Planning for postpartum care should not be seen as a luxury, in fact, it is a physiologic need of all postpartum women. In the western world there is so much emphasis put on “bouncing back” after giving birth and doing it all. Having postpartum help is sometimes even seen as a weakness. We have some of the highest rates of postpartum mood disorders in the world which is mostly a symptom of the lack of support in the postpartum time.

For thousands of years woman were supported emotionally and physically, by the members of their communities who helped with daily tasks that came along with raising children. In the immediate postpartum, this support also included warming meals, massages, ritual, ceremony, (to celebrate the rite of passage into motherhood) healing therapies and more.

In todays modern reality things are different, women are often left alone with their newborns and the village is no longer present. This absence can bring feelings of isolation, depression, anxiousness and feeling depleted.

There are many cultures from around the world that still practice the ancient postpartum traditions that help families thrive in the postpartum and not just survive. These traditions share many similarities in the way women are cared for and nurtured after they have given birth because they are based in our physiologic design as humans. In many Ancient Postpartum Cultures, it is understood that the postpartum time is a golden opportunity for a woman to strengthen her health and heal lifelong illnesses, with proper postpartum care. Making her more vibrant than ever before and even healing and clearing past illnesses. This period of time has many different names:

In China it is called "Zuo Yue Zi" in Mexico it is referred as "La Cuarentena" in India they call it "The Sacred Window" and the list goes on.

These postpartum traditions all point to the importance of an extended resting period after giving birth, warmth, postpartum specific foods, bodywork and community after birth. 

Many of these traditions also teach that how a mother is cared for during the postpartum time will be greatly reflected in her health through menopause and beyond. When a woman is supported, the baby thrives, the family thrives, communities thrive and our planet thrives.

                                 -Innate Postpartum Care -

 

The natural rhythm of the earth and of life-is that there is a period of growth and a period of rest. This is how balance is created.

 

Pregnancy represents a time of growth, and therefore the postpartum period represents a time of rest.

 

In the modern world, there is no value given for rest-modern culture is focused on constant growth and therefore the postpartum period represents the time of rest.

 

-Rachelle Garcia Seliga, CPM

INNATE Traditions

 

 

 

The 5 Essentials of Postpartum Care:

An Extended Resting Period

After the tremendous work of carrying and birthing a baby, a woman's body needs time to rest and recover. In many postpartum cultures women are expected to rest anywhere between 20-60 days. 

With support and nurturing a mother can focus on herself and her baby and not worry about any of the household tasks. 

Nutrient Dense Food

Even though postpartum diets differ depending on the culture and country, the teachings are the same. New mothers need special foods in the postpartum time to aid in cleansing the uterus and to rebuild her strength.

In addition, a postpartum specific diet will also assist a mothers body to go from gestation to lactation through lactogenic foods that will help women produce healthy breastmilk. 

 

Bodywork

During pregnancy, birth and the postpartum women's bodies go through major changes. After birth, organs are returning to their optimal positions and hormones are balancing.

Bodywork is an extremely important part of women's recovery to vibrant life.

In India, women are given a daily circulatory massage with herbal infused warm oils. In other postpartum cultures women receive abdominal massage to help shrink their uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size and to help clear out the lochia. In Mexico, women receive the closing of the hips ceremony, which includes massage, a steam bath then followed by being lovingly wrapped with rebozos and ends with a belly bind application.

Body Warmth

During childbirth a woman's body is the most open she will ever be. Through the loss of blood and the placenta this creates a sense of emptiness and chill which can affect not only the uterus but the whole body, especially the low back and abdomen. This is why many cultures from around the world put such an emphasis on warmth in the postpartum through vaginal steaming, fires, keeping warm socks and hats on, heat packs, hot foods and beverages.

Community

Our physiologic design needs community support in the postpartum time.  For thousands of years communities and families came together to support the new mother with cooking, cleaning, nurturing and taking care of the older siblings so mother could rest. This support helped to enhance the mothers oxytocin levels (AKA Love hormone) which is crucial to her healing. Ancient cultures understood it as a necessity.

When we have high levels of Oxytocin in our bodies, we feel relaxed, loving, blissful, trusting and confident. This assures optimal healing in the postpartum.

 

Serving Southern Oregon & Northern California areas.

Tel: 818-399-8229

Email: laura@nurturingpostpartum.com

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