Ayurvedic Approach to Postpartum Healing
I had my son almost 7 years ago now. I just got introduced to Ayurveda but was not familiar with it enough to really set myself up for success during the postpartum time period. I was still learning what the doshas were and the entire concept of Ayurveda still felt like a foreign language.
I dove deep into my first year long Ayurvedic program the first year of postpartum. I felt lost, confused, and like a shell of myself after having Jalen. Things were not working so I signed up for Cate Stillman's year long Ayurvedic Living program the healers path. When I started to do the Ayurvedic practices I started to feel like myself again. I changed the way I ate, I added me time for silence, I really slowed down and looked at how much I was listening to podcasts, watching tv to numb out.
While at the hospital after my water broke, the nurse asked me why do you think you can give birth without an epidural? I told her I practiced yoga and meditation. While 7 years ago I barely practiced yoga, I went to prenatal yoga classes and meditated in class but hated it. But that was enough for her to give me the greenlight to birth without an epidural. Looking back I'm very impressed with myself as I really didn't do any research into labor methods, positions, breathing I was very novice. Which probably worked out to my advantage as this time I'm much more aware of all the things that can occur which if I'm being honest freaks me out!
This Time Around
I was running my business 7 years ago but didn't really set up a plan for myself to be really structured during postpartum. I let my podcast have a break for a few months, I didn't have any income coming in or ways for income to come in during this time. My husband was working a corporate career vs now he is self-employed as well so we are being a bit more proactive in getting things financially set up for ourselves. I've batched my podcast so I won't have to record episodes until April or May.
I have self-paced programs that people can purchase while I'm on maternity leave. My 1:1 clients have their needs met or know what program they will be doing while I'm taking a break.
Third Trimester practices I'm Doing & loving
- Eating ghee daily with my food either in soup or cooking my morning breakfast.
- Enjoying a date a day and will up to 6 dates a day week 39 of pregnancy.
- Other foods I'm incorporating the last few months- pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, avocados, almonds.
- Meditation Daily
- Alternate nostril breathing
- Red raspberry leaf tea- one cup a day starting week 28 and will increase 1-4 a day the last month.
- Perineal Massage daily- I started at 32 weeks.
- Yoni Picchu- I started at 33 weeks.
Ayurvedic Postpartum Preparation
This time around I read The first forty days by Heng Ou. I highly recommend this book. It's full of Ayurvedic and eastern takes on doing postpartum different from the western path.
I have already frozen soup in individual zip-lock bags for my hubby to prepare for me those first few weeks. I talked with my husband about what I need from him those first few weeks and the vision I see for my healing.
For me that looks like staying in our bedroom with the baby for the first 2 weeks. I have my yoni steam box upstairs already and taught him how to make me the herbal steam I will need. Since we have stairs leading to the upstairs I'm not planning on taking the stairs for at least the first week. So he knows all hands on deck that week. Along with the yoni steam, I'm moving my toothbrush and shower products upstairs, snacks on the second floor, my journal, candle, ipad, books so I have things around me that I know I might want and need.
Since my oldest will almost be 7 when the little one arrives he is already good at grabbing his own snacks and will listen to boundaries around screen time we set for him. I also signed him up for a chess club after school one day a week since he isn't signed up for any activities until May or June. He knows this and will go with my husband to the basketball gym my husband works at to get some activities in for him away from the new baby.
This is something I'm really preparing him for as he's excited but has been an only child for basically 7 years. So it will be a bit of a shock to him to not have all of the attention. I'm spending mom/Jalen days together these last few months to make sure he feels seen and heard.
Specific Postpartum Practices
- Yoni Steams starting the first week postpartum
- Baths-starting the 2nd week or whenever I think I can go down & up stairs.
- Weighted heavy blankets on my womb space the first week of postpartum
- Belly Binding
- Abhyanga to reduce vata
- Grounding easy to digest foods
- Lots of soups & bone broths those first few weeks.
- Help from my husband and older son and set up the boundaries before the little one is here
- Set up my upstairs to have all of the things I will need for those initial few weeks.
- Set boundaries around visitors when they can come, how long they can stay, if traveling when they can come over to make sure they are not sick.
- Yoni Picchu
- Drinking Ayurvedic teas
- Belly Paste before belly binding
- I've also been doing the Ayurveda Mama Monthly boxes
Leaving Room for space & magic
I'm also not overly planning to do anything until May/June. I really want to take space this postpartum period. Last time I traveled to LA at 6 weeks postpartum and had "homework" to do before the trip. I really felt stressed, overwhelmed and out of sorts because I put to much business things on my plate since I thought postpartum would be a vacation for me, not realizing I would be exhausted and be constantly feeding a baby 24/7.
This time I'm not planning on taking on 1:1 clients again until mid-May-June. I want to take space to actually recover and regroup. I want to start to build back my own holistic routines before I jump back to helping others. I also know that new things will arise when I give space. Meaning new business ideas, or projects. I just want to be with my little one and adjust to our life as a family of four.
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