Postpartum Anxiety

by Robin

I am 33 years old and 9 months postpartum with my second child (my first is 3yrs). I am otherwise healthy but have dealt with low levels of anxiety and IBS at different points throughout my life. Those issues have been mostly managed through healthy lifestyle, but since having children, the anxiety has made a major comeback. After my first child, I experienced what felt like serious postpartum anxiety. Through my naturopath along with some tests, we determined that I was deficient in many nutrients because I was not absorbing vitamins from the food I ate (increased bowel transit time - IBS). Anxiety led to GI issues or maybe GI issues led to anxiety. Either way, I was in rough shape. Despite trying various supplements and lifestyle changes, I didn't find relief until I became pregnant again. After having my second kiddo, the anxiety and GI issues came back in full force. Testing found my progesterone to be very low. Also found out that estrogen, serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, GABA, norepinephrine all to be low too. Cortisol levels were on the higher end. I've been put on supplements (kavinace and travagen) to treat the low serotonin and GABA. I'm taking 5000 ius of vitamin D, a heavy duty multivitamin and a probiotic every day. I've also been put on 40mg of progesterone cream per day. I was originally put on 20mg a day and increased the dose because the anxiety became worse. At 40mgs, I was feeling a little better but then spiraled downhill when I began the 7 day break from the cream. I only made it a few days before I started applying again. I still do not have my period back but was told to follow a 3 weeks on/1 week off routine. I am still breastfeeding so my doctor is being very conservative with treatment. I've been on the supplements for 5 weeks and the progesterone cream for 4 weeks. I'm feeling like the anxiety is pretty overwhelming at this point and certainly getting in the way of enjoying my family and friends. Anyone else experience this or have advice?

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