The arrival of baby can be simultaneously thrilling, shocking and downright exhausting. Although many women spend months preparing for for pregnancy and delivery, most women are surprised and perhaps a little unprepared for the changes that come after baby is born. Self-care postpartum is essential to a comfortable recovery. Below are some tips that our patients have found helpful in getting the most out of their postpartum recovery. Take the time to nourish yourself, mama, you deserve it.
- Rest. In China, it is traditional custom for a postpartum women to rest in be for at least two weeks before getting up and resuming much activity. During this time, she and baby eat, sleep and bond while family members tend to the rest of the world. While this may not be entirely realistic for all women in the West, the idea is a good one. Give yourself permission to just rest. There will be time enough to accomplish all of the “to do’s,” but without rest, you’ll have a hard time getting to them.
- Nourish. Nutrient dense foods are your best friend postpartum. It’s normal to lose a good amount of blood during delivery, and your body just completed one of the most brilliant and challenging tasks that you’ll ever ask of it. Now it’s time to nourish it. Focus on natural blood building foods to support the body in making strong, healthy blood:
- Bone broth
- Goji berries
- Grass-fed beef
- Dark leafy greens
- Soups and stews
- Lots of H20
- Coconut water
- Ask for help. Between utter (temporary!) exhaustion, wacky hormones and the excitement of a new baby, you may find that you’re a little “off your game.” Emotions may be running high, and there will likely be moments of high-highs and low-lows. Now is a time to speak your needs. Your community is SO excited for you and wants to support you, so don’t be afraid to ask. Be gentle with yourself as you learn how to navigate this new existence with baby, and try to be patient while your body recovers. You’ve got this.
- Take herbs. Making and delivering a baby demands a lot of resources from the body! It is important to replenish these resources with food and herbs postpartum. Proper nutrition and custom tailored herbs can help to rebalance the endocrine system and may help reduce the occurrence of postpartum depression and/or anxiety. Talk to your acupuncturist about the right herbs for you.
Yours in good health,
Merritt Jones, LAc, MS, CNc