102: Postpartum Ayurveda Style

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Welcome to the Peaceful Power Podcast I’m your host Andrea Claassen and today I’m diving back into Ayurveda only giving you specific tips on how to care for yourself after giving birth.

Here is more information about Ayurvedic Coaching 

I’ve had quite a few friends who are having babies literally in the next two weeks and really wanted to teach on how I wish I would have cared for me after birth.

Nutrition

The first 3 weeks after birth here are the recommend recipes to indulge in to nourish yourself. Remember your going to be tired, sore, and depleted. Giving birth is an amazing experience but one that truly exhausts the mom. So knowing what to eat in the next 3 weeks will help you be the best momma you can be.

  • Stewed Apples with cloves & ghee
  • Steamed Rice with ghee (Recipe online)
  • Konji (Simple Rice Soup- brown basmati rice, 4 c. water on low, covered for one hour)
  • Rice Pudding
  • Oatmeal with dates & apples
  • Simple vegetable soup
  • Chicken & fennel soup
  • Dinner with carrots & coconut soup
  • Hot Quinoa Cereal
  • Vegan Ginger Snaps
  • Herbel Teas (check if safe when breastfeeding)
  • **Add more ghee to recipes then called for

These recipes are favored for digestive purposes. They are easy to digest and won’t upset the mom or babies stomach plus are full of nutrients. That is why ghee, and oil are recommend to help get more fat into the diet which helps with brain functions.

There are a few food items that you do want to stay away from that are thought of as healthy normally just not that first month after baby:

  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel Sprouts

*Due to the gas producing qualities the baby is more likely to develop colic from these foods.

Energy Protector

This is someone who helps remind the mom (typically the spouse) that she needs to be on a family schedule. Things to remind the new mother of:

  • Early to bed, early to rise
  • Regular freshly prepared meals
  • Exercise
  • Body-care for mama
  • Weekly schedule reviews- what works, what needs to be changed

An example- the baby just went to sleep it’s 8pm and the mom wants to start a movie instead of indulging her in the movie. The energy protector will say I would love to but if we start a movie now it will be past 10pm when it’s over and then the baby will probably be waking up right when you’re going to bed. The better choice might be for me to rub your feet or back and maybe you lay down for a bit. That way you acknowledge that the mom wants to spend time with her partner but you don’t end up regretting the late night choice for the next few days.

Expectations

Now for some final tips on what to do after baby arrives to keep yourself sane.

  • Expect the household rhythms to change- probably daily- Especially at the start of a little one’s life there are not really schedules yet, everyone is a little out of whack. Try and get in flow but don’t get attached.
  • Focus on 1 minute practices– Instead of thinking let’s go for a workout try do do 1 minute of a “workout.” Such as meditation for a minute, Squats, sun salutations, holding a few yin poses, walking around the house, ha-ha belly breaths. Focus on the little things as they will add up.
  • Take a bath- Taking a bath is so important in the healing process. Having the warm water slowly help with the healing process is something I can not recommend enough. Plus it will make you feel better when your done. I personally like to do a little essential oil and dry brushing after my bath to complete my self-care for that day.
  • Go to bed early- I wish I would have done this more then I did. I really just wanted time for myself but should have went to bed when my son did in the evening. I didn’t really “have” to finish the work I did and I would have probably recovered mentally a lot faster if I would have rested more then I did.
  • Don’t judge. Don’t compare- This can be a tough one especially with social media. I found myself watching other trainers who were shrinking faster then I was, looking like better moms, having things all under control and I felt like I was failing. Instead I should have gotten off the devices and just been with my son. Try not to go into comparison or judgement mode. No one is better then anyone else so save the judgements for your journal.
  • Eat with your kiddos- This has been my practice since my son was 6 months old. I started eating early, lighter dinners with him and haven’t looked back. I love being done eating by 6pm.

Fitness Tips

  • Don’t run until at least 6 months postpartum- There is still research being done on the effects of running right away at the 6 week or earlier mark. Prolapsed organs, incontinence issues, and diastasis recti are all issues that are prevalent when coming back to fast.
  • Don’t do any traditional core work until at least 6 months postpartum- This one can be a challenging one as many women want to “fix” their stomachs but again end up doing more harm then good. If you bulge while performing a crunch your doing more harm then good, if you feel your core pulling while doing a plank more harm then good. I personally stopped doing an incline crunch at the 14 month postpartum mark because I felt my core bulging and asked why would I continue when that’s going to create a bulge instead of take one away.
  • Squat with caution- I thought I was good to squat around the 4 week mark. No weight used just a regular squat. I think I ended up tearing my glute muscle as it wasn’t healed from my tearing from birth. So I really caution any work besides light walking until the 6 week mark. I would rather be safe then sorry then to relieve that horrible pain I felt from the glute tear.
  • Listen to your body- After you get the okay at the 6 week postpartum mark the doctor doesn’t tell you what to do. They just say your good to workout. Most of us jump right back into our regular routine and that’s when problems occur. We lift as heavy as we used to, we go running for miles to get rid of the baby weight, and we do crunches every evening to tone up our mid-section. Well unfortunately our bodies just want to heal, and take things slow. There is no pressure to reach your end point. You don’t get a prize for magically bouncing back. This is the time to listen do squats feel good right now, does my stomach feel like it can handle holding a 15 second plank, can I go for a 3 mile walk? Remember we just went through something that changed us for the rest of our lives. So treating it with the proper care and giving ourselves time to adjust is key.
  • Core Strength Moves- There are some great core building strength moves- that I’ve linked up on the blog post for this episode- andreaclaassen.com/podcast102. A few of the moves I recommend are- bird/dogs, pelvic tilts, bridge holds, small squats, pushups on the wall, plank on the knees. Those are a few great exercises to just work back in movement into your day around the 6 week mark. Again before that just stick to walking.

Those are some of my top tips for taking care of you after giving birth. Rest, hydration, movement, and just relaxing. You have plenty of time to knock of to do list items now is not one of those times in your life even though it might feel like it at the time.

Let me know what some of your favorite postpartum tips are in the comments below and go out there & spread your Peaceful Power.

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