Postpartum University® Podcast

EP 143 The Postpartum Hormones Online Summit RECAP

December 19, 2023 Maranda Bower, Postpartum Nutrition Specialist
EP 143 The Postpartum Hormones Online Summit RECAP
Postpartum University® Podcast
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Postpartum University® Podcast
EP 143 The Postpartum Hormones Online Summit RECAP
Dec 19, 2023
Maranda Bower, Postpartum Nutrition Specialist

We just wrapped up our very first Postpartum Hormones Online Summit and it was a huge hit!

We got incredible feedback on the expert lineup interview series and over 1K viewers.

If you weren't able to join us or if you did and want to revisit your favorite golden nuggets of wisdom, you're in luck!

Today's episode is a recap of the best moments from our conversations with industry leaders who have made it their mission to improve the lives of mamas everywhere.

In this episode, we're talking about:

  • Why the myth of "It's just your hormones" needs debunking ASAP.
  • How to live in harmony with your hormones and what they're trying to communicate to you when you're experiencing symptoms of imbalance.
  • What The Mama Thrive Method is and how it relates to hormonal well-being.
  • Expert tips within each of the Mama Thrive categories for a cyclical holistic lifestyle that feels aligned and balanced.
  • Industry-leading suggestions for understanding hormones, cyclical living, resetting the nervous system, getting better sleep, detoxing, and MORE!


The conversations here are truly life-changing.
Even in just this small glimpse into these interviews, you'll walk away with practical tips and strategies you can start using right away to experience more hormonal balance.

Feeling inspired and ready to learn more about how you can actively revolutionize postpartum care?

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We just wrapped up our very first Postpartum Hormones Online Summit and it was a huge hit!

We got incredible feedback on the expert lineup interview series and over 1K viewers.

If you weren't able to join us or if you did and want to revisit your favorite golden nuggets of wisdom, you're in luck!

Today's episode is a recap of the best moments from our conversations with industry leaders who have made it their mission to improve the lives of mamas everywhere.

In this episode, we're talking about:

  • Why the myth of "It's just your hormones" needs debunking ASAP.
  • How to live in harmony with your hormones and what they're trying to communicate to you when you're experiencing symptoms of imbalance.
  • What The Mama Thrive Method is and how it relates to hormonal well-being.
  • Expert tips within each of the Mama Thrive categories for a cyclical holistic lifestyle that feels aligned and balanced.
  • Industry-leading suggestions for understanding hormones, cyclical living, resetting the nervous system, getting better sleep, detoxing, and MORE!


The conversations here are truly life-changing.
Even in just this small glimpse into these interviews, you'll walk away with practical tips and strategies you can start using right away to experience more hormonal balance.

Feeling inspired and ready to learn more about how you can actively revolutionize postpartum care?

Read the transcript of this episode:

Depression, anxiety, and autoimmune symptoms after birth is not how it's supposed to be. There is a much better way, and I'm here to show you how to do just that. Hey, my friend, I'm Maranda Bower, a mother to four kids and a biology student turned scientist obsessed with changing the world through postpartum care. Join us as we talk to mothers and the providers who serve them and getting evidence-based information that actually supports the mind, body, and soul in the years after birth.

Hello, my friends, I have to tell you we recently did this online hormone summit for postpartum well-being and it was such a hit. It was absolutely massive. We had well over 1,000 people attending and so many great nuggets were had from this incredible summit.

We had just a couple of speakers. We really wanted to do things a little bit differently with this summit, where it wasn't like information overload.

Instead, it was just like here is some really beautifully put-together information that's going to support you, like actionable steps that you could take for hormone balance, whether for yourself or for your clients if you're serving postpartum moms and families.

I will tell you it was such a good, good experience the amount of people who are coming to us sharing their wins and how it's already changed and shaped the way that they're doing life has just been such a profound thing.

I am just so grateful for everyone who showed up for that and for the amazing speakers. Not only did they just give you a massive amount of information regarding nutrition and detoxing and just an overall view of hormones and how to live in your cycles and so many amazing things, but they also gave some beautiful, beautiful handouts and free guides and nervous system resets, you name it. We had it here in this summit.

