Pregnancy has brought its challenges to your body – mentally, physically, emotionally. After birth, the postpartum period brings on new and different challenges. The wonderful gift of life brings with it many physical, emotional, and relational changes that can be difficult to transition into. On top of that, in the time of COVID, there are unique situations that would not otherwise exist which dampen the support received after birth making postpartum self-care so important.
You may have already experienced some of it… like if your partner has been unable to accompany you to your prenatal check-ups due to restrictions in clinics and hospitals. Depending on where you are, those same restrictions continue. With social distancing, it’s difficult that supportive family and community members are unable to be more involved. This can leave the mom feeling even more responsible for themselves and the baby, and prone to overwhelm.
So what are some things you can do to prepare yourself for your postpartum period?
Eat nourishing foods for your body
Always be sure that you are well fed with nourishing foods, especially if you are breastfeeding. The period after birth is when the body needs rest and nutrients for a good recovery. Avoid skipping meals and consuming sugary foods that spike your blood sugar levels. A sound and stable body is home to a sound and stable mind and spirit. Especially try to include foods such as lotus root, seaweed, celery, radishes, and foods high in omega-3 fats such as fish and nuts. You can even incorporate food-grade herbs such as longan fruit, goji berries, and American ginseng into your cooking.
Video call your family and friends regularly
Your family and friends are probably feeling a little sad not to be able to shower your newborn with their love and affection! Keeping your baby safe by reducing in-person contact is probably a top priority for you – understandably so. Be sure to reach out often so that your baby can start to become familiar with the faces and voices over time, despite not being able to meet them in person. Just as important as it is for you to keep in touch with your social circles, you’ll want your baby to have other social interactions too!
Create a 5-10 minute meditation practice while baby sleeps
There are a number of apps that contain meditations as short as 3 minutes such as Headspace and Calm. Being able to settle your mind during what can be a chaotic period even for a few minutes can help relax your body and lower your blood pressure and heart rate. You may even find that your own naps, while baby sleeps, are just a little more restful!
Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture after pregnancy is great at helping to relieve the postpartum “baby blues.” Acupuncture can help balance your hormones and moods when you’re feeling stress, anxiety, and depression. Acupuncture can also be helpful for breastfeeding issues. Chinese herbal medicine does all of this as well! Herbal formulas are unique to each individual and can help to nourish blood and fluids in the body while balancing your hormones.
If you’ve already given birth, do your best to get the support you need to continue attending to your own postpartum self-care, especially during COVID. In Chinese medicine, we often say that by treating and nurturing the mother, we are nurturing the child and family, so everyone stays strong. Which suggestions above can you incorporate into your days? And where else can you ask for more support?
Learn more and schedule an appointment
At Portland Acupuncture Studio, we have three highly skilled acupuncturists ready to help you on your journey. Contact us today to see how we can support you with your postpartum self-care. We are here to help you succeed.