Why moms have a chronic illness

The American medical dictionary defines illness as:

"Disease of body or mind; poor health; sickness."  And disease is defined as "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of any body part, organ, or system that is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms and signs and whose etiology, pathology, and prognosis may be known or unknown."   While all women can attest that there definitely is a huge deviation from AND interruption is normal structure and function of MANY body parts and organs during and after pregnancy, it doesn't seem that we all agree that our right of passage into mommy-hood is still having a negative effect on lingering chronic illness to deal with.
The most common chronic illness for moms (who have kids of just about any age at home) is chronic fatigue.  Between taking care of kiddos through the night when they are young to staying up late wondering if they are OK as teenagers, a lack of sleep seems to be a part of the territory for most mothers. A 2007 survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that two-thirds of the women polled say they have had sleep problems a couple nights a week in the past month.  Sleep deprivation, especially over a long period of time, is linked to:
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Depression

Secondly, while some moms can recover their brain function over time, many moms find they have a hard time with mental focus and memory after having kids.  There are a finite number of things that the brain can focus on at once, and when we begin multi-tasking work, paying the bills, cooking dinner, thinking about a friend, and nurturing a screaming toddler, our brain can go into overload.  When the priority is your baby or kid, lots of other things become forgotten or fuzzy.

Finally, it's not a joke that hormones surge during pregnancy and often have a hard time re-balancing once we hit our groove in motherhood. The most common hormonal imbalances that can linger and wreak havoc on energy and metabolism are Estrogen Dominance, Hypothryroidism, and Adrenal Fatigue.  All of these hormone imbalances can lead to depression, anxiety, and once again...fatigue!

So here me now.  If you are a mom or your know a mom...no matter how old her children may be, if she is still battling fatigue, erratic emotions, and hormone hell, it is time to give her some grace and gently suggest that it is OK for her to get help and take time to heal!  One of the biggest ways to elevate mood is with consistent movement.  Sunshine, sleep, and support can also go a long way, so reach out and get the help you need to start feeling more like you again.