9 Essentials of Postpartum Care
Traditionally in cultures the world over new mothers stay in with their baby for the first 20-40 days. Mothers or mother in laws come and take care of cooking and household duties and the new mothers role is to rest, replenish, heal, bond and nourish her new baby. In China this 40 days is seen as a vital window of opportunity to replenish the mother, and thus creating a foundation of health, into motherhood.
During pregnancy a woman's body is highly yang (warm), after the birth this yang energy drops suddenly to a yin (cold) state.
It is vital to help the body re-establish equilibrium by supporting the yang energy and preventing the womb from getting cold.
Warming the womb encourages healing, balances the bodies yin + yang energies and may reduce postpartum pains.
Note: Never use heat if an infection is suspected, call your healthcare provider immediately.
In order for mother and baby to rest and stay in, they need a network of support in place. This can include friends, mothers + mother in laws, sisters, midwives and doulas. It is vital that the new mother asks for the help she needs (and knows she deserves it!) and lets her support crew know how they can be most supportive; cooking, cleaning, caring for other children, holding baby, a shoulder to cry on.
Stay hydrated with at least 2L of Spring or filtered water daily. You can find natural springs in Australia at: www.findaspring.com
Find a few moments each day to calm your mind + focus upon your breathing. Cultivating consciousness in the present moment. Send yourself love and gratitude for the amazing work you have done carrying, growing and birthing a new life.
During postpartum, nutrient dense warming foods are best.
- Eat organic wherever possible (pesticide + insecticide free).
- Local fruit and vegetables (stew the fruit + steam the vegetables).
- Ferments like sauerkraut + kim chi (full of healthy gut probiotics).
- Organic meat + wild fish (avoid growth hormones + antibiotics).
- Herbal teas, organic bone broths, vegetable broth + soups.
- Nuts, seeds, medicinal mushrooms + superfoods (variety is key).
- Healthy fats, avocados, olive oil + hemp oil.
- Coconut oil, ghee or organic butter for cooking at high temp.
- ADD MORE : soups, stews, lentil dahl, congee, ginger fired rice.
- AVOID: cold raw foods, cold drinks, white sugar + GMO.
The First Forty Days; The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother. By Heng Ou - For beautiful recipes to give to your carers.
www.mealtrain.com - For your friends + family to help with meals.
7. SELF LOVE
Motherhood is an ever evolving, eternal practice and occupation.
Becoming a mother often accompanies a feeling of loss of identity, in your new role there is much to learn, discover, revel in, love, adore, cherish, obsess over, and also grieve and let go of.
As a mother, you are the foundation of your family. It is vital that you are nourished, replenished and have a feeling of purpose + meaning that is more than just your role of being a mother.
You are an incredible, creative blessing on this Earth. When you nurture yourself, your entire family and community benefits.
Self Love is a commitment to filling our bodies with nutritional food and drink, nourishing information, uplifting entertainment, nurturing relationships and positive self talk. With this we fill our inner cup with love and experience a greater joy and happiness in our life.
Treat and Love yourself like you do your baby.
Sleep and Relaxation is exceptionally important.
It switches off your adrenals and activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is vital for a healthy mind, body and spirit. During this phase their is likely to be interrupted sleep, find a way to get as much deep replenished rest as possible. Recharging your batteries during the month after birth will cultivate your foundation of health and wellness way into the future.
Organise in advance a home visit practitioner who can help you balance your mind, body + spirit postpartum, someone you love seeing. Acupuncturists can perform a mother warming ritual with moxibustion around 5 days post birth to replenish the womb. Doulas can perform nurturing foot baths, massages and ceremonies including a 'closing the bones' treatment that signifies the end of the mothers postpartum phase and honours the incredible journey and right of passage the mother has just experienced.