Post Partum Healing
You have arrived on the other side. After forty or so weeks of anticipation, you have delivered your baby in the single biggest act of giving you will ever perform.
In one fierce exhale, your child crossed from within to without.
You have both landed in a radically new place. Baby is navigating a startling universe of lights, sounds and gazing faces. You’re settling into a body that has stretched beyond comprehension, a heart space that is expanding and a family that has been forever reconfigured. As you take your first faltering, tender steps as mother and child, you are equally raw and vulnerable.
The Golden Month
The Golden Month allows you thirty days to find your footing and inch your way into this new chapter of your life. It is a time and place away from the outside world and life as you once knew it. It holds you as you recover from pregnancy and birth and as you begin to learn about your new baby. It is a cocoon in which to pause before the long journey of parenting begins.
It is the great inhale after the great exhale.
In these first thirty days after delivery, it can seem as if all the world wants to come and hold your baby.
But to fully inhabit your new role as mother – with its astonishing requirements for giving energy, attention and love – it is you who must be held
The Golden Month invites you to sink into stillness and receive.
“New mothers need to be mothered, to be nurtured and cared for by a support network that assists with physical recovery from birth, transition into infant care and the immense psychological leap into this new role.”
Say ‘Yes!’ to all the help that is offered to you. You are giving others a gift by asking for and accepting their offers of assistance. A home cooked meal, some help with housework and laundry, or just holding bub while you take a long shower or bath can be significant as you navigate your way into motherhood. Have some projects for your parents or in-laws to do while they are in-town. It gives them a feeling of value as well as bragging rights and helps give you both space as well as support. If you don’t have close family or friends around, Postpartum Doula’s are an invaluable service that can help take a lot of stress from you.
The qualities that you need from your food as you recover from childbirth are sweetness, warmth, oiliness, simplicity and moisture. Fragrant spices aid in fuelling your digestive fire and contain potent healing properties. Kellie has some wonderful Ayurvedic menus, made for you with love, and will allow you to relax and boost your oxytocin levels, enabling you to focus on feeding and falling in love with your baby. They support your mind, body and soul to heal.
TLC for your vagina. Your vagina will need special care post-birth. Several conditions may be at play such as tears, stitches, bruising, haemorrhoids or pelvic pain. Postpartum “padsicles” are perfect to soothe a sore perineum after delivery. Our Perineum and Padsicle spray is thoughtfully prepared for you, with ingredients such as pure alcohol-free Witch Hazel, Organic Aloe Vera gel and a blend of lavender, frankincense and geranium essential oil. You can use any pads you prefer; cloth or disposable pads, postpartum pads, or panty liners, generic washcloths purchased in packs can also work well. Spray the liquid onto the pads. Wrap individually and pop in the fridge or freezer, or place directly into your undies if you prefer not to have them cold.
You may want to take a herbal sitz bath after the first 24-48 hours – I have some lovely healing herbs for you to steep and pop in your bath and relax in for 15-20 minutes each day to speed recovery and give you a little time for you.
Be sure to hydrate while recovering post-birth and especially if breastfeeding! Drink 2 to 3 litres of water each day. There are also a variety of teas that will support your uterus and breastfeeding.
Postpartum Yoni Steaming expedites healing and results in a full recovery – that is, getting the body back to its pre-pregnancy state. Research has shown that lochia (pregnancy matter left in the uterus) drains after the first 4-6 steam sessions (as opposed to 6 weeks), the uterus shrinks back to size after one week (as opposed to 4 weeks) and, after one month, the vaginal canal is closed. Postpartum steaming has also shown to resolve conditions such as haemorrhoids, postpartum contractions, infections, painful stitches, constipation, incontinence, prolapse, extended lochia and water retention.
It’s no wonder that vaginal steam has been the time-honoured standard for postpartum care all over the world for millennia.
A postpartum massage is a great holistic approach to help with adjusting to motherhood. Not only has massage proven to help with stress, anxiety and sore muscles, it also assists with the many afflictions a new mum may experience; hormone imbalance, depression, discomfort, uneasiness, frustration and a lack of sleep. It even speeds up the healing process (especially with c-sections), helping restore the body to its pre-pregnancy condition and mum and baby adjust to this new chapter of life.
Belly binding is a centuries-old tradition that spans many cultures. It not only helps retrain core muscles, it also helps correct your posture while you carry or breastfeed your baby. Binding can help the uterus shrink and the compression from the wrap aids in flushing out postpartum bleeding.
Belly binding has also been linked to deterring the “baby blues.” You can start binding your core immediately after a vaginal birth and 7 to 10 days after a caesarean.
It is important that you give your body the same time and space to recover as it took to grow your baby. While some women do report that wrapping helps return them to their pre-pregnancy body quicker this is not the goal of belly binding. During this important time of your postpartum recovery, the focus should be on your health and the well-being of your precious new baby. Let your body heal properly and you will feel and see the benefits.
Setting Expectations of Self
Let go of doing and being productive during this time. You will be in a special hormonal and experiential period that supports you just being with your baby and partner. Be sure to be loving to yourself and know you’ve just done something incredible. Remember to be patient; you are on the very first steps of your new adventure.