Levels of hormones drop dramatically in new moms and usually by the 5th day postpartum have reached their lows.
For some hormones, the body realizes it needs to start making these hormones on it’s own and does so. In other cases, such as CRH which is a stress relieving hormone, it takes the body a 21 days to realize the placenta is gone and to start manufacturing it again on it’s own.
This sudden crash from incredibly high levels of hormones to dramatically low levels of hormones can reek havoc on a new moms moods and ability to cope. Studies have shown that women who feel depressed after birth have lower levels of certain hormones, such as CRH, than women who feel ok.
Studies have shown certain hormones, such as estradiol and progesterone work in similar ways to anti-anxiety drugs and help to release endorphins the ‘feel good’ hormones. Other hormones like Thyroxine and Thyroid-Releasing Hormone can cause symptoms such as panic attacks and agitation when their levels become unbalanced.
New research is showing that postpartum depression isn’t just about the huge adjustment to being a mom, fatigue and iron deficiency, but that hormones and the drastic changes their levels undergo during labour and the birth of the placenta are all factors as well.
Ingesting placenta capsules can help new moms by providing their bodies with hormones like CRH, progesterone, endorphins and many more. Placentas are rich in these and other hormones as well as iron, vitamin B6 and POEF.
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Hendrick et al