You haven’t had your period in a long time and if you breastfeed, you can keep it that way for months!
But watch out because before your period returns, a beast you probably didn’t know existed will rear its ugly head: postpartum PMS.
If you’re someone who has never suffered from PMS, you might still get a nasty surprise: a completely unrecognizable temper. When you’re no longer pregnant and you’ve weaned your baby, your hormones will return to their normal levels, but the transition isn’t always a smooth one. That’s especially true when the fatigue and stress that accompany new motherhood make things worse. Headaches, cramps and mood swings will reach never-before-seen heights during postpartum PMS.
Weight gain can also aggravate PMS. After your pregnancy, your curves will likely be a little less subtle than they used to be… as will your PMS symptoms!
Given that PMS is hard to recognize when your cycle isn’t back to its old self, the symptoms can throw you and everyone around you for a loop. The good news is that once your period returns, you’ll feel lighter and relieved. But if you don’t do anything to prevent a “PMS from hell,” it’s likely to keep coming round.
Give these a try:
- Keep a journal of your symptoms every cycle: date, type and intensity of symptoms, how tired you are, duration, and so on. If necessary, you can refer to your notes to help you analyze the problem.
- Avoid coffee. Caffeine exacerbates anxiety and mood swings. To reduce your coffee consumption gradually, make a cup with half coffee substitute and half your regular coffee.
- Get the stroller out and go for a walk or run, preferably uphill. The fresh air will do you good, and the sun will give your vitamin D production a boost. While your baby benefits from being outdoors, the exercise will help you get that wasp waist back while helping your body produce endorphins—nature’s happy pill!
- Avoid white sugar and flour. They’ll only keep your blood sugar levels on an unhealthy roller-coaster ride. During PMS, drops in blood sugar lead to the kind of mood swings that would make the Incredible Hulk green with envy.
- B-complex vitamins are needed to synthesize neurotransmitters in the brain, which are useful in regulating hormone swings.
- Eat foods rich in calcium and magnesium. Vogel Calcium Absorber is a supplement that helps your body absorb dietary calcium, an effective way to reduce cramp frequency and intensity while improving mood.
- Drink water! Water purifies your body by eliminating toxins, keeps your periods regular and helps you lose any extra weight you may have put on during pregnancy.
If you’re no longer breastfeeding, taking Vitex for a few months will help re‑establish regular cycles and ease your PMS symptoms. But you really have to wait until you’re completely finished breastfeeding, as Vitex blocks the production of prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production.
By following these tips, your should see your period return with little fanfare, which is how it should be.