5 wonderful gifts offered to the body/mind of a mother during postpartum time
I was speaking in the last few days with a woman who was communicating such joy as she experienced postpartum for the first time. This reminded me of how sacred this time can be for mother and child.
I see postpartum as a time of stillness and of silent communication that can be experienced in so many different ways.
I want to be clear that I'm not inferring silence to mean, no sounds, no words, no family life or how postpartum should be experienced. The silence is deeper, the silence is the foundation from which sounds, words and family life arises. As always I would say there is no right or wrong way or prescriptive way to experience the first precious weeks of welcoming your child into family life. The stillness is the interconnectedness of everything, stillness is awareness we could say stillness is love.
The sacredness of postpartum also includes the moments of exhaustion, the feelings of overwhelm and not enough, feelings of anxiety and sometimes feelings of grief. Other wise we are making postpartum a construct, a prescriptive way of being experienced by all mothers.
One of the signposts I offer clients for postpartum is to include their body/mind in all the nourishing and nurturing care that is being experienced during this time. It's so easy for this to be bypassed during this wonderfully full and rich time. So here are 5 ways in which you can offer care to mamas body/mind during postpartum .
Nourishing and nurturing herbal cuppa
Just in one cup of herbal infusion you can receive vitamins and minerals that support the body. The herbs can offer relaxation, nourishment and nurturing. There are also herbs that can soothe and support the uterus after the beautiful work this amazing, creative and muscular organ has offered as part of the birthing process. Through Welcome World Herbal Teas I offer Celebration which is a tea I formulated for after the babys birth and postpartum. Enjoy.
Nourishing and nurturing food
As we all know nourishing food can come in many different forms. Simple and easy to prepare is the mantra for postpartum. I really like smoothies they are so versatile and can be packed with nourishing goodness. Here is a simple suggestion...
Start with almond milk for me this has to be the queen of milks. Almonds are a powerhouse of nutrition and yet at the same time soothe digestion and any inflammation. Packed with vitamins and minerals including selenium.
Add some dates these delicious dried fruits are certainly womens' allies. They are so nutritious again packed with vitamins and minerals including potassium, high in fibre supporting gut health and are antioxidants.
Add a few cacao nibs for energy, antioxidants, supporting the nervous system.
Add either a pinch of cinnamon or turmeric either or both will be support wellbeing.
Nourishing and nurturing relaxing
Baths infused with herbs are such a blessing during the days after birthing. The healing power of water combined with the herbs invites the body to relax and rest back. The is a long "herstory" of healing herb infused baths being used during postpartum in many cultures. It is such a simple yet effective gift to the body/mind.
I offer some formulas for using during postpartum including Floras Flower bath and also a soothing and healing wash for the perineum.
Nourishing and nurturing grounding.
During the birthing process there is an invitation offered to women to open their hearts and their bodies wide open. Each moment during birthing women can allow the breath to flow in and out, can allow the dance of the tension and relaxation of contractions to come and go. The process unfolds in its own rhythm. Mother and baby respond moment by moment to the physiology of birth. Sometimes with ease sometimes with challenges, its all welcomed and experienced. This journey has all been part of their relationship, is all part of postpartum. It is all part of the interconnectedness of everything. Whether birth shows up with ease or with challenges or both its a unique experience for mother and baby. The mystery of two hearts sharing the same source each appearing separate yet completely interconnected. Birth is a profound experience, its important for this to be honoured and acknowledged. This grounds the experience.
There are so many ways that each of us meet our experiences both on a daily level and the so called more profound experiences. A simple gift to the body can be to ask someone you trust to hold your feet gently for a few moments. I have witnessed this being of great assistance to many postpartum women and it is so very simple.
Nourishing and nurturing the pelvic area of the body.
This amazing creative and symbolic area of a womans' body has worked hard during pregnancy and birthing. My encouragement is for women to feel as if this area of the body is held in the arms of the Great Mother after birthing and beyond. To respond to this area of the body tenderly, lovingly.
To welcome/allow the sensations arising in this area of the body by listening deeply.
Gently massage or even simply touch (I sometimes call it raindrop touching, as if rain is gently falling on the skin, so light, so gentle) can be of beautiful assistance.
The uterus has already begun its journey of returning to its original size, this can be supported by sipping Raspberry leaf tea which whispers to the womb of nourishment, toning and supporting this wonderful organ.
Breastfeeding and bonding are also a wonderful source of nourishment and nurturing for the mothers' pelvic area. The release of the hormone oxytocin often called the hormone of love floods the physiology of the mother and baby stimulated through breastfeeding and bonding and continues to stay at high levels for many months.
As a postpartum mother enjoy this blessed time, as a doula or practitioner supporting mothers during this time, may we honour, support, celebrate and lovingly respond to mother and baby.