If you are here and you did not see that or you were not a part of it, I have some really good news. It was so beautiful that we wanted to create a recap for you here.

We've taken the best of what we shared with the speakers, what the speakers shared, what they've given to us, and we've put it together here for you in a podcast episode. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to let that roll and really just take it all in, enjoy, maybe sit down with a pen and paper a second time around and write some notes.

Things are going to be really juicy and really supportive and I hope you enjoy.

Nourishment as the Key to Hormonal Wellness

Allegra Gast:

I think a lot of times people think hormonal issues just in regards to the sex hormones, like, yes, there's a huge drop in estrogen and progesterone after you deliver the placenta, but your hormones include your thyroid hormones, your cortisol and you know our cortisol is amped up because we've got a crying baby, the sleepless nights, other hormones like our insulin, even our sleepy hormones which can affect our appetite, like relin and leptin.

So there's so many different hormones, and hormones are really just the messengers in our body that help us function properly, and we need minerals and proper nutrition in order for these hormones to function optimally.

And so during this postpartum period, when there's so many changes going on in your body not just the sex, the sex hormone changes, like the drop in progesterone and estrogen, but, like I mentioned, the sleepless nights and you're recovering if you had an episiotomy or a C-section or even just a vaginal delivery that you need extra collagen and protein for optimal healing.

You need omega-3s, selenium, magnesium, vitamin D. There's lots of research supporting these minerals and how it influences mood disorders and postpartum depression, and so nutrition has a profound impact on your healing and just how you're feeling in the postpartum period.

You know I'm a huge proponent of food as fuel and because we are sleep-deprived and we're tired, we need food for this energy and unfortunately we're skipping breakfast. We're not eating enough.

It makes sense our babies are a priority and this is really where our culture needs to better support moms.

We need our village, we need people to help us out, to make us meals.

I know not all of us have that support, but if you can do a lot in your third trimester in preparing for the postpartum period like making more meals just so that you can really optimize your healing, using nutrition to heal-


yeah, it's so true, I think, the expectation that moms are here to do everything like we have to prepare all of our meals, we have to take care of baby, we have to chase all of the toddlers, we have to pay the bills.

Still, we have to take care of the animals, we have to clean the house. We have to do all of these things while simultaneously healing after growing a human being and then sustaining that baby with our life.

You know, it's so immense the work and the load, the mother load, that we carry, and so it makes sense to me why we have these natural hormone changes.

But also, as you had said, there's even so much more, especially in regard to the cortisol, in this building up of, because we have so much on our plate, and if we didn't, if we had the support that we truly needed during this time, that would not take place as much.

And so I find that that support is one of those root causes which you, which you had talked about, to so many of the things that we experienced that we really shouldn't be experiencing, the things that we have normalized, that are not normal in the least bit.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. And the rest of the world. They have like a sitting period for the postpartum period. It's usually like 40 days and here in America we bounce back. You know we're expected to just bounce back, be in the kitchen at three days postpartum making our own meals and it's like no, we need to rest and just focus on nourishing ourselves, nourishing our babies. You know, spending time doing skin-to-skin, allowing your pelvic floor to rest, you know, just really focusing on recovery, and fortunately, we don't really do enough of that.

Unlocking the Wisdom of Hormonal Balance

Deanine Picciano

Women are particularly driven by two hormones that show up a little differently for them estrogen and progesterone and testosterone in a unique, beautiful ratio for each of us individually, and those hormones undergo a particular cycle through a month, which gives us our menstrual cycle, and then we also go through changes in our life every seven years.

So we, as women, will go through four seasons of fertility in our life, which is largely driven by our ovaries and the vitality of them really inspiring us to procreate, whether that's having babies or just having creative gifts that we want to share with the world.

But essentially our ovaries and our ovarian vitality really drives one facet of our hormones, which are really foundational for women in understanding their health.

So I kind of take this eagle-eye view of everything as existing within a construct of a four season pattern, and I think women are so akin to the earth, we are so much like the earth. You know the earth goes through cycles and seasons, she has lots of different climates and you know terrain that's different.

So that's really kind of the perspective that I hold. And then I really feel women, you know, when we have our first period, we should learn how, what our hormones are doing, what are they, how to master them, how to foster them and how to love them and see them.

You know showing up for us and what it feels like to have different hormonal expressions in our body, so that we don't fear our hormones.

We're actually like, okay, understanding why I'm feeling this way because this hormone is dominant.

So I think the two primary hormones and the two things to work on postpartum are your cortisol, the stress hormone, really kind of honing in on getting some kind of routine in your day, like waking, you know, sleeping, just understanding the cycles of the day and then also supporting the liver so we can do the detoxification because that in itself will create dysfunction in your ability to clear those stress hormones right.

So if you can't clear your stress hormones because your liver isn't feeling, you know, up to par, then women get stuck in this loop and I see this loop.

I call it the post-partum loop.

It can be three years later. I meet so many women. They come to see me. They're finally going to take care of themselves, they have a four-year-old or a three-year-old and they're just, they're still recovering from all of that stuff.

They know intuitively, because every woman I meet is so intuitive about her health. She knows what's going on, but she just doesn't know how to put the words to it or to get a strategy for it or navigate it. I think those two things, that's what I usually start with. The blood type, the liver, and then I really look at the adrenals comes down to our adrenals and all that we had before we had babies.


Right, it's so true. It's so true. I often hear so much that, oh, it's just our hormones, or it's just our thyroid, or it's just our adrenals, but really a lot of those are secondary in their nature.

Yes, they're supportive of us and they're helping with hormones and balances, but it comes down to how we're supporting our bodies in nourishment and detoxing and the rhythms of our days and our months.

Right, and so going into those root causes, those root care practices, those are the foundation to helping heal.

Balancing the Nervous System for Hormonal Harmony

Christa Bevan

Right. I had a therapist once. This was one of those like light bulb-tipping moments in my life where he said to me he said, Christa, everything your nervous system does is in service of survival.

When you can understand that, you can understand everything about how you react to things, everything your nervous system does is in service of survival.

And that one, like it, just landed just the right way and it was like everything clicked and it was like aha, right, it was like, oh, now I get it.

Because when you start to understand again this language that your nervous system is speaking, you can see why and how you're responding and reacting to things, and then you can work with that instead of working against it.

And so I think that people are starting to wake up to this conversation. I think that it's just sort of like all of these things are starting to brew together at the right time.

You know, I think things like social media has been really invaluable in teaching and educating people about these topics and spreading the word, and it's just sort of starting to gain momentum with people who are going. Yeah, that resonates for me as well.

I think the biggest shift is that it's not just one of us anymore. Right, all of a sudden, our nervous system becomes ours in the collective sense.

Right, the mother, baby, dyad becomes one, one organizing system together, and all of a sudden we are responsible for co-regulating this tiny baby, who essentially has no ability to self-regulate yet. Right, that's something that comes later in our brain development and our nervous system development.

And so, all of a sudden, as mothers, we are responsible for this other being that then also taxes our own nervous system. And so these changes are, you know, our ability to look at the world differently, right?

One of the things that I hear a lot of moms talk about in the immediate postpartum period is how, all of a sudden, they start thinking about all of these dangerous scenarios and all of the bad things that could be happening to the baby, and just like wild, crazy things that they never would have thought about before, that are probably implausible or very unlikely at the very least.

Right, like what if the roof caves in? Or what if the tree outside falls down? And then I'm trapped with the bit you know, like, just these, like scenarios that they're running with.


Yeah, mine was. Monkeys coming down from the ceiling. I remember you talking about that I was telling my baby right, like I knew it was not a logical thought. Right, yeah, continue, yes, absolutely Well, that's just it.


Yeah, yeah is that these things aren't based in reason, they're based in survival, they're based in our primitive brain and they're wired this way because all of a sudden we need to start protecting this child and our ability to see the danger increases.

