Recovery after birth can be surprisingly difficult. Of course the sleep deprivation can contribute, but other things happening in your body can make fatigue, mood swings, depression and many other symptoms worse.
Have you noticed how lab work is often ordered during pregnancy, and rarely ordered during the postpartum time? In my opinion, this is a huge disservice to new moms. Going through the birth process leaves moms depleted, doing basic lab work is important to find anemia, nutrient deficiencies and hormone imbalances.
Here are 6 simple and valuable labs to know for your postpartum healing. Grab a pen and piece of paper, you will want to write these down!
Ferritin is a form of iron that is important for energy. Even if you don’t have anemia, if your ferritin is low it can still cause fatigue.
Vitamin B12 is important for energy and mood balance. I frequently see this lab low and then start B12 injections to help increase it quickly. Moms love them!
Thyroid panel: TSH, free T3, free T4
This is a great starting spot for thyroid hormones. It’s common for mamas to have a thyroid imbalance after giving birth. When thyroid hormones are out of balance then mamas can experience deeper depression, mood swings, fatigue and hair loss.
The postpartum time is one that frequently causes an autoimmune condition of the thyroid, Hashimoto’s. Ordering thyroid antibodies will tell you if you have Hashimoto’s or not.
Vitamin D is excellent for general health and preventing future disease. It’s also very important for baby as baby develops their immune and skeletal systems.
CBC (complete blood count)
During birth you’ve lost a lot of blood, it’s important to get this basic test ordered to look for anemia.