Taking Care of Mama

Isn’t it fascinating what the body can do?

It can grow a human in nine months. It does this without you even having to whisper to grow a lung or a hand. The possibilities are endless, but we forget how magical this time truly is. But when do we allow time for us to start taking care of mama? If we just let go and allow our bodies to rest in the postpartum period, allow for healing to take place and truly hone in to what our body needs, then we wouldn’t have to worry about mental disparities and illnesses or physically debilitating health conditions through the motherhood journey. We have decided to just wing postpartum. When we are drawn to just “winging” something, we know that failure is waiting for us on the other side. So why not make a 4th trimester plan? Why not put the spotlight on mom, so she can express the intelligence and capability within her body for healing?

Making a 4th trimester plan isn’t something that many often think about. We put so much energy into preparing for birth (as we should) but we leave out the important prep work to heal our bodies. What if baby showers were replaced with postpartum prep ceremonies. This would be emphasizing the mother and giving her the tools to support body’s healing? What if we, as a society, set better expectations? Where moms didn’t have to be isolated or held up to the “doing it all” standard during the postpartum period? The way we care for mom during pregnancy should be the way that we continue to take care of her during postpartum, never leaving her stranded.

What if we had a supportive team and an opportunity to heal and nourish our bodies properly? The trajectory of motherhood would be changed forever.

Healing takes time, let’s just face it.

We need to step away from the “bounce back” model instilled in moms’ brains. Instead we need to bring awareness to the fact that it took nine months to create a baby. It can also take at least nine months to heal after birth. Healing properly can make or break postpartum and change the direction of a mother’s health for years to come. So the question remains, when how do moms properly heal during postpartum? The easiest answer is by making a 4th trimester plan. Making a plan to heal your body through postpartum will help set expectations for yourself and your support team. They will know what you want and need instead of playing the guessing game. The body needs time to heal and space to rest after birth. It is a hard transition for many as it’s such a vulnerable time. All eyes are on the baby, and mom sometimes gets forgotten in the shadows. We need to consider an approach to help mom transition easily into the 4th trimester through preparation strategies.

The 4th Trimester Plan

In a 4th trimester plan, we focus on healing the body, mind, and nourishing the body from the inside out. Focusing on the whole mama is important, with a foundation in chiropractic care and other supportive therapies. Gentle stretches and mobility for moms are also important to incorporate into healing. Many moms experience diastasis recti or pelvic floor dysfunction after birth. C-section scars may also be addressed to promote proper healing. Nourishment is an integral part of healing postpartum. Some of the most common and popular herbs for healing are Ashwagandha, Nettles and Raspberry Leaf Tea. There is an abundance of more specific herbs, depending on the mother’s needs for recovery. The most important parts of a 4th trimester plan? The mindful steps and strategies that may help moms transition from the 3rd trimester to the 4th.

In Summary

5 Steps to a Healthier Postpartum

  1. Writing postpartum affirmations– This is a concept that we don’t realize we need until we hit the road running. Just like during birth, we still need encouragement throughout postpartum, i.e., You’re a good mom. Affirmations are your silent cheerleaders.
  2. Making a freezer meal party– Grab your partner or a friend and write a list of items that you can make to freeze for postpartum and cook away all day.
  3. Assigning family, friends, spouse roles– Communication is key here! Do this before postpartum hits to make sure your support team knows exactly how to care for you.
  4. Setting aside time for yourself– Tossing the mom guilt and doing your thing whether it’s to soak in an Epsom salt bath or read a book.
  5. Designing a celebratory ritual for pregnancy and birth.

—Kseniya Gershberg, DC
Appears in Pathways to Family
Wellness Magazