As a doula and nutritional therapist I have seen it all too often: there is this unspoken (and sometimes spoken) expectation for women to “bounce back” after pregnancy and labor and go back to being “themselves.” In the media we are fed stories about how quickly this actress or singer lost her baby weight or how easily the woman in the article is juggling being a mom with everything else she did before.
Restoring Vitality After Birth
It has been said that it can take a woman up to two years after birth to regain her nutritional stores and hormonal balance.
— China Rose
First of all, pregnancy and birth are life transformations! We aren’t meant to come out on the other side unchanged. Second, I don’t think that the true physical toll of pregnancy, birth, and having a new baby is commonly recognized. It has been said that it can take women up to two years after birth to regain her nutritional stores and hormonal balance.
There are many herbs that are safe to use during the postpartum period. Chamomile tea is one that that I recommend all new parents have in the house. It not only helps to bring calm by supporting the nervous system, it can help to reduce stomach discomfort, headaches and inflammation. The baby will benefit from the mother drinking the tea as well, aiding in digestion and integration.
There are many ways that a couple can be proactive in reducing postpartum healing time and increasing vitality after birth:
- Eating a nutrient dense diet
- Identifying food sensitivities to reduce the toll on mom’s immune system
- Reducing blood sugar highs and lows by eating regularly, and avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Drinking plenty of water
- Continuing to abstain from caffeine
- Getting as much quality sleep as possible
- Making your recovery and getting to know your baby your top priorities by not over committing yourself or pushing yourself to get “back on track”
- Utilizing supportive and safe medicinal herbs
- Addressing nutrient depletion
Nutrient dense soups are one of the many ways to regain strength following birth. See the nourishing stock recipe here.
*It is important to work with a health care practitioner that has experience with medicinal herbs and supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.