A Healthy Postpartum - Tips to Help You Thrive
From traditional cultures to contemporary society, there are many ways to nourish and care for new mothers. Here are a few things to consider before baby is born so you can set yourself up for a more gentle transition into parenthood.
CREATE A SUPPORT CIRCLE
Consider having a close friend act as support coordinator to establish a support network. Arrange to have people come and take care of household tasks so that you can focus on your baby and develop your bond.
Prepare Nutritious meals
Set time aside before baby is born to cook and freeze meals for the postpartum. Also, have friends and family establish a Meal Train. Many people find it very gratifying to support families this way, and there are websites that make the planning easy and customizable.
Often referred to as “mother roasting”, keeping the abdomen warm internally can help bring your spine back into alignment, compress loose skin, and allow your organs to settle back in their proper place. The practice of heating is energizing, strengthening, and repairs tissues, nerves, and blood vessels that have been weakened from pregnancy and birthing.
To stay warm, nourish yourself with warming foods, keep your room warm and use blankets to keep your abdomen warm. Consider applying warming oils like sesame oil or herbal infused oils to your abdomen or have someone apply them all over. Have moxa performed around the sacrum to infuse heat deep within.
Postpartum belly binding is a tradition that has been passed down in many cultures to promote healing and wellbeing for the postpartum woman. It is one simple way to provide an ancient yet relevant practice for today’s postpartum mothers. It is somewhat misunderstood and thought to be ritualistic or ceremonial, when in reality, many of the cultures that practice it, see belly binding as more of a “common sense” approach to postpartum healing.
There are many benefits to belly binding, including:
- Improved digestion
- Uterine involution
- Heals diastasis recti
- Regain bladder control
- Keeps warmth in the womb
- Allows the mother to feel secure
- Allows fascia and ligaments to rest
- Relieves pelvic joint dysfunction pain
- Supports uterine and abdominal integrity
- Minimizes discomfort from uterine cramping
- Stabilizes intra-abdominal and chest cavity pressure
It is important to note, that belly binding isn't about cinching the waist as small as possible. In fact, that can increase pelvic floor pressure and lead to prolapse. The idea is to "approximate" where the muscles should be, and to provide support so that the connective tissue can begin to strengthen. Think of it as gentle suport.
Ask your postpartum nurse in the hospital for a Velcro belly belt. Most hospitals provide them for free! Interested in buying your own? Here is one we really like:
get a Massage
A postpartum massage can sooth muscles, joints, and tissue that stretched during pregnancy and birth. Whether from a professional postpartum massage therapist who comes to your home, or a sweet foot rub with warming oil by a family member, loving touch sooths and heals the spirit.
Use Sitz Bath Herbs
Herbal infusions are a wonderful tool in speeding recovery time and alleviating soreness after birth. There are healing herbs that help to soothe tender perineal tissue, heal tears and episiotimes, reduce inflammation, and even shrink hemorrhoids after a vaginal birth. You can use these herbs in a sitz bath, a regular bath, or with a peri bottle for a gentle rinse.
The placenta is a blood-rich organ, so your pills are high in iron. The iron is easily absorbed unlike most iron supplements because it is your own.
Potential Benefits Include:
- Increased milk production
- Reduced “baby blues”
- Decreased post natal bleeding
- Reduced postpartum healing time
- Increased energy levels
Read our blog: Why Choose Placenta Encapsulation?
find relaxation strategies
Try yoga, get a massage, practice meditation, enjoy baths/showers, listen to music, read, and REST.
Connect with Other Moms
Being a new mom has lots of ups and downs. One of the best things you can do is connect with other new mothers. Here are some local mom groups to check out:
seek support when you need it
If you notice any signs of postpartum depression or anxiety, contact your health care provider right away to get the help you need.