I was so happy to hear your comments about the previous blog post. I know I have said this many times, but your comments delight me so much! I feel surrounded by such a loving support system- thanks to you all!
I felt there was more to address, so I decided to write a part 2. (If you missed Part 1, you can read it here: A turtle without a shell- Energetic changes after birth )
Okay, so we’ve talked about the energetic changes after birth- now what to do about it?
What are some ways you can care for yourself during this transformational time?
I wanted to share some tools that I’ve found helpful in my life- because I need the constant reminder and I felt some of you might find it helpful also. (These tools are not just for after birth, but are great -and essential- for our whole lives.)
CARING FOR YOURSELF AFTER BIRTH (& ALWAYS)
1) Take as much time as you need away from the world
I’m grateful that our midwife told us “not to let anyone visit before we were ready.” That was some great advice.
We are all a mix of extrovert and introvert. Each person needs a unique balance of alone time and social time, and it’s constantly changing. After the birth is an important time to honor this need and it’s natural and healthy for mothers and babies to retreat for awhile. (Many other cultures understand this need more than ours does.) You know in your heart what your own balance is. Trust that. And go with the flow as it changes.
I tend to need a lot of alone time- when I get as much as I need, I love being around people. Alone time is essential for connecting with yourself and tuning inward. And when you are ready to be social again, connecting with the people who truly support you will give you added strength, laughter and a happy heart.
2) Ask for help
From your family and friends, and also from the Universe. At this time when you are giving, giving to your new baby- is a time to accept support. If you are used to being stubborn and wanting to do everything by yourself (speaking from experience) then this is a great time to learn to let others do things for you while you are healing from the birth, and adoring and caring for your baby. Visitors who help out are really the kind you need after birth.
Praying is another good way to ask for help. I pray to my guides and the angels every day and am continually delighted by the support, solutions, and inspiration they bring. Remember gratitude- be grateful for the help you receive and for all the blessings in your life.
3) Take good care of your temple
Your body is your temple. Love, appreciate, and care for this sacred gift you’ve been given. Your body will need extra love and care after the birth.
Your body has many needs to thrive- movement, fresh air, time in nature, deep breathing, sunshine… and more. (movement will be kept to a minimum during healing, but you get the idea.)
I’ve listed a few more below.
–Drink plenty of water
I don’t know about you, but I have never been so thirsty in my life as when I started breastfeeding Bracken. I’ve heard it said that our Spirits are like batteries and water is how we recharge them. So let’s recharge our Spirits! How do you know how much water to drink? Drink whenever you’re thirsty seems a good way to go to me.
–Eat real, whole, nutrient-dense foods
Good food is a must while breastfeeding a baby and healing after birth. (And always!) Each body is unique. Eat the foods that make you feel deeply nourished and grounded. I’ve experimented with lots of different diets and types of food over the years and I’ve learned a lot about what my body likes. I learned from experience that my particular body does not thrive on a vegetarian or vegan diet because I got very ill when I did this. I feel best when I eat whole foods close to their natural state. I’m passionate about the Weston A. Price diet because it resonates with me and my body loves it. (Weston A. Price was a dentist who traveled the world studying what healthy indigenous people ate. I am incredibly passionate about diet and nutrition and could write about this topic for days, but I’ll save it for another blog post. In the meantime, if you are interested and would like to learn more feel free to check out this website: Weston A. Price Foundation )
Listen closely to your body. It will tell you what it needs.
–Sleep as much as you can
Right after Bracken’s birth I received messages from several different women- all saying the same thing: “Sleep when baby sleeps!” What good advice this is! I was stubborn at first and tried to push through sleepiness to get things done. Eventually I realized their wisdom. I learned that I was much more productive if I allowed myself a nap. Other things can wait. Sleep is essential. You need to be rested to care for yourself and your baby. I have always liked sleep a lot. Now I appreciate it more than ever.
Lately I have not been taking naps, but have been going to bed super early instead (so I can take advantage of Bracken’s first stretch of sleep of the night.) But right after the birth his stretches of sleep were not long so I had to get what sleep I could.
5) Be gentle on yourself
Both physically and in other ways. Don’t push it after the birth. Take it easy and rest as long as you can. Our midwife was so good about reminding me about this. And thanks to my wonderful husband Jeff, I had a good resting period after the birth. The other way to be gentle on yourself is to embrace the changes within yourself lovingly- in other words- don’t be hard on yourself.
Allow yourself to feel the way you do about everything without judging it. Don’t censor, over-think, or “beat yourself up” for feeling the way you do. Just notice, be aware of, and listen. Then give yourself what you need without guilt (and without worrying about other’s reactions.) You might feel differently than you have before. You might need to
Set healthy boundaries
Communicate openly and honestly
…. who knows what your needs will be? Be loving to yourself by doing whatever you need to care for your Spirit. Let your heart tell you what you need and leave your brain out of it.
6) Keep your energy clear
Here is a blog post I wrote about this topic, with some of my favorite ways for doing that.
Some things on the list might be repeated here. But hearing a message more than once will just make it sink in more, right?
7) Seize the opportunity
of this life changing event, to change other aspects of your life as well. Are there old habits you need to let go of that no longer serve you? It’s a prime time to create new ones! The healthier and happier you are as a person- the better parent you’ll be. Enjoy this magical time for the incredible gift it is. This is an opportunity to grow your soul. This is an opportunity to open your heart more than you’ve ever felt before. This is an opportunity to revel in baby bliss. Let the world pass by for awhile. You will only get to experience this time with your baby once. Being in the moment is where the treasure is.
What ways have you found helpful for caring for yourself after birth?
(Or someone close to you. We love to hear from everyone.)
Please share your comments below, I’d love to hear!
All My Love,