My Postpartum Journey, Part II

Before reading this story, have you read my first postpartum experience? If not, head on over HERE to read about it.

Now, where were we in the story? I had just had my second baby after spending the previous two years putting together a postpartum rejuvenation plan (from here on out I will refer to it as “the master plan”).

Here’s a little peak in to what my house looked like leading up to the birth. I had lists on my fridge and in my bedroom laying out the master plan. I had made my own vaginal steam chair and it was strategically put in my closet so it was accessible but not staring at my husband every time he entered the room. My pantry had a full shelf that was stocked with all sorts of crazy concoctions, herbs and foods. I even had packets of dried miso in my hospital bag. This was serious.

How did I feel?

Honestly? I felt amazing. It was the exact opposite of how I felt after my first birth. I felt grounded and in control of my health. Every day as I made my teas, did my steaming and ate the nourishing foods I knew I was taking care of myself and that was empowering and addicting. Even though some days it was hard to put the master plan in to action, I knew how I would feel if I didn’t do it.

Other people noticed how good I felt. My midwife and other people continually commented about how bright and rested I looked.

Did this mean everything was amazing and I never got stressed out or shed a tear? Absolutely not. That would mean I was a robot! The transition in to motherhood is profound and we must allow ourselves space to grow in to it. But what I did feel during the postpartum time is nurtured and cared for in ways that I had not realized I was missing during my first postpartum experience.

what did I do?

1. Focused on rest

I focused on the first 30 days being full of rest and quiet. I had to be realistic here because I had a toddler running around. But as much as I could, I would be resting.

Why did I choose 30 days? Because many cultures recommend between 30-40 days to reserve as the “lying-in” period. My husband also had 30 days off so that finalized it. I talked with my husband and he agreed to do most of the heavy lifting for that time period. Most of the cooking (although we did have lots of food in the freezer and a meal train set up), and the dishes. When our toddler needed to go out of the house, my husband would take him.

2. Herbal teas

I put together a lot of herbal teas. This is when I began thanking the gods for providing me with my herbal medicine passion and education. Pharmaceutical medications will not help a mama feel rejuvenated and vibrant (there are a few exceptions to this like antidepressants for women who have postpartum depression). Medicinal herbs on the other hand have very specific actions like toning the uterus, reducing stress, balancing hormones and providing extra hydration and nourishment. All wonderful things for a postpartum mama.

3. Vaginal steaming

I did vaginal steaming every day for 30 days. Yup, you read that right. Heck, go ahead and read it again just to be sure. And now I’m going to tell you something else that will surprise you even more. It was the best part of the whole plan. Yup, and every single day that I did steamed, I felt stronger and more vibrant than I had the day before.

4. Belly binding

I wrapped my belly. No, it wasn’t because I wanted a flat belly right away. It was because I wanted to help my organs go back to place. And you know what? It felt amazing. Wrapping my belly made me feel warm, secure and protected.

5. Nourishment

I ate exclusively warm foods and lots of healthy fats. Being a nutritionist, food has always been important to me but I discovered that the postpartum time requires even more specific foods and nutrients. Growing a baby and then giving birth puts the mother in a constant state of depleting her own nutrients. I made sure to focus on nutrient dense foods and foods that would replenish lost reserves.

What next?

Now that I’ve experienced both of these wildly different postpartum experiences it’s opened my eyes to how little support new mamas are getting, and the possibility of how they can and should feel after giving birth.

It’s my dream and goal to help every mother have a postpartum experience where she feels empowered, rejuvenated and in control of her healing. Mothers are busy bringing new life in to this world, they deserve the utmost care and support that they can get.

Do you have a young baby?

Do you feel overwhelmed, exhausted and unsure how to help your body heal after birth? That’s exactly where I come in. Head on over HERE and we will develop a plan that will help you feel nurtured, cared for and most of all, healed.

Are you pregnant?

Do you want to make sure your postpartum time makes you feel grounded and empowered? Do you want to avoid common health problems like incontinence and depression after birth? Head over HERE and sign up for one of my vibrant postpartum prep sessions.