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How long does the postpartum stage last? or is something else wrong with me?

By November 9, 2010 - 1:07pm
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During my pregnancy in 2008, I suffered with hyperemisis and extreme migraine attacks that cause me to be hospitalized on several occasions (about 12 times). Starting at about month 3 of the pregnancy I began to forget. I compensated by just writing everything down that pertained to work. Since having the baby in Aug. 2008 I feel lost. My memory has gotten so bad I often cant remember what I'm talking about, I have forgotten people, places, faces, things have to be repeated to me often, I’ve locked myself out of the house which I have never done in my 31 years of life, I've even almost walked out the door without shoes.

My doctors told me and are still telling me I’m postpartum. They said the change in life stress of being a new mom and so on. The aforementioned symptoms are coupled with the fact that I had hair loss a couple of months after my son was born, then the texture of my hair changed all together when it grew back. I can’t tolerate the cold or the heat (I'm either shivering or sweating profusely) there’s hardly ever an in between. I'm always extremely exhausted, I am suffering with insomnia, and I was gaining weight even though I wasn’t eating but exercising (I gained 10 pounds post pregnancy).

Its two years and three months since I've given birth and these issues still exist. I saw two different endocrinologists. One told me I was fat that's why I was sweating so much so I hired a trainer and lost twenty pounds. It was so hard I felt like he was trying to kill me cause my weight wouldn’t budge for the first 4 months and sometime I was too tired to really exercise I just physically couldn’t. Currently, if I don’t exercise my weight starts climbing back up immediately. I am still sweating with the slightest bit of moving like walking from the front door to the car and I even sweat while I’m sleeping. But, in my office I am freezing I usually have on a sweater and still need a space heater just to feel somewhat warm. The second endo also checked my thyroid and said it was normal and I must still be postpartum.

What bothers me the most is my memory. I feel like I'm slow where as I used to be very sharp. In the beginning (during and shortly after the pregnancy)I saw a neurologist. She said cause I was sleep deprived, my memory wouldn’t come back until I slept. I moved the baby out of the room cause he was a poor sleeper (but he sleeps through the night now), but it’s been more than a year and I still have problems falling asleep and staying asleep. But I sleep more than I did in the first year of his life. I try to sleep 7 or eight hours at night in a dark room with a sleep mask no TV and it is a struggle to get up every morning. And, my memory does not seem to be improving. I literally can forget what I am doing while I am doing it or talking about it. This is a daily thing. If I don’t write it down I will more than likely forget it completely with no memory that it even occurred. I started seeing a new doctor and she said I was anxious and suffering from postpartum depression. I AM NOT DEPRESSED! I may be anxious (and frustrated) but that's because I sweat tremendously all the time and can’t remember the things I need to when I need to.

Is this really a postpartum issue? And, if so how long does this postpartum thing last? I'm at the point that I don't want to have any more kids because pregnancy was so awful and if the recovery from it is this long......I don't know. It has to be something else? Any ideas? Thanks in advance for listening to my ramblings.


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EmpowHER Guest


I have been having alot of the same symptoms! I had my son 5 months ago and the sweating has not stopped I will walk up soaked, even with the air conditionair blowing straight at me. For the first 4 months I felt like i was in a fog and couldn't remember anything I am slowly getting better but its been a long road already. It seems that I gain weight when ever I eat, does not matter what either. I feel weak and exhusted, I also have a great support system and I sleep threw the night and have since my son was 3 weeks old. I have an appointment to see a dr next week, will let you know if anything great comes out of it.


June 22, 2012 - 5:32pm

Thank you ladies for your responses. I have an appoinment with the nuerologist and a new endocrinologist next month so I will definately update this after those appointments. I have a prettty good diet I like my veggies! I do fall back every now and again with McDonalds or bacon but I cut out sodas and juices because it contributes to weight issues, I dont care for cake or ice cream and all the other good junk food I dont buy so I'm not tempted. Now I'm horrible with vitamins I often dont remember to take pills if nothing hurts bad. I had a vitamin D deficiency after pregnancy but I was prescibed vitamin D and got those levels up. But I dont take the daily ones daily. I'm working on it.

