Do you know how to naturally heal and support your body during the postpartum phase? Healing from the birth, adjusting to a new sleep cycle, getting back in shape, breastfeeding or addressing health challenges that existed before or during pregnancy are some of the concerns most moms have. This post birth phase sets the foundation for physical, mental and emotional well being for years to come. The 3 trimesters of the nine month pregnancy, plus the 3 months after the birth of the postpartum phase make up the “birth year”. Remember this when planning on going back to work, doing anything major like traveling or taking on a new endeavor. New moms, you need this time to let your body re-integrate, heal and to get in a rhythm with your new baby and new hormonal flows.
Here are my 5 tips to naturally support your healing during this phase with ease and grace.
In many cultures it’s important at this time to nourish the blood that has been lost during birth. If a woman has lost a lot of blood during the birth, especially if delivery was by C-section, building blood and restoring iron levels is the first step to get the body to heal properly after child birth. Restoring and replenishing your levels is very important if nursing and you are having issues with milk “coming in” or having issues with adequate production. Dried dates are often brought as gifts for new moms as the support the blood building. Be sure to drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day. If you feel extremely thirsty and less than hydrated try coconut water. Don’t give up on your prenatals yet. I recommend Innate Prenatals and a supplements that boosts iron such as 2. Support the healing of the womb.
The womb is a muscle that is going to be shrinking back to her prior size during the 3 months following birth. Cramps and after pains are a good sign your womb is working on her healing. Nursing and nipple stimulation encourage uterine contraction. If baby is having difficulty latching or nursing or cannot nurse, try pumping at least until you feel your uterus has reduced back to her original size.
In many cultures women know how important it is to wrap their bellies and bind their abdomens in some way during postpartum. Wrapping your abdomen will help with stabilizing the core abdominal muscles and ensures the uterus and ligaments that were stretched go back to their original positions. One of my favorite abdominal support bands is by Diastasis Recti, the separation of the abdominal muscles at the mid- line that occur during pregnancy. In fact, it is my most recommended support post birth advise. Wear it during the day and take off at night.
Lower back pain, and pelvic instability, hormonal issues and feeling off and weak in the abdominals are some symptoms the womb and core muscles may need some attention and you may have Diastasis recti.
If you feel like this might be an issue for you, contact someone who does Mayan Abdominal Massage. Contacting someone who is well-versed in the specific exercises to help Diastasis Recti will help immensely with much needed self care and healing needed to help strengthen your core.
At this time, new moms may experience a dramatic shift in hormones. Many new moms experience emotional to physical symptoms such as spontaneous sweating, changes in body odor, fluctuating temperature, constipation, skin breakouts and emotional ups and downs. I specifically advise my new moms to line up your diet for your blood type, remove GMO’S and the top inflammatory foods such as wheat, dairy products, corn, soy and eggs. Eating right for the blood type will help eliminate foods that may be irritating to both you and your baby’s digestive system.
A safe and easy way to support detoxification is to give your liver and gallbladder some support. During pregnancy, the influence of progesterone can contribute to gallstones or sluggish bile. Think of the liver as a sponge and the gallbladder like a plug. In the postpartum phase women need liver and gallbladder support to help them naturally detoxify the pregnancy hormones and move into a clearer level of function. My favorite natural liver/gallbladder support foods that promote bile formation and gallbladder function are sour green Granny Smith apples, beets, lemon and sour foods such as sauerkraut. Eating these naturally help cleanse the blood and liver In addition be sure to include foods rich in natural folate and B12 like …..
Giving birth is a big deal and your body can experiences a lot of physical trauma in the process. It’s ok if you are still having negative thoughts about the birth process, your body or being a mom but its not ok to sweep those feelings under a rug. My recommendation is to consult with a craniosacral therapist who specializes in pediatric and maternity care and can help you process your birth story. It will do wonders for your body, mind, and spirit.
Even a massage can be very supportive and give you an opportunity to check in with your body. Massage Therapist that specialize in Pregnancy Massage take into special considerations for postpartum moms such as notably safe positioning and attention to techniques on the legs as women are more at risk for blood clots. Have a postpartum massage with warming oils can be a much needed treat. In many traditions it is important for women to eat warm cooked foods, drink warming teas and stay warm in their environments. To find someone qualified in your area click here to my Integrative preg massage people.
Remember you and your baby are super connected physically and emotionally. This beautiful time is as important for the baby as it is for you so allow yourself the space to go with the flow and honor the last trimester of your pregnancy and congratulate yourself on the completion of your birth year!