The postpartum period can be a time of great physical and emotional change. A new or reborn mother has four primary objectives: to take care of her metabolism, breast milk formation, connect with baby, and rejuvenate the mind and body.
When she falls in love and breastfeeds, the bonding hormone oxytocin is produced naturally. While she will fall in love with baby, she will likely show signs of being more loving to all her children if she has others. By giving her time and space to be mushy and lovey this sets the tone for the future. A future of love.
Oxytocin is not a benefit for only this short phase. It goes beyond reducing pain for labor and birth, but sets up feelings of trust, empathy, compassion, love - all essential emotions for a new mom. She will live in the moment, and forget the details… because they don’t matter in this early phase of postpartum. Oxytocin can make “momma bear” come out due to the deep love and protection she has for her child/ren.
In our busy culture, slowing down and allowing or inviting others to support can be a challenge we will not go into, but will address the ability to be tolerant of honoring the first six weeks.
When oxytocin is flowing and mom is being taken care of - she has a greater appreciation and understanding that life is slower than usual. She understands bonding with baby while giving herself time to heal and rejuvenate is not being lazy. This is active work and she is more willing to enjoy all the things motherhood opens for her.
10 essential 'to dos' for healing and bonding
- Prioritize self-care: Taking care of yourself during the postpartum period is essential for both your physical and emotional well-being. This includes getting enough rest, practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation, and taking time to engage in activities that bring you joy.
- Eat a nourishing diet: Eating a well-balanced and nourishing diet is essential for healing and bonding during the postpartum period. Ayurveda recommends consuming warm, cooked foods that are easy to digest, such as soups, stews, and porridges. It's also important to consume foods that are high in nutrients, such as leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is essential for healing and bonding during the postpartum period. Ayurveda also recommends drinking herbal teas, such as ginger tea, fennel tea and fenugreek tea, which can help to support digestion and lactation.
- Practice gentle exercise: Gentle exercise, such as walking and yoga, can help to promote overall health and well-being during the postpartum period. These activities can also help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- Get enough rest: Getting enough sleep is essential for healing and bonding during the postpartum period. Ayurveda recommends going to bed early and getting up early, as this is the time when the body is naturally inclined to rest and rejuvenate.
- Seek guidance from an Ayurvedic practitioner: An Ayurvedic practitioner can provide personalized guidance on how to support healing and bonding during the postpartum period, including dietary and lifestyle recommendations that are specific to your individual needs.
- Take warm baths: Taking warm baths can help to promote healing and relaxation during the postpartum period. Ayurveda recommends adding soothing herbs such as fenugreek, fennel, and shatavari to the bath water.
- Practice oil massage: Ayurveda recommends practicing daily self-massage with warm oils, such as sesame or coconut oil, to promote healing and relaxation during the postpartum period. This can also help to improve circulation and support lactation.
- Practice stress-reducing techniques: Stress can have a negative impact on the postpartum period, so it is important to find ways to reduce stress. Ayurveda recommends practices such as meditation, yoga, and aromatherapy to help reduce stress.
- Surround yourself with a supportive community: The postpartum period can be a time of great emotional change, so it is important to surround yourself with a supportive community of family and friends. Ayurveda also recommends spending time with other mothers, as this can provide a sense of connection and support during this transition.
Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to postpartum care, emphasizing on self-care, nourishing diet, hydration, gentle exercise and stress-reducing techniques. By incorporating these Ayurvedic lifestyle practices into your postpartum period, you can support your healing and bonding with your baby, and ensure a smooth transition into motherhood.
However, it's always recommended to speak with your healthcare provider or an Ayurvedic practitioner before making any significant changes to your lifestyle during postpartum period.
You are welcome to schedule a private mentoring appointment with me to strategize what may be a best practice to benefit yourself and your growing family.