In Ayurveda referred to as the Sacred Window; a precious window of time after birth is also a potent time for healing. In Chinese Medicine referred to as The Golden Month. Just as every woman's pregnancy is unique, so is every woman's postpartum time. For some this takes weeks, for other months and for others year to settle into motherhood - there is no right or wrong, this is simply your unique journey.
Here are a few pillars for the initial window after child birth, by following these suggestions your recovery and rejuvenation are enhanced:
1. Rest; Stay warm, be cosy and comfortable - after childbirth your circulation slows down and there is more element air in your body. Be gentle with yourself, be guided by your heart. And recognise all of the invisible work that is going on within your postpartum body. Allow your village to take care of YOU - taking care of mama is taking care of baby. When you are feeling nourished, you will have more energy to give to baby and you will be more attuned to your inner knowing for mothering.
2. Nourishment; favour freshly prepared foods that are naturally sweet in flavour, warm and easy to digest. Soups, stews, bone broth, soupy Dahl, grounding root vegetables, rice pudding. Create a meal roster or ask your loved ones to deliver a meal. Replenish fluids, drink plenty of pure warm water (not cold from the refrigerator) and hydrating teas.
3. Massage; In Ayurveda a massage is recommended every day for the first 42 days. Daily self massage with slow and steady strokes calms the nervous system, and can also uplift mood - gentle touch increasing oxytocin's production. The warmth also helps to remove wastes from body cells and is nourishing to the muscle tissues. Self massage will also help you to have a deeper connection with your body and all the changes it's going through.
4. Create Your Village; feel before baby is born into who you'd like to be your support team. Often people want to be in service of a new mum, but are unsure what she would like to have help with. You can make a list of daily chores for jobs like meals, cleaning, groceries, preparing a bath for you. If you lacking of support, you can also consider a postpartum doula for a few weeks.
5. Ask For Help; often our biggest boundary. Start practicing now, so that when baby is here you feel comfortable to ask for help. Remember this is your time to be entitled to be needy, to be treated like a queen. No mum is meant to be doing motherhood alone, your are empowering yourself when you ask for help, you are putting yourself and baby first.
Here are a few helpful resources that I recommend to all my students that come to the Prenatal Yoga classes.
Slow Postpartum by NZ Doula Jojo Hogan
Book 'The Golden Month' by Jenny Allison
The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson
Trust that you are your own greatest teacher, follow your heart.