And so part of what we can do in taking care of our nervous system is kind of having this conversation with it where we can make the space for our logical mind to come in and kind of soothe that part of us that's freaking out a little bit right and to take the time to realize that that danger is not real and take a moment to resource ourselves so that we can be that calm force for our baby and for ourselves.

Right, and it's about being able to have that dialogue within these parts of ourselves to bring in some of that logic and some of that intellectual capacity that we have, because our nervous system, again, is there about survival, it's trying to protect us.

So it's looking for danger because all of a sudden the world feels scary, not just for us but also for this baby and this life that we've worked so hard and has taken so many of our resources mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually to create and birth into this world.

Of course we're going to be overprotective of them and a little wary and so creating a situation where you can really nest in and create a protective space and bubble for yourself so that you can have that space to again. I keep taking these breaths right, because it's really about this down regulation in our system. Then we can start to co-regulate from a place of calm in our own systems.

Awakening Hormonal Wellness Through Quality Sleep

Dr. Greer Kirshenbaum:

It's really important for us to understand what like. Going back to like. What does our body and physiology expect? What does the baby's body and physiology expect? Right when it comes to sleep, right?

I think I always teach parents that every parent is tired in the world whether you sleep, train your baby or not, you're going to be tired.

One study done in under 12 months in mothers showed that mothers who were sleeping close to their babies actually had better quality sleep and more sleep than parents who had sleep-trained their babies and were sleeping in a separate room.

Part of that is understanding the hormones that are going on postpartum and for the first few years after we have a baby. So the answer is how do we get the best sleep?

It looks different in every single family. I can't say there's like one way, but the umbrella of how it's usually optimal is close to sleep. Right.

It's sleep where you know the baby is either right next to their mom or another parent, and that can be in a crib right next or a bassinet right next to the parent's bed. We like to say within arms reach, so that if the baby signals an arm, can easily go out and comfort and touch. And the reason for that is also hormonal.

It's so that when the baby and the mom I'll say the mom from now on, but it can also apply to a dad if that's a primary caregiver or another person who's a primary caregiver they are both sensing each other's sensory information.

So a baby is listening for mom's breathing, for any noises she's making in the night, smelling her and possibly even touching her and all.

And when it's specific to mom, that's immediately going to release oxytocin in the baby's brain and body right, and that's we really want oxytocin there.

It's going to develop all those very important brain structures that lead to lifelong mental health. It's going to keep the body in a rest and digest parasympathetic nervous system state. That improves sleep. All this kind of stuff.

And the same mirrors in mom. She's sensing the baby's there. She can kind of unconsciously keep track of the baby's breathing, of the baby's well-being, all of that kind of stuff.

She also releases oxytocin in mom and that actually directly quiets your fear center and your brain, which is the amygdala.

And so when we're separating moms and babies, a mom's amygdala could be firing worry, concern, fear because physiologically she's scanning like where's my baby? Where's my baby? I can't smell my baby. I can't monitor their breathing.

They're in the other room, but that's also going on unconsciously, so that's possibly the reason why the sleep's not going so well for that mom.

Embracing Cyclical Rhythms for Hormonal Well-being

Amanda Trieger:

It's such a big hormonal change moving from pregnancy into postpartum.

Nutritionally our needs change, which I know you dive into in such depth, but when we're looking at our hormonal reality we still have a flood of relaxin that sits in our body, so our body's nice and soft and open, which is fabulous.

We have that oxytocin boost that drops out estrogen levels and so we start to see with prolactin, breast milk production and estrogen that seesaw coming in. What I find with a lot of women in postpartum is that they forget that they also have an underlying cycle.

Now for some women that comes back really quickly.

Some of the women that I work with their cycles are back within the first couple of months.

For others it can take up to 12 months to come back into that regular cycle again. So what my recommendation is for women who don't currently have an active menstrual cycle in their postpartum is to use the lunar rhythms, which can give us such a tether and such an understanding of the archetypal energies that are present in each phase of that week in the lunar cycle.

