The Importance Of Postpartum Healing
Today I am going to talk about the importance of postpartum healing because I believe it is something that is greatly overlooked by many and when ignored can contribute to adrenal fatigue, depression, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune conditions and other health conditions.
Postpartum healing is so important but often neglected by most. We live in a society where women are expected to loose the baby weight quickly, start working out full speed just weeks after giving birth, and forced to go back to work within weeks to a couple months after having a baby. All if these burdens and exceptions come at a cost. As women years laterwe face depression, hormonal dysfunction and complete burnout.
Today I am in the process of healing my body back to healthafter years of pushing my body to the limits. For years I was that person who worked out like crazy chasing what I thought was the “perfect body”. I’m sure many of you can relate to this as we see it all around us. My oldest will be 11 years old in just a couple of months. I remember after having himall that I could think of was I needed to get back to my pre-baby weight. I had a c-section, and was literally back running after only 3 weeks. I was young and 21 and I thought that if I felt ok I should get back to working out and losing the baby weight. I would skip my sleep and would get up at 4 or 5am just to make sure I would get in my workout, or I would stay up late and workout after I got my son to sleep. I also started to watch what I ate which of course meant low fat and diet foods (diet soda, yoplait light yogurt, lean cuisine meals). Pretty much I did everything against what my body needed. So pretty much I was lacking sleep and nutrition and pushing myself to the limits. Ok so skip to having 2 more kids over a course of 4 years and this is pretty much what life looked like for me.
Our bodies can only take so much and my breaking point was 9 months postpartum with my 3rd child. Life was great until suddenly my body began shutting down. I began to gain weigh ( a total of 15 lbs in 9 months), I was loosing hair, I had brain fog, I was irritable, I started becoming depressed, my period was irregular, I experienced loss of libido, and the list goes on. After a few years of seeing different doctors I finally got some answers. Stage 3 adrenal fatigue and multiple gut infections was where I had gotten myself. If I could turn back time I would have done everything different.
17 months ago I gave birth to my surprise baby and decided to take a whole different approach postpartum. I embraced the weeks I had with my little one and asked for all the help I needed. Sleep was and still is my friend. I never sacrifice a workout for sleep anymore. I take walks often and do lots of yoga. I am kind to my body. I eat nutrient dense real food and skip counting calories because I know my body needs all the nutrition it can get to supply milk to my baby and help my body recover from caring and giving birth to a baby. This time around I am supporting my health and giving my body the time it needs to fully recover and heal!!
Here is a list of what I believe are someof the best actions you can take postpartum to support the health of your mind, body, and spirt!
1. Stop Trying To Loose The Baby Weight: Your body will get there if you give it time. If you are nursing sometimes your body will try and hold onto weight as a proactive mechanism. You also need all the nutrition you can get especially if breastfeeding.
2. Don't Over-Exercise: Having a baby is stressful. Exercise is also a stressor. Many times it is a good stressor but when you are lacking in sleep along with the addition stressors of having a baby now is not the time to push the exercise. Activity is important so make sure to choose exercise that is less stressful and more healing such as yoga, pilates, and walking.
3. Take Time For Self Care: Self care is SO important. Especially as a new mom our babies take every minute of our day. It is so important to take care of yourself. By taking care of yourself you will be a better mother. Take weekly epsom salt baths with some essential oils, get lunch with a girlfriend, get a massage or schedule an acupuncture season.
4. Just Say No: Now is a time to not take on extra tasks. Its ok and very healthy to say no. If you don’t jump to say yes then it is something that you probably should not be doing presently.
5. Be Kind To Yourself: Love your body and embrace how it is different now. You carried a baby for 9 months and gave bDon’t strive to be perfect.
6. Sleep: Sleep is so important and the the when our bodies recover the most. Lack of sleep is an additional stressor.
7. Eat Nutrient Dense Whole Foods: Nourish your body with nutrient dense foods to the support the healing process. Especially if you are breastfeeding your body needs extra nutrients.
8. Meditate: Try and incorporate some type of meditation or mindfulness into your day. I personally find the Headspace app enjoyable and easy to use.
9. Slow Down And Enjoy Your Baby: You are a new mom so it's time to slow down and soak up the moment with your baby. Enjoy this time because time will pass by faster than you will expect.
If you apply these tools or even some of them to your postpartum experience I promise your body will thank you. For all of you who are done having children or maybe will never have children you can still apply many of these to your life to help manage stress and keep your body happy and healthy!!
Until Next Time,