Cortisol- The Motherhood Stress Hormone

Cortisol- The Motherhood Stress Hormone

Cortisol is a key glucocorticoid hormone essential in regulating stress, sleep, energy, mood, blood sugar and even your blood pressure.

Cortisol is a necessary hormone, HOWEVER, too little or too much cortisol can detrimental to your long-term health. In particular, high cortisol is driven by long term, un-managed stress.

High Cortisol can present as:

*Anxiety, Depression or Anger

*Trouble sleeping

*Low energy

*Unstable blood sugar

*Inability to loose or shift weight

*High blood pressure, heart palpitations or sweating

*Digestive discomfort (bloating, irregular stools)

Different factors in motherhood can influence your cortisol levels. For example:

*Lack of sleep (that 4 month sleep regression anyone??!)

*Worry about yourself, your baby/ other children, your relationship with your partner

*Stress about going back to work or not going back to work

*Worried about your milk supply or how your baby is feeding

*Postpartum anxiety & postpartum depression

*Poor nutritional intake

*Lack of hydration

*Excessive exercise

*Limited YOU time

 So- how are you meant to reduce your cortisol levels with all the stress that motherhood can bring? Here are our top tips:

FOOD

You need proper fuel to reduce cortisol levels and support your body during periods of chronic stress. Your body cannot function on low calorie/empty calorie foods. If you don’t have time to sit down for a nice big home cooked meal, it is important to have readily available snacks that you can grab that will support your energy and cortisol throughout the day. Easy snacks to have on hand include boiled eggs, hummus and crackers, smoothies with our very own Mothers Boost nut & seeds mix, fresh fruit, vegetable sticks with guacamole, corn thins, yoghurt tubs, sourdough bread with your choice of topping, apple slices with nut butter, seaweed thins and bone broth.

HYDRATION

Water, herbal teas, mineral rich drinks and fresh squeezed juice are all rich in liquid to hydrate your body, support energy and give your cells key nutrients and minerals needed to regulate cortisol levels. You can add liquid minerals to your drinks, sip on coconut water or fresh squeezed orange juice is our favourite!

 SLEEP

Take that rest when you can. The house work can wait, the dishes can wait. These general household chores can be done (although slowly) while your baby is asleep. If your body is telling you to nap- have a nap. Try to go to sleep early at night as well. It is tempting to stay up and watch TV, read books & catch up on things- however, your body needs to prioritise rest

If you would individualised 1:1 support, you can work with Meagan our founder and Clinical Nutritionist by clicking here
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