There is this unspoken (and sometimes spoken) expectation for women to “bounce back” after pregnancy and labor and return to their pre-pregnancy selves. 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.
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.
Nutrient depletion is a real issue for the new mother. During pregnancy, her baby gets all the nutrients he or she needs, sometimes at the expense of mama’s nutrient stores. Labor itself is often truly depleting experience, requiring ample time to recover optimally.
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 woman can be proactive in reducing postpartum healing time and increasing vitality after birth:
- Drinking plenty of water
- Continuing to abstain from caffeine
- Eating nutrient dense foods
- Identifying food sensitivities to reduce the toll on her immune system
- Reducing blood sugar highs and lows by eating regularly, and avoiding refined sugar and processed carbohydrates
- Getting as much quality rest and sleep as possible
- Utilizing supportive and safe medicinal herbs
- Addressing possible nutrient depletion
- 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”
- Asking for help and delegating
When working with pregnant women in prepartion for postpartum, and new mamas in the thick of it, we first identify their specific needs, and then focus our efforts on specific supportive foods, nutritional supplements, and medicinal herbs. I’m happy to say that this strategic approach has brought more ease to many women’s lives and has ultimately set the stage for their improved health moving forward!
Please reach out is this type of holistic support speaks to you!
*It is important to work with a health care practitioner that has experience with medicinal herbs and supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
China Rose Zamora is a functional nutritional therapist, clinical herbalist, and yoga teacher who has worked in the holistic health field since 1998 and has proudly served her community as China Rose Wellness since 2009. When she’s not coaching women to rise to their health potential, practicing herbal alchemy, traveling the country via mobile tiny house teaching inspirational workshops to demystify wellness, or co-facilitating transformational retreats with AJ, her-eco warrior partner in adventure, you can find her meandering on the nearest hiking trail or jammin’ at a local, live music venue. China Rose is a firm believer that wellness encompasses everything that nourishes us, body & soul!