Ladies, I will appreciate any information that you may find out from others.

Thanks in advance,

November 9, 2010 - 6:47pm

I agree what Alison said. Please let us know if you plan to visit with any other doctors, and likewise we'll let you know as soon as we find more information for you that we think may help you to advocate for yourself. I have some gynecologist friends I'm supposed to see on Thursday, I may bounce this off them and see what they think could be going on.
Just as an aside, do you take any vitamin supplements, and would you say you eat a healthy diet?
Take care,

November 9, 2010 - 4:38pm

Thank you Christine for your response. I guess I'll start with answering your questions in reverse order. Yes I'm on birth control (BC). I just started BC last month. No other conditions or medication. All my test come back "normal" which is why I think the doctors and others think it's mental. I still get migraines occasionally but they are insignificant compared to my pregnancy migraines.

I'm positive its not PPD. I have been depressed at other times in my life so I know what depression feels like and this isn't it. My lack of energy is not due to lack of motivation it is due to physically being unable to. I still get enjoyment of my normal activities and actually think I'm a better person since having my son. I'm happy at my job, I'm satisfied in my life, I have a pretty solid support system that helps me with the care of my child as has from day one. I was never uncomfortable as a new mom caring for my baby, except for that one time everyone went out of town for the weekend, but I got over it. I have always been around babies and was the last of my friends to have one so I was excited that I had one of my own. I didn't work for the first 9 months. Compared to most people I know I have it pretty sweet. My baby hardly cried...he's great. Life is not perfect for me but I think I'm a normal person who endures the regular stresses of life except that I cant tolerate heat or cold, I sweat ridiculously and can't remember things from one moment to the next. And, its frustrating feeling all of these things and being so extremely forgetful and not knowing what to do.

If I am depressed...I don't know why...I definitely don’t feel it so it will be difficult for me to accept treatment for it cause I don't feel it.

November 9, 2010 - 2:56pm
(reply to Gavinsmommy)

Hi Brooke,
Have you been back to the neurologist (or, another one), since you are now not sleep deprived?

You sound very thoughtful, and there are specific criteria for diagnosing depression. If you do not feel depressed, someone can not tell you that you are suffering from depression unless you are experiencing specific symptoms.

I am not sure why doctors would think your symptoms are still from postpartum, as your hormone levels would all be back to normal, but if your memory loss started in pregnancy, it may just be that your memory loss was pregnancy-induced and you still have these symptoms, hence the "postpartum" label.

You are right to be questioning all of this, and it makes you a better patient to be respectful, yet educating yourself and keeping track of your symptoms.

Can you tell us if you can go to another Neurologist for more testing? We will see what other information we can find for you.

November 9, 2010 - 3:19pm

Hi Gavinsmommy,
Thank you for your post, and for finding EmpowHER. Symptoms of PPD could include: feelings of aloneness, sadness, tiredness, unable to concentrate (remember?), being overwhelmed, uncomfortable with baby, disinterested in everything I used to love, worried, irritable, guilt, and detachment. If left untreated, PPD can endure and worsen. It is up to you to decide if being treated will help your condition. Most times, doctors and therapists recommend a three-sided approach to treatment: medication (antidepressants, which could help improve ability to focus), talk therapy, and group support. I personally went through it within the first year of my son being born. Through the course of treatment, I learned ways to deal with all the symptoms I was having. Some things you can do to try and get a handle on it are (in addition to the lists you make):
- exercise daily (preferably in the mornings to get the “feel good” hormones pumping).
- eat a nutritionally-sound diet (cut back on or eliminate caffeine, alcohol and sugar).
- drink more water (ramp back up to the 60oz./day you were drinking when pregnant).
- try to get enough sleep nightly, or allowed yourself a nap during the day.
• ask for help from your partner or those close to you, and let them do things their way (not always the easiest thing to do, but let some things go until you start to feel better).
Those are just some ideas in case you find it is PPD. It's not a bad place to start to try and get yourself on the right track.
Do you still get migraines? Any other conditions, or medications you're taking? Did you say if you're on birth control or not?
Please come back and let me know what you think of this, and how you're doing.

November 9, 2010 - 2:08pm
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