In the United States today, in the sacred days after a child is born, the mother's and the entire family's attention tends to focus on the health of the baby. However, ancient wisdom traditions teach that the first 6 weeks after birth can influence the mother's health for the next 4 decades. Some say the first 42 days can influence the next 42 years of the mother’s health.
The “fourth trimester” represents a critical time to take care of your own physical and mental health while recovering from childbirth. At Almeda, when we think about postpartum care, we think about mental, physical and spiritual support. This requires planning, assistance, and the ability to let go of non-essential tasks while remembering that holistically caring for a new mother is, in fact, an absolutely essential, non-negotiable task.
Nutrients are key to recovery after birth.
The body relies on whole foods and a wide range of supportive nutrients, including antioxidants, micronutrients, protein and probiotics.
Even new mothers who eat nutrient dense meals should also take a well-rounded daily supplement like Encarna to fortify and enrich their bodies during the postpartum phase.
Nutrients help the body recover, as they help grow and repair our cells--the foundation of our being.
So keep taking your prenatal vitamins after birth, and be sure to get enough omega 3s and include a probiotic like Kasvi.
Protein is important for tissue recovery.
The mother’s body may be depleted of nutrients postpartum.
While you may or may not realize it, a mother’s body prioritizes the infant's health. The mother’s brain shrinks during pregnancy by about 5 percent, and the placenta takes priority for needed nutrients.
Whether or not you are hoping to have more children, replenishing your body’s system with the right ingredients will help you feel uplifted and rejuvenated and prime your body to meet requirements for future reproduction as needed.
Good nutrition supports brain health as well.
Most new mamas complain about low energy levels and lack of concentration. Forgetfulness, indecisiveness, and moodiness are other concerns.
A new mother’s brain actually shrinks during pregnancy (as mentioned above) and continues to change after birth.
If you’re looking for brain health support, solid nutrition can help you build back better. Ensure you’re getting enough protein, omega fatty acids, and other nutrients needed for brain health.
Breastfeeding requires higher calories and nutrition.
Breastfeeding mothers have higher nutrient and energy requirements, needing about 300 - 500 extra calories per day.
Additionally, breast milk nutrient density -- so important for a baby’s health -- depends upon the quality of the mother’s postpartum diet.
Avoid the “baby blues,” postpartum depression and meet mental health needs.
Preparing a support system before birth and planning ways to incorporate self care can help fend off postpartum depression. This is, of course, easier said than done. Consider hiring a postpartum doula as well as inviting in friends and family for specific assistance. Set up appointments with your doctor in advance. Be open to receiving care.
Additionally, there are many specific nutrients that support neurotransmitter production and probiotics to support gut health and influence serotonin levels.
A well balanced diet can reduce stress and provide anxiety relief, as can ingredients like the adaptogens in Kasvi.
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So, take care to ensure the growth and repair of your cells after giving birth. Restore the body to a state of good health that will last with nutrition that supports your wellbeing as you heal from pregnancy and birth.