Key Support Techniques for Postpartum Health
Postpartum is an intense time where our bodies are not only recovering from labor and delivery but our hormones are shifting, new requirements are placed on our body to sustain ourselves and nourish our babies (breastfeeding by the way, requires more calories than needed to grow baby in womb)…all while we typically get less sleep and possibly experience new or additional emotional stresses.
This is definitely a time where we must use every opportunity and chance to care for ourselves. If we do not take care of ourselves, how can we take care of our newborn and family in a positive and sustainable way? Some key areas to focus on include:
- Supplement: To support our mind, emotions and body, supplements can really help bridge the gap between what we are eating and the amount of nutrients that our body is requiring to recover, nourish ourselves and our child, etc. Some key supplements I have incorporated include:
- Fish Oil – approximately 5000mg daily
- Vitamin D (check levels via bloodwork)
- Iron (I consume when my bloodwork shows I am low on iron)
- Kelp (liquid or cold pressed tablets) to support my thyroid as I have experienced thyroid challenges in the past and pregnancy can be taxing on the body)
- Whole Food Nutrition (a supplement that includes whole foods, greens, etc): Since it is food, it should also include folate, trace minerals like calcium and thousands of phytonutrients. Each product brand is made differently, ensure that you research produce included and how it is processed.
- Motherwort (I only take when I am feeling anxiety or stress as it helps balance out my mood
- Consume more Whole Foods and Healthy Calories: Our bodies are designed to consume whole foods. We require healthy fats, healthy proteins, fruits, vegetables, probiotics and water in order to give us energy, strength, a strong immune system, ability to recover and repair, and much more. Empty calories in processed foods can cause blood sugar issues, lethargy, etc. When we incorporate more whole foods into our diet, it can reduce cravings, balance our moods, provide our baby with essential nutrients to thrive, and just give us an overall sense of health and wellbeing
- Community: As a Willowsong client, I truly appreciate and understand how blessed each of us are within the community to have such a breadth of supportive families, caring midwives, nurses and staff. From lactation support, postpartum meal train options, group support meetings, private Facebook forums, and so much more; it truly takes a village to help us to be at our best. There are others with similar challenges and stories that can provide comfort and be a supportive resource. If you do not leverage the community, I highly encourage you to take advantage of at least 1 of the many options, it is a truly unique model of care that is rare to find
- Self Care & De-Stress Techniques: Having some techniques in your back pocket to care for yourself will set you up for more success during the postpartum phase. There is a lot going on during the first year after baby is born and caring for ourselves emotionally and physically is essential to feeling healthy and finding some balance. Identifying and building these tools and habits prior to the postpartum phase is very beneficial. Some ideas include:
- SLEEP when baby sleeps (if possible)
- Deep Breathing
- Taking a bath by self (include Epsom salt and even some essential oils)
- Watching a funny show
- Connecting with friends
Melanie is the Wellness Coordinator for Willowsong Midwifery Care, a Certified Health Coach (through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and AADP), and more importantly a mom of 3 small children. She is very passionate about empowering moms and children in attaining overall health and wellness and loves supporting Willowsong Families with health classes, free initial prenatal consults, information via blogging and much more! Melanie approaches health from a holistic perspective, meaning that she believes each component of our lives creates our overall health and wellness. You are welcome to connect with Melanie anytime via email (Melanie@Food4Thoughtdm.com).
Please don’t just take Melanie’s experience…as always consult with your medical professional and your own self understanding when making health decision; Melanie is not a medical professional, a nutritionist or dietician. She does not hold a degree in medicine, dietetics, or nutrition. Melanie makes no claim to any specialized medical training, nor does she dispense medical advice or prescriptions. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, preconception or pregnancy health. It is intended to be provided for informational, educational, and self-empowerment purposes ONLY. Please consult with your doctor or wellness team if you have questions and then make your own well-informed decisions based upon what is best for your unique genetics, culture, conditions, and stage of life.