If you’re currently pregnant, your main concerns are probably around labour and birth, and not postpartum care. That’s completely normal especially with the challenges we face in current times and the stress of birthing during a pandemic. Our Toronto Naturopaths, like Dr. Julia Segal, support every stage in the fertility, pregnancy and postpartum journey. As we shared in a related blog recently, the postpartum period is vital and sensitive for all mothers. When the postpartum period is planned for intentionally, mothers tend to feel more confident and supported, and enjoy a greater degree of well-being as they heal and adjust at home with baby.
Here are some of the key areas to include in your postpartum plan.
-Nutrition: In the first few weeks after birth, women both need and desire light, sweet, warm, and oily food. Think comfort food that’s as close to home-made as you can get. Eat it as fresh as possible and whenever you can, eat your food warm. Contrary to suggestions of grabbing finger food between feeds, see what you can do to create time for you to eat, chew and enjoy your food daily. This leads to the following topics…
-Practical Support: If at all possible, assign all physical chores and duties to your partner or other support person in the first weeks after giving birth. When this isn’t possible, consider paying for some outsourced prepared food and even cleaning. Your only job in the first weeks after delivery should be falling in love with your baby and learning to breastfeed.
-Breastfeeding Support: Educating yourself about breastfeeding in a way that goes beyond the basics means learning from experienced moms and lactation consultants. However, each baby and mom duo has its unique experience and it’s a good idea to have the number of a lactation consultant to call for support if it’s needed. The main thing to remember is that all the other factors in this list help support breastfeeding by boosting mothers’ oxytocin.
-Emotional Support: Brainstorm your main emotional supports. Start building your village with an inner circle that you can trust at any time with any feelings. If there is something blocking you from feeling trust, address it now by open communication with the intention of building trust.
-Body-based support: Cultures around the world offer special massage, oil rubs, belly binding and other body-based supports for new mothers in the first six weeks after giving birth. In today’s isolated climate you can nevertheless use two main tools to support healing, hormonal health and breastfeeding by making yourself feel GOOD: firm pressure, and warmth. You may wish to include hot water bottles, acuballs, oils you can use for self-massage or partner massage, and a belly wrap in your postpartum plan.
As you gather resources and envision a positive postpartum, you can garner support from those in your circle including our Toronto Naturopaths to reflect on your priorities, values and needs. When you personalize your plan to create comfort that works for you, you set yourself up for trusting yourself, your baby, your partner or family and even the world around you at a time when trust is so vital.