Postpartum, PCOS and Supplements
I'm 10 months postpartum and thought I would share a few things about how I think PCOS has affected my postpartum experience. I have really been feeling PCOS rearing its ugly head lately and trying to get this under control. The summer of 2014 a few months before I got pregnant, I felt the best I ever have and would love to get back to that state of health. I know anyone reading this that has PCOS knows it can make you feel like crap! After temporaily defeating infertility, I sometimes ignore the fact that I have PCOS. But even though I've gotten past what was the most painful part of the disorder for me, I'm still facing the reality that this is a life-long disorder and I will have to continue dealing with it.
The first few weeks after my son was born, I felt amazing! It was the best I've felt in a long time. I've always struggled with anxiety but during these weeks I was so calm and happy. Then about 3 months postpartum, I became very anxious and depressed and felt crazy. It was a long couple of months, but looking back I attribute it to "hormonal hell" from PCOS. The mental symptoms have gotten a lot better but still struggling with more of the physical symptoms of PCOS (hirsutism, belly fat that won't go away, carb/sugar cravings, extreme fatigue, mood swings). I try not to blame everything on PCOS but if I'm being honest, it causes a majority of what I experience daily. I'm pretty certain I'm dealing with adrenal fatigue as well.
I'm doing several things to try to fight adrenal fatigue naturally-
- Getting a full nights sleep! Sometimes this means going to bed earlier since my kids get up at 5:30 (I've read not to go to bed past 10:30 pm if struggling with adrenal fatigue).
- Eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day and including fat and protein with each meal especially when I eat carbs.
- Eating lots of healthy fats- grass fed butter, coconut oil, ghee, nuts, almond butter
- Exercise- I'm trying to exercise a few times a week but not overdoing it. I workout early in the morning so always have a small snack first (handful of nuts, coconut cookie) so I'm not exercising on an empty stomach.
- Real food- avoiding processed foods, starchy carbs and sugar. I do so much better when I just completely eliminate sugar even dark chocolate and raw honey.
- Supplements- continuing my supplement regimen esp magnesium, prenatal vitamin, and extra vitamin D.
I'm still breastfeeding so there are certain supplements I've been holding off starting back on just because I haven't been able to find enough research saying they are safe to take while lactating. But I'm mostly excited about starting back on NAC. With how I have felt off it, I really think it's what has helped the most with stable moods, regular cycles, and better blood sugar control. I have continued to take myo-inositol (although I didn't take it while pregnant.) I think it has greatly helped my blood sugars and milk production, and I saw great improvement in my A1c labs.
So here's a list of what I'm taking currently. I spend hours and weeks and months researching what to take because there's so many supplements marketed to PCOS women. Several of these supplements were recommended to me by my Naturopathic Doctor based on my symptoms and labs so definitely talk to your doctor before starting supplements! My tow favorite brands are Pure Encapsulations and Thorne and most of these supplements can be ordered from Amazon.
- Thorne Prenatal (read this for the difference in folate vs. folic acid)
- Nordic Naturals ProOmega D
- Magnesium Glycinate- 120 mg
- Extra Vitamin D- 2000 IUs
- Selenium (for my thyroid health)- 200 mcg
- Myo-inositol- 4.1 g total as one scoop in morning and one scoop in evening
- Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides- 1 Tbsp in morning (I've also taken Great Lakes too)
- NAC*- 500 mg x 3 day
- Maca* - I've never taken this before but I'm so interested in trying it in hopes to promote regular cycles. Please let me know if you have any experience with this!
- Vitamin C- considering adding this while fighting adrenal fatigue
*Will add these supplements once my son weans.
Keep fighting PCOS!