Interestingly enough, when women becomes pregnant and placenta is developed, her body’s internal operations take a totally different approach. The shift of mechanics, so to speak taking a on a new gear – protect and develop a new life.
The placenta produces a hormone, called the hCG that in simple words acts as a protective mechanism for the featus life. The hCG enters the women’s body directly through the blood stream and from the inside it controls the metabolism, food digestion, energy and nutrition distribution.
Normally, outside of pregnancy, these automatic functions, such as:
- food digestion,
- where to store fat,
- when to store
- and when to release a fat reserve for energy
are controlled by the hypothalamus, which is the gland inside our brain.
Professor Dave Grattan from British Society of Neuroendocrinology wrote a very interesting study about changes in women body during pregnancy.
“Her brain is also undergoing a number of extraordinary modifications that will result in changes to her body functions. The control of her hormone secretion changes, and this contributes to the dramatic changes in mood and behavior that accompany pregnancy and childbirth.
All of these changes require the brain to function differently in pregnancy compared to any other time.” … Dave Grattan
HCG and Hypothalamus
The hCG overrides the hypothalamus functions and redirect all the energy you synthesize and all the nutrition you get from food -> to your baby first and what’s left over goes to you. So if you didn’t eat enough food today, the hcg will command the hypothalamus to release your reserves (fat from the belly area), break it down to energy and nutrients and send to your baby, so the baby can continue to grow.
Very cute mechanism, it hacks women’s body functions and controls their life supply.
Here Is When The Trouble With The Weight Begins.
Right at delivery, the placenta is removed and the hcg is gone, altogether with the placenta. The hypothalamus, after 9 month of working for the baby, kind of forgets how to take care of your own body.
Normal the recovery after pregnancy takes 2 weeks in the ideal situation: no stress and good night’s sleep.
I don’t know about you but when our baby came home, my wife and I forgot about what a good night’s sleep feels like.
Postpartum Recovery Takes An Ugly Turn.
It is not surprise and I don’t have to tell you how not so easy it becomes when you dont sleep, no rest, dealing with life and continue normal life functions.
High stress makes adrenal gland pump more Cortisol into the blood stream. Cortisol is a hormone with an opposite to hCG function and it now sends signals to hypothalamus that life is unstable and in danger. As a respond, your body begins to store food, converting it into fat and storing it in the belly area. You see the problem?
When this kind of chaos happens inside for long time, it becomes chronic and it’s now runs on autopilot, causing weight to go up slowly over time leading to overweight and other health problems.
Postpartum Weight Loss Program
When my wife stopped breastfeeding she began to gain weight practically daily. It was not a pleasant thing to watch, how my own wife got caught up in postpartum depression, weight gain and loss of energy and motivation.
Video on the right will show you how it all played out for us, how she gained weight after pregnancy, and how we was able to stabilize her body functions, lose the weight she gained and got her back to a happy mood.