So that's what I teach other practitioners and other women to bring into their postpartum times to bring tethers and anchors and understanding of those shifting awarenesses because when we step either into not having an active menstrual cycle or into that menopause transition, these tethers can help us put cyclical self-care in place.

We can use seed cycling to support that rhythm as well. We can start to plan our month out so that we've got the ability to forward, plan and also reflect back on what worked and what didn't work for that month. So we're tapping into that creative cycle as well as the hormonal rhythms as well.


I have so much that has just come to me as you're speaking. I know for many people this might sound really woo. Maybe woo is not your thing, but I want to say and share that this is deeply connected to science and live in alignment towards what's already present around us.


It's, I think, women, particularly women in the matriascent portal, that time between pregnancy and postpartum, and the big transformations that take place there, our brain chemistry changes, our biology changes and we become more intuitive.

We become more in connection with what feels right, that we already know, that we've stored in our subconscious, that we've logically processed through all of the years of experience that we have, but what really feels right and what we need.

Because as women in society we're taught to be polite, we're taught to be good, and I think that gets in the way of really meeting the needs that come up.

In postpartum there's no buffer. We are designed to be of assistance to our beautiful little babes that come through and, unfortunately, if we're not asking for our needs to be met or we don't have these rhythms to remind us to really care for our own well-being, we can't hold that all for ourselves and we haven't been taught.

And it's really interesting when you say the word woo.

It's so frustrating from a women's space to have this sacred knowledge, to have this knowledge that's been proven by science and is innately beneficial to women, to have been classified many, many, many years ago by either churches or the medical structures that don't like this information being really widely available and much would prefer the science that they say is really relevant, which unfortunately, is mainly done on men and menopausal women.

That disconnects us from this nature and stops us from feeling really comfortable from sinking into it.

So I would really encourage, when women are coming into postpartum, to start to or even during pregnancy, to start to really think about where is the lunar cycle right now for them. There are some really great tools that you can use to find out when your natal lunar return is.

So when your birth moon was and that's often a time where you get a lot more enthusiasm or joy or excitement and in traditional fertility and natural fertility support we would link ovulation of the body with your natal moon return to get great ovulation and stimulation to the body as well.

Detoxifying for Hormonal Harmony


We can help protect ourself from toxic overload, and that's what I'm sharing with you today.

How do we do that effectively and safely, especially in the postpartum period, when it is critical, and I'll explain more about why that is the case.

But what we are seeing is that so many health complications are emerging from this, mainly from inflammation.

So I want to draw a really strong point here that inflammation is what is really causing the issue.

So we have the toxin that enters into the body, and whatever way it does, but it causes an inflammatory response and that inflammatory response damages cell membranes and components and DNA.

So it damages the cell and it disrupts normal enzyme and system functions within the body.

So when cells because it's never just one when a multitude of cells become damaged at the cellular membrane, the different cellular components at the DNA level, that therefore the next component of that is disrupting normal enzyme and system functions within the body.

Enzymes are in hormones and just organs in general which run on hormones and enzymes. That's how our body functions. Those are the communication pieces that our bodies use all the time. Okay, so you don't have to be a science drinker to understand this, just know that.

And for those of you who are a part of the certification program.

There is an entire training on inflammation and what happens within the body.

But when we experience inflammation, that can cause reversible as well as irreversible damage to the cells of our body and those things cause the symptoms that you see here allergies and food intolerances, skin issues, bad odors from your breath, gas stools, general body odor right, constant headaches, liver and kidney problems, lymph issues, menstrual cycle concerns, mood swings, other inflammatory diseases and loss of pregnancy and infertility.

The detoxification processes don't automatically oh, baby's out, let's kick in.

Right, it takes time for the body to adjust. Okay, and if a mother has experienced trauma, lack of nutrients, lack of sleep, inflammation and I'm gonna tell you that inflammation is a normal biological response it's called acute inflammation, not chronic inflammation.

There's a huge difference between the two. Okay, if you're in the certification, you have that training. The acute inflammation happens after the birth of a baby. That's just a normal biological response. Okay, with that. Then we have hormone changes that, again, are biologically normal. Hopefully they're being supported so they don't become an imbalance and what we have is a recipe for a toxic overload.

