Rant #5 – Hormone Alert!

Yeah, another thing that should be told to new parents, especially since it can lead to: surprise, surprise, postpartum depression.

So we all hit puberty and get that burst of hormones for maturing.  What doesn’t get mentioned NEARLY as much is the other situation where the hormone levels shoot up like crazy, for women at least: pregnancy.

Now there’s different hormones, and I can’t break them down or anything, but among them is oxytocin.  It’s kinda known as the happy hormone.  It may or may not be responsible for the pregnancy glow people claimed they saw, but I never did.  So this hormone, among others, skyrockets during pregnancy (apparently even more so if you’re carrying multiples).  So I didn’t feel any happier (I was my usual self, and it’s different for every woman).  What’s also forgotten in the new parent need-to-know is the fact that while the hormones shoot up somewhat slowly while you’re pregnant; they see no reason to not come crashing down after childbirth.  Best analogy I can think of is a sugar rush (though slower on the way up) and the eventual crash, times 1,000.  Yeah, they drop like a f@cking rock.

Now depending on the mom, the body can handle these changes like floating in a swimming pool to drowning in the darkness with no light even considered.  The latter usually develop some sort of postpartum mood disorder.  Now this is not to say that if you handle the hormone drop/change fine you will not develop postpartum depressions, or vice versa.  HOWEVER, being that the hormones regulate many things, among them mood, there is a connection between your body not handling the hormone change very well and you developing postpartum depression, et al.

So doctors, take note – TELL pregnant women, especially those pregnant for the FIRST time, about the hormone changes.  No I don’t remember all the details of sex ed in school.  No, you cannot just give them a little brochure and send them on their way.  This is what you went to school for, you understand the biology and what’s happening to her body, hormones, organs, all of it.  So be an intelligent, proactive, compassionate doctor and let the new mom-to-be what to expect and what to watch for.

Again, and I will try to say this more often (if I don’t already), awareness is key!  Education is key.  I’m not saying you have to attend medical school, but you don’t need to to be told a quick 5 minute explanation of this and how it can affect you and to keep an eye out for it.

Thank you and be well.

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~ by phaerygurl on April 9, 2013.

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