Dr. Hedayat is invited to speak at the conference in Lithuania dedicated to women and motherhood in the end of April. We would like to share a part of his interview with our FSH friends and patients. Our team is blessed working with so many wonderful women so we hope Dr. Hedayat’s thoughts will inspire you to take better care of yourselves and your loved ones.
Women’s health and pregnancy from Endobiogenic perspective
How does pregnancy affect women’s hormonal system?
Pregnancy amplifies and increases many of the hormones that are naturally present outside pregnancy, like cortisol, estrogens, thyroid hormones and growth hormones. As a result of this great rise of hormones, and when they are balanced and working in a coordinated fashion, many women experience the pregnancy glow in their eyes and in their skin. It’s a special feeling they don’t have other times of their life. I’ve noticed that many feel more spiritual, connected with their baby. In addition, many inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, like lupus, asthma or psoriasis, actually get better or completely resolve during pregnancy.
The challenge for the woman is when these hormones don’t rise together in a harmonious way. This can adversely affect their mood and health. The other challenge is after pregnancy. If the hormones stay too high, that cause one set of problems (like women who develops thyroid disease after the pregnancy). The other type is when the hormones drop too suddenly after birth. This can be related to post-partum depression. Other examples are hair loss and trouble losing pregnancy weight.
Do all pregnant women have the same hormonal changes?
Yes, because hormonal changes are genetically programmed. But they don’t experience those changes in the same way.
Each person has a unique set of genetics and also epigenetic influences. Epigenetics have to do with how your genes have been affected not only by your physical environment, but by the emotional environment of your ancestors. For example, many studies have shown, that two generations after the Holocaust, the grandchildren of the Jewish Holocaust survivors have a higher rate of anxiety and depression than other people their age whose grandparents were not in a Holocaust. Or, for example, people from Scandinavia whose parents lived through a famine three generations ago, are more likely to have the same famine genes turned on and gain weight too easily three generations later. These are epigenetic changes that affect the way people feel, function and think. And this can affect how you feel during the pregnancy.
How do you explain why two pregnant women feel very different?
While two women are pregnant, each woman’s hormonal changes are unique to them: the specific patterns of how much their estrogen, cortisol, or thyroid hormones are functioning, is particular to each of them. So each woman’s pregnancy experience is her own and they shouldn’t be compared to anyone else. She should ask herself how I can have the best pregnancy experience that I am meant to have.
What should women do in order to maintain a good health?
Because woman spend such a large part of their life having menstrual cycles, and because menstrual cycles are such a big fluctuation in hormones every single month, woman should not accept difficult menstrual cycles as a fact of life that they have to live with it. The answer to a painful menstrual cycle is not a pain medication or birth control. Those hormonal disbalances that women experience, such as water weight, tender breasts, heavy periods and mood swings should be seen as a medical imbalance – not a disease – but an imbalance that can make you susceptible to other hormonal problems and disorders later in life such as hypothyroidism, lupus, Crohn’s disease, anxiety, depression, migraine, etc. Because woman tend to be more in touch or aware of hormonal fluctuations, they can actually have a greater opportunity to address those issues while they are younger and before those type of disorders, as I mentioned, come about.
As far as hormone balancing goes, and, because hormones are such a complex system in the body and they all affect each other, more complicated hormone balancing needs to be done by an expert who has a training in hormone balancing like Endobiogeny.
However, in the meantime, the most general thing is to ensure a good liver function. Avoid excessive or frequent alcohol consumption, smoking, or eating too much fatty and fried foods. Exercise and do periodic liver cleanses by taking something gentle like a tea of milk thistle, sage, or artichoke leaf.
The other thing is to maintain good pelvic circulation. When the woman’s feet are colder than her hands, she feels heaviness in her pelvis, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, or constipation – it means that the pelvis is congested. In that case you want to make sure you improve circulation in the pelvic area. So, again, having a simple tea of yarrow, lady’s mantle, or witch-hazel, are very safe and effective ways to ensure good health. In fact, yarrow is good for the liver, for the pelvis, and has progesterone like activity that balances other sex hormones, so, it’s a great plant for women to consider.
I think if a woman from time to time drinks herbal tea, she doesn’t need medical supervision. But there are certain plants even drank as a tea that are not recommended during pregnancy. So outside the pregnancy, the plants I mentioned are good to use; during the pregnancy, anything that a woman takes should be in consultation with a doctor who is knowledgeable in using plants during pregnancy.
What about mental and emotional health?
Every person should be allowed and able to express emotions they are experiencing.
Let me tell you a story. I was having a consultation with one woman. She was a mother, daughter and a wife. I listened to her and later said:
“I understand why you feel frustrated at times: your husband works long hours, he has to travel outside the country, and you have a lot of responsibilities with the children, and your mother is in another town… I think it’s really important to talk about your feelings with your husband more.”
At the end of the visit she stepped out from the consultation room in the lobby, and, in front of everybody there, she looked at her husband and said:
“Dr. Hedayat said it’s all your fault that I am sick!”
This is not what I mean saying expressing your emotions.
A lot of times what happens, people hold their feelings in and then blame other people, blame themselves, or they just shout at whomever is around. Expressing emotions is saying “when you don’t thank me for making dinner, I don’t feel appreciated. It is important for me to feel appreciated in our marriage.” This is a good example of effective, non-violent communication. If you want to have a long and healthy life, it’s important to talk about feelings, and, what you need to be satisfied in life.
In my opinion, women who want to help their family and their children, they really need to help themselves first. When a woman has enough sleep, enough to eat, personal time to talk with friends, exercise, read a book, get a cup of coffee or take a walk in the woods, she feels recharged. She finds that energy and balance within herself to be a better mother a better wife and to be the center and the warmth of the home. And sometimes it’s only a question of 15 or 30 minutes of person time. It’s really not a lot of time to feel recharged.
How you can summarize who is a healthy and happy mother?
A healthy and happy mother is a mother who feels fulfilled and satisfied in her role as a mother but also finds satisfaction and ability to express her creativity in other areas of her life.