In many cultures there is a focus on nurturing the postpartum mom. In Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a period called confinement that lasts 40 days. To summarize, the focus is on avoiding cold— air, and food; and keeping the postpartum mom warm inside with warm, nourishing foods. The theory is that after birth the body has been depleted and is open to let cold enter the body. Cold can negatively impact circulation and can cause health conditions in the future (painful periods as one minor example). Our culture tends to neglect postpartum care. I've created a list of a few basic tips to support a new mama postpartum.
1. Continue to take your prenatal/postnatal vitamins
It takes a while for your body to recover from pregnancy and childbirth (many say, 9 months in, 9 months out). Many women forget that they need to nourish themselves and their baby after birth. I recommend these New Chapter post natal vitamins.
2. Make time for self care
Self care is extremely important. In the early days that could look like taking a 5 minute walk outside by yourself.
3. Meet other neighborhood mamas
Search for local Facebook groups or other mom gatherings. It can be so helpful and supportive to be around others going through the same phase in life.
4. Learn to love bone broth
5. Continue to drink water
It's important to drink the same amount of water you did during pregnancy, especially if breastfeeding. It's important to make sure that hydration isn't the cause of any constipation, and that you're helping your body to flush any medical interventions from your system.
6. Nourish yourself properly
Check out these healing recipes from one of my favorite books The First Forty Days by Heng that revives the lost art of caring for the mother after birth. Two of my personal favorites: Oats & Chia Congee, and Chicken, Red Dates and Ginger Soup.
7. Incorporate acupuncture into your schedule
It can take a while before a new mama can make it in to the office for acupuncture. When scheduling allows, treatments are beneficial for helping regulate hormones, supporting postpartum depression, encouraging an increase milk supply, boosting energy, and decreasing nightsweats.
8. Get comfortable with breastfeeding
Fed is best and if you've decided to breastfeed, here are some products I recommend to make mama most comfortable: (Boppy pillow, Milk Snob cover, Bravado nursing camis) The rules of breastmilk storage can be confusing and overwhelming. I found that there wasn't one place that I could for a quick reference, so I created it!
I created a downloadable breast milk refrigerator guide.