When we are a new mother, stress, toxins and busy-ness we have in daily life takes its toll on a recovering body.
You know, when someone has had a surgery, we make them rest and do things to help them. Yet with a new mother, she might receive a bit of help here and there if she’s lucky, but for the most part people stay away “to let them be”, or because they don’t know what to do to help.
It takes time for a body that has just grown a little human for 9 months, then opened it up in every way to bring this baby into the world. So it will take time for this beautiful body to come back to full recovery.
When a mother doesn’t have the help, is stressed and gets back to ‘daily life with a baby in arms’ ie shopping, going to cafes, mums groups and having loads of visitors, this is what can, and often does happen: Bleeding lasts longer, exhaustion kicks in sooner and significantly, auto-immune issues including thyroid imbalance can show up, digestive health suffers like gas, reflux and gallbladder issues.
Depression and anxiety can set in, and in fact is becoming more and more common Hormones will not be supported to come back into balance. This is NOT normal. It is not how motherhood is meant to be.
The initial 4, 6, 8 weeks after having a baby is meant to be a nurturing, bonding, supported experience. This is why many traditional cultures care for their mothers.
Having meals organised with family and friends for at least the first 2 weeks. Knowing what foods to eat, and which ones to avoid for a short time is important.
A cleaner who uses non toxic cleaning products or is happy to use your non-toxic products can be organised and booked ahead of time for a weekly visit to do the basics.
If you have other children, organise someone to be with them or take them to school, pick them etc.
Of course, there’s going to be crazy times. Babies can be unsettled (that can be from your diet), there’ll be feeding clusters, sleepless nights, and moments of feeling hungry yourself when you haven’t got something prepared.
It’s not about having it perfect, it is about being as prepared as possible, and if you have the opportunity to hire a postpartum doula, absolutely do that.
Being prepared for your postpartum is more important, in my opinion, than the nursery and all the things. Babies needs are pretty simple really. It’s far more necessary to get yourself looked after and your needs met for those few weeks when you’re needing to rest and recover.
Make sure you’re having warming, nutrient dense foods – yes, even in summer. It doesn’t have to be piping hot, but just not straight from the fridge or raw foods like salads and smoothies. Keep them easy to digest.
External heat therapy is also extremely beneficial and an ancient therapy that has been used for healing of a mother in almost all traditional cultures. This is because heat creates healing of wounds, enhances blood flow and muscle toning.
My message to you is, look after yourself as much as you can. You don’t need to wear the super mum cape, and you are not incapable if you’re getting help. You’re meant to get support, because as the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.