Alright, I know that I am not technically postpartum yet (although there are definite moments I wish I was!!), but I thought I would mention this fantastic book to all you postpartum (or soon-to-be) mamas out there, since it is packed with such wonderful information that we can all soon be using! And hey, I'm a postpartum doula- I can't hep but want to make sure my friends are the most well-informed postpartum mamas on the web! The book is Natural Health After Birth by Aviva Jill Romm!
This book is packed with wonderful information to help mamas heal after birth! Everything from recipes for herbal healing baths, to teas and tinctures for just about every postpartum issue you may face, to learning the realities of just how long those hormones last in your system and what you can expect emotionally for the first year after birth (yup- I said year ladies!)!
I think so many of us, especially first time moms, don't really know what we are getting ourselves into as far as postpartum recovery is concerned. So much time is spent preparing for birth but we neglect preparing for postpartum healing, which is just as important and vital to our long-term physical and mental health.
For the most part I think we just don't even realize that postpartum recovery is something that we need to focus on since it is not given much attention in our culture. In the US, people direct their time after the birth almost solely towards the infant and in many ways forget about what the mother is dealing with. Ever wonder why we have such high percentages of women with incontinence issues in our country? Well, most of those problems can be directly attributed to women doing too much too soon after birth, when their muscles and ligaments have not yet had the chance to re-tighten and strengthen again! Too much activity can lead to prolapse of the uterus, bladder and bowels and can even result in the need for surgical repair.
However, indigenous cultures all over the world have recognized the mother's need for care and recovery since the beginning of time! In fact, most native cultures worldwide had (and many still do have) an instinctive, 40-day laying in period for the mother where she and baby were essentially waited on hand and foot. This time was set aside to allow her body the time to repair itself, as well as allow breastfeeding and bonding with the baby to become well-established. It was only after this time (which was literally held to be sacred in most of these cultures) that women were expected or even allowed to return to their normal work.
Aviva does a wonderful job of addressing these issues in her fabulous book, and helping you prepare for them (and no- I am not being paid in any way to promote this book! I just genuinely love it!). As a postpartum doula I can't stress enough how important all of this information is! Many midwives advise that new mothers not take stairs more than once a day for the first two weeks after birth, after which time only gentle activity (such as a leisurely walk around the block) should be performed for another 2-4 weeks.
So, please mamas, let me implore you to take it easy with your babe in the coming weeks and get the help you need to make your recovery meaningful and complete! In fact, I even have a Postpartum Planning Guide that walks mamas through this preparation- if you would like a copy, please don't hesitate to e-mail me (chic_kenz at yahoo dot com) and I will get you a PDF copy ASAP!
Moreover, are you doing anything in particular to prepare for life and recovery after birth? Do you have any great books or survival ideas specifically for mamas that you would like to share? Well, join the Mama Time Meme this week by posting the direct link to the post on your own blog about this topic that you would like to share in the Mr. Linky below! I am sure we can all learn a ton from each other about this senesitive time!
For all the details about the Mama Time Meme you can click here! Thanks for participating!