No matter how well your pregnancy and birth was, your body is healing and recovering massively. It naturally goes into a state of acute inflammation to protect against infections etc.
But if your body isn’t getting the necessary and correct nutrition, and support, inflammation can turn chronic. As in, it shows up as bloating, gas, hair loss, aching joints, depression, anxiety, auto-immune issues and exhaustion/depletion.
Just a note on nutrition. It might not be what you think.
Eating a ‘balanced diet’ after you’ve had a baby is actually not what you need. At least, not what you think might be a ‘balanced’ diet full of a variety of fruits and vegetables, carbs and dairy.
A mothers body needs a different kind of nourishment.
When foods are hard to digest, like lasagna or pizza, or even a salad sandwich, the foods can remain in your gut and rot which builds up bacteria and down the line causes inflammation.
Of course, you don’t see that going on. It’s all happening internally.
But, you will feel it over time.
Why would a salad sandwich be hard to digest?
I’m glad you asked🙂
Well, there’s the process of growing a baby for 9 months, then the physical action of birth (including caesarean) has hormones changing and also puts your body into a shock. A state of survival. It’s a huge transformation that happens when you’re in labour and bringing your baby Earthside.
(Did you find yourself shaking after birth? That’s the body’s natural response to help move the shock).
Your digestive system changes greatly, to put the focus on healing, stopping bleeding and create breastmilk. When your sympathetic nervous system is activated, the digestive juices and enzymes reduce.
When those digestive enzymes reduce, your body needs foods that are warm, nourishing, cooked and easy to digest.
There’s been a number of studies showing the link between gut health and inflammation in the body.
And the foods you eat do make a difference.
Inflammation is also a known cause for depression and anxiety – which, sadly, is becoming increasingly common in mothers.
But this isn’t normal. Common does NOT equal normal.
New science shows also, that chronic inflammation during pregnancy can impact the baby’s brain development. Pre/Post natal depression has been linked to inflammation in the child, even if exclusively breastfed. It’s still a mystery, however research is still being done.
So, the key is to understand the changes that happen in your body, what nourishment your body needs to support recovery, what to avoid eating and how to get help around the home and support for any challenges you’re having.
The more women I speak to, I realise how little we’ve been taught about traditional cultures and why they feed and look after the new mothers in those first few weeks the way they do.
It’s time we learned how to take care of ourselves, understand what our postpartum body needs and how to tap into the support available.
Even though it might feel like a tough gig at times.
There will be challenges.
And sleeplessness, as you navigate the first months and years.
But….imagine having a more able and healthy body so you’re not “just coping’. You’re actually thriving. Feeling like you can do this.
Having energy for your family.
You’re not losing clumps of hair. Or feeling bloated.
That is the thing we want to be normal.
If you’re with me on this, and would like to know where to start – I’ve created a free guide for you and you can grab it here. (>> over on the right side)
Then let’s have some conversations on Instagram