This post probably contains affiliate links, to items I am in love with, and I am confident you will too! For any health advice I give on nutrition and wieghtloss, make sure you check with your doctor, as I am not a health professional. I am just a mama with lots of health and fitness knowledge and experience.
Balancing hormones after pregnancy consists mainly of a healthy diet, supplemented with some herbs to help regulate hormone production for breastfeeding, healing and recovering after being pregnant. Luckily, many foods have beneficial effects on balancing postpartum hormones, and I am going to go over them here because I believe in nutrient-dense foods. I created The Postpartum Cure as a program to help guide mamas into healing postpartum through food and patience.
Many mamas end up craving sugar while breastfeeding, and find themselves dealing with cravings at certain times of the month. This is really difficult to manage if you are trying to lose weight, breastfeeding and function without screaming at any one. Add on the limited sleep, and it is a recipe for one unhappy mama. I wrote a post on specific herbs and supplements you can take to help with hormones. That is a great read too, after looking at these foods, and combining them into your diet with the supplements I suggest, especially this one, you can help balance your hormones after pregnancy. Let’s go over some foods you can eat to add to your diet to balance those hormones.
Foods for balancing hormones after pregnancy:
Raw and Organic Apple Cider Vinegar:
There are few ways to consume apple cider vinegar (ACV), but straight out of the bottle is not recommended. I don’t even like to mix it straight with water and guzzle either. I recommend making a salad dressing with it, or mixing a few teaspoons in a cup of water with stevia and cinnamon to help mask the difficult taste. ACV is going to help wake up your digestive system, metabolize fat, and increase insulin sensitivity. This is really helpful for any hormonal issues that are causing trouble with insulin resistance. It also helps balance your micriobome enironment, which is key for good bacteria to stay healthy and the bad to die. It also helps you break down amino acids in proteins, and protein is really helpful in balancing hormonal function. Leading to our next food.
High-quality protein is essential to hormonal function because the amino acids are essential to the creation of hormones like insulin. I say high-quality because I’m not talking about a cheese burger, chicken nuggets or ribs. I’m talking about protein that doesn’t come from animals raised in stress (extra cortisol!!), injected with hormones (opposite of what we want) or plant proteins coming from GMO plants or chemical environments (pesticides). Wild caught fish, grass-fed beef, free-range chickens…these are high quality protein sources. I also like protein powders for smoothies because they are fast and easy way to consume protein and other nutrients.
I created Milk Dust, an awesome protein powder specifically for postpartum mamas because it has hormone balancing herbs and minerals, in addition to other foods like chia seeds, coconut milk, spirulina, chlorella and other superfoods to boost your nutrients. The protein powder also has digestive enzymes and probiotics to help you absorb the nutrients and digest the protein efficiently, as well as the rest of the food you eat. With herbs like Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, this protein powder is great for hormones and lactation if you are breastfeeding. Milk Dust is a pea protein powder, which is highly recommended and beneficial as a complete protein source.
Almonds are a great source of magnesium, a mineral necessary to help with hormonal function, and they are also high in fiber and protein. They are super easy to grab and eat on the go, which is really helpful for busy mamas. Go for raw almonds over roasted almonds. Some women have found that almonds helps lower testosterone levels, which are largely responsible for postpartum acne. Almonds can also help regulate blood sugar if you are suffering from frequent sugar cravings or hunger.
I like coconut oil because it is easy to cook with. Coconut oil is s wonderful, healthy fat that directly helps the production of pregnenolone, which is important for overall hormonal function. The healthy fat has an overall fabulous effect on hormonal development, so add it to your cooking for a quick and easy way to consume.
I just discovered chia seed pudding, which I am loving as a quick and easy breakfast or snack. Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is really important to estrogen and progesterone. You can throw chia seeds into smoothies to help thicken them up, and you can make overnight pudding by mixing a few table spoons of chia seeds with about a cup of almond milk. Add a little fruit and Stevia, let it sit overnight in a mason jar. It will thicken in a few hours, and you can wake up to a thick and sweet, yogurt-like pudding.
Balancing your hormones after pregnancy is really important to producing breast milk if you are breastfeeding. I highly recommend a nutrient-dense diet after pregnancy to heal, create a healthy milk supply and lose extra weight. If your hormones are in check, all of this will be a little easier. If you are gaining weight while breastfeeding, read this post. It will help you understand what might be going on.
If you need help losing the baby weight and keeping up your milk supply, I have a very popular program, The Postpartum Cure, which comes in an app you can download.