Now a natural detox support should be considered immediately following the birth. I'm gonna give you those five steps, but if it doesn't, I will tell you that often time it can leave us more ill by releasing more toxins into the bloodstream without being able to be cleansed.

Okay, so the healthy balance of phase one and phase two. That is where this comes in, because if the body is starting to say, oh okay, I can do something now, and it's releasing all of that into the bloodstream and your kidneys are working really hard, okay, as we know that they are.

We know how many of you know women who've had kidney issues after having the birth of a baby.

Okay, how many of you know women who've had kidney stones and things like that? How about liver issues?

Okay, or gallbladder issues, because the gallbladder is working really hard to help the liver produce that bile. Step one is removing the toxins.

There is always gonna be toxins around us in our life, but we can do a great deal to protect ourselves.

We can eliminate many of the sources of toxins within our home and our environment our cleaning products, the things that we put on our body, what we ingest, making sure that our meats and our fruits and vegetables are not sprayed with chemicals or antibiotics are not used excuse me during the process of providing our food, okay, but also evaluating your life stresses, your relationships, your boundaries right, do you have really good, solid boundaries.

All of these things that can create emotional or mental stress. We wanna spend some time here really focusing on our environment, because we can go through this entire process of detoxing, right, but if we didn't bother to get rid of the toxins that are within our home and our environment, we're just loading up on more toxins.

Integrating Strategies for Hormonal Harmony

So when we talk about conscious care, we're talking about conscious care and how it's applied to the Mama Thrive method, which is basically a method that I have developed over my 14 years experience, not only having my four babies, but also supporting hundreds of women, coaching hundreds of women in their postpartum journeys as well, and what I found was that there is a root cause to everything and whether you have seen it the Mama Thrive method or not, you've actually, if you're here watching this video and you've gone through the trainings and the speakers that we've given you, you've already seen the Mama Thrive method.

And that is this holistic support, because I don't ever recommend anybody doing this alone, like I did.

Like that's just because I did it doesn't mean you should too. I don't recommend it, and I needed that for healing, especially in my subsequent pregnancies and birth experiences.

So there's this level of conscious care, support. And then the other factor is nutrition, which is one of the most important factors into all of this.

It's kind of the forgotten pieces. It's the building block to our entire bodies, our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

And then there's another component, which is sleep, and we all know as moms that's incredibly challenging to get the sleep.

But so many practices, so many things happen within our bodies that regulate our hormones, that set us up for success, that help us detox right and same with nourishment.

There's a component of detoxing.

And then we have nervous system balance, which I am so grateful for today because we are seeing so much come to light in terms of the nervous system and what it's responsible for, and how trauma impacts that and how stress impacts that, and so there is this blooming kind of understanding of how significant the nervous system is, and it's even more so in the postpartum period.

And then we have another component, which is daily rhythms and life rhythms. Rhythms and rituals is what I call it.

And so if you look at the circle and I might have to edit this video so you can all see here.

The Mama Thrive Method


It's a circle of support, nourishment, sleep, nervous system, balance and cyclical living and rituals and rhythms, and they're all together and they all blend together and in postpartum, when we address those components, then we have everything we need to be fully healed to not experience the things that are so common in our reality the depression, the anxiety, the autoimmune diseases, the massive bloating and gut changes that occur that are not normal right, or the major fatigue, the hair loss.

All of these things that we say, oh, it's just part, a normal part of motherhood, it's just cause you had just had a baby.

No, that's not true. It's because the way we're living our lives is not conducive to raising children. It's not conducive to healing. 

I am so grateful you turned into the Postpartum University podcast. We hope you enjoyed this episode enough to leave us a quick review and, more importantly, I hope more than ever that you take what you've learned here, apply it to your own life, and consider joining us in the Postpartum University membership. It's a private space where mothers and providers learn the real truth and the real tools needed to heal in the years to come and the real tools needed to heal in the years Postpartum. You can learn more at www.postpartumu. That's the letter We'll see you next week.

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