Anchored & Balanced: A roadmap to a supported & nourished postpartum.
This long resource article was originally written this past winter for the Fourth Trimester Collective and their launch of an amazing platform for growing families. As with many of us businesses operating in the COVID 19 era, FTC is working to adapt their offerings to be even more beneficial to families navigating this uncertain time. We both felt that getting the information in this post out was essential to assist our birth givers in any way possible. Keep your eye on the Fourth Trimester Collective and what will no doubt be a helpful and essential resource for this unprecedented time.
Blending traditional ways with modern day science, we can create a postpartum that honors the individual’s path to wellness.
UPDATE 03.29.19: This post was written pre- COVID19 and therefore some of this may not be feasible at the moment. Please see my upcoming video series collaboration with several genius women for resources on childbirth and postpartum education in time of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the west, it’s hard to escape the bounce-back ‘influencer’ culture that touts getting back into pre-baby clothes the fastest or hopping back in the gym to grab those ubiquitous before and after selfies. All of this glorifying creates a toxic and unrealistic environment that leaves new parents feeling isolated, different, and often ‘not-good-enough’. If we want to shift the maternal health crisis, we need to recognize that we have lost our way when it comes to how we care for people during this short period of time in their life. Instead, let's consider the opposite approach - a time to be supported through warmth, rest and replenishment. It is paramount that we embrace it with some thorough and thought-out planning.
To do so we need to dissect the pillars of care and see how they will fit in our everyday life. First, we might stop and take the time to understand what our own ancestors did during their postpartum period. What did their “village of support” look like? How long was this window of time? What foods did they eat? How were they supported? Then move deeper and look around the world and you will find that there is much that overlaps & aligns with a slow, birth-giver centered postpartum. Each culture might have different foods, herbs and wares but there are so many similarities that understanding these universal principles can shed light on how we can align with these time-tested approaches.
As a Holistic Nutritionist that specializes in postpartum care, I work to treat the whole person using food and herbs first. Robust, mother centered care that is focussed from day one on meeting the needs of a newly-born mother first. The pillars of care are well covered in phenomenal books that have helped the movement to reclaim postpartum. (My website has a list of these books if you are interested in reading them). Here, I am reshaping this framework a bit to blend traditional ways with the modern demands of life after baby. I am hoping to encourage deeper consideration so we can adjust our mindset and embrace the intensity of this time.