Pregnancy and motherhood brings about a lot of transition for a woman. Dealing with post pregnancy blues could be tough. A mother who does not take care of herself and instead just believes in taking care of the newborn would not be able to do the motherly tasks with utmost energy as the woman's body too needs a lot of rest and care to be able to cope with the hardships that the body had gone through during pregnancy and delivery.
Giving birth is a tremendous task and gathering the emotional, physical and mental wellness post delivery would take some time. Do not rush to regain the strength that your body showed before pregnancy.
- Ayurvedic Approach To Postpartum Care: Rejuvenation And Revitalization
- What Happens When A New Mother Does Not Take Proper Care?
- Importance Of Sattvic Foods
- The Need For A Vata Pacifying Diet For New Mothers
- Body Massage For Rejuvenation
Ayurvedic Approach To Postpartum Care: Rejuvenation And Revitalization
Every mother needs at least 42 days of rest and care postpartum. The key to this is calming the vata. After delivery, the woman loses a lot of energy, fluids and blood. This is why Ayurveda recommends that the new mother needs care in the form of a good diet using herbs and a good revitalizing massage. Diet, oil massage and herbs serve to be the three pillars that can give a lot of relief to the new mother's body during the 42 days of gathering rejuvenation. A new mother's body can be thoroughly healed by calming the vata and providing her ample nourishment.
What Happens When A New Mother Does Not Take Proper Care?
It needs to be understood that post delivery, a new mother should be relieved of all her duties and just let to feed the baby and take care of herself. A mother needs to sleep when the baby sleeps. When lactating, a mother's nutrition should also be taken care of. Lack of proper diet could result in immense fatigue. Healthy food would promote healing and quick recovery. Lack of care and being overburdened with household chores along with the caring of a newborn could leave the mother stressed and depressed. It is therefore essential that the other family members take responsibility of the various activities in the house and let the mother rest and heal.
Importance Of Sattvic Foods
A pure balanced diet is recommended to a new mother. Sattvic foods are known to promote healing as they are easy to digest. Sattvic diet would be a diet that contains sattva quality (guna). Sattvic diet places importance on seasonal fruits, seeds, nuts, dairy products, legumes, ripe vegetables and whole grains.
In terms of Ayurveda, good fats are nourishing for new mothers. Good fats are considered sattvic. They can promote harmony and balance in the mind. Sattvic food helps the new mother to relax and sleep peacefully. Modern science says that fatty foods stimulate the release of oxytocin in the brain. This is why we feel relaxed after consuming fatty foods. However, a new mother should stay away from fats that are hydrogenated or deep-fried.
The Need For A Vata Pacifying Diet For New Mothers
Post childbirth, a woman's digestive fire turns weak and needs to be rekindled. Ayurveda recommends the consumption of vata-pacifying food postpartum. Vata disorders that a new mother is likely to face are insecurity, anxiety, constipation, indigestion, gas and lack of sleep. A vata pacifying diet can relieve these symptoms.
A woman is recommended the consumption of rice, lots of garlic, ghee, milk and warm vegetable soups postpartum. Vata producing vegetables can create gas in the baby that would show up as colic. When diet is neglected, the vata imbalance causes weight gain. High levels of vata imbalance cause ailments such as arthritis.
Ghee and warm grain cereals serve to be a balancing postpartum food for a new mother. When vata builds up in the digestive system, there is gas, constipation and cramping. Calorie-dense foods such as oil, coconut, nuts and meat broths are recommended for postpartum consumption. These foods help in building healthy breast milk for the baby. These also replenish the mother after the prolonged hardships of pregnancy and labour.
Body Massage For Rejuvenation
Under Ayurvedic care, a new mother is recommended warm oil massages known as "abhyanga". This is a special kind of massage exclusively designed for postpartum women. Postpartum abhyanga is extremely beneficial in order to avoid vata dosha imbalance in the body. This warm oil massage regulates and controls the body's temperature. This massage has been created to provide utmost relaxation to the recovering mother. Hot water showers are included to release toxins that can revitalize the aching body. This massage helps in fading imbalances and in turn prepares the mother physically and mentally for the challenges of motherhood to be seen in the days ahead.
When warm oil is rubbed on strained muscles, body pain is relieved. Tissue rebuilding is promoted. Heavy postpartum bleeding is controlled. It also moves all the stored waste out of the tissues in the body. When this massage is taken up regularly and repeatedly, a deep impression is left on the cell memory giving the new mother a feeling of care, love and security. Lactation becomes generous and a mother also gets a peaceful sleep.
The six-weeks of rest postpartum that we ideally hear as a suggestion for all new mothers should be seriously considered. This is the time when a new mother needs to restore aspects of physical, emotional and spiritual well being. How you care for your postpartum body would ultimately influence how your nurture your growing child.