Anne's Top Tips for Postpartum Healing for the Mind and Body
Here we are mama. Postpartum. You carried and nurtured your baby for 9 months and your body has stretched and stressed itself to new limits. Now we heal at YOUR pace. Every mom is different. Every mom has a unique birth experience and not one is identical so you have to do what’s right for you and listen to your body. On average, recovery for a natural birth can take from 3 weeks up to 6 to heal with no tearing (remember this is an average) and more if you had some tearing. For C-Sections, expect the first week to be healing from the procedure and a month or more to start to feel back to normal. Are we ever really back to “normal” after birth anyway? Let's give up the idea of "bouncing back" to your old self after birth and embrace your new self as a mom and your new body. You made a miracle!
There are so many blogs and podcasts out there so I’m just going to share a few tips that have personally helped me after giving birth to my 2 children.
Lying in Postpartum
This is something I strongly and wholeheartedly believe in. The idea that we are supposed to bounce back immediately and care for everything is unrealistic and adds a bunch of pressure to a period that requires a lot of adjustment. So what is “lying in”? Traditionally this was the process of the mother bonding with her newborn in bed while she rests and heals her body. This is the opposite of bouncing back! Friends and family often jump in to help with laundry and cooking while the mom can ease her way back. Have something nearby to ease the pain or discomfort if you had any vaginal tearing to apply when needed. Nalakai Naturals Healing Perineal Spray is amazing to have on hand as there is no touching, no washing required and the upside down spray bottle is a huge help!
Take your time mama. Be as kind, gentle and nurturing to yourself as you are to your new baby. Embrace this time to relax. I loved to listen to audio books while in bed nursing my newborns. Take baths, eat a lot and slowwwwww down.
Our bodies are amazing. Your body will provide for your baby through your milk. If you're lacking nutrients, your body will give the baby what it needs and you are the one that may have deficiencies. We often are depleting the nutrients we need ourselves to stay healthy. One thing I tried to stay on top of was my Vitamin C intake. If you feel a little under the weather, you can take 3000 to 5000 mg of Vitamin C a day to boost your immune system. If you'e nursing, this is a great immune boost for your baby too! I often would diffuse lavender essential oil at home. Lavender is baby safe, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and calming for both you and baby.
I avoided acidic foods & fruits, garlic & onions, legumes and no dairy. This was much easier on my stomach and better for the baby avoiding reflux. To be honest, I lived on oatmeal with bananas and honey and sourdough bread with almond butter. I couldn’t get enough carbs haha. If you stay away from acidic and gassy foods for 2 months after your baby is born, you give your newborn's digestive system a chance to develop. You will notice that your baby will not be colicky, cranky due to gas and also will not throw up after nursing. If you're experiencing any of these issues, try the dietary guidelines above and feel free to message me!
If you decide to nurse, your nipples will be sore for the first 1-2 months. Don't worry, I promise it gets better so quickly after that. But the key at the beginning is to ALWAYS have a gel, oil or cream on your nipples to prevent dry and cracking skin. To ease the soreness and tenderness of your nipples it’s important to apply an organic baby safe cream to help with the discomfort and help them heal. I used Motherlove. It was great for healing, but because it has an oil base, I got oil stains on all of my nusing bras! You can also use Nalakai Naturals Waterless Handwash as it’s great for dry chapped skin and is also super safe for babies. It has essential oils that have an aromatherapy effect leaving both of you feeling calm and relaxed. We actually developed this as a nipple gel, but found it so great for all areas of the body! The aloe based gel won't stain clothes and will heal your skin while also boosting your immune system and your baby's. Win/Win!
Healing your “lady bits”
I know that you want to heal as quickly as possible after birth. Take your time with your healing and make sure you are not rushing or pushing yourself too fast. I promise, your lady will heal and be even better than before! One of my favorite things to do post-birth was make myself a warm bath and heal myself with a Sitz Bath. My midwife’s suggestion of using a sitz bath was a game changer for my healing process. It inspired me to make my own! Our postpartum sitz bath is made with 9 organic herbs and flowers and dead sea salts and will quickly and naturally reduce pain, itching and swelling from hemorrhoids and birth. The dead sea salts reduce swelling and organic witch hazel leaf, sage, plaintain leaf and calendula flowers reduce irritation, itching and calm sore skin. It also reduces vaginal swelling really quickly. Get your Nalakai Naturals Healing Herbal Sitz Bath here
There are so many other healing tips and tricks that are all wonderful! It all depends on what is right for you and your postpartum journey. There are no right or wrong answers. Comment below if you have any postpartum healing tips! Sending you all lots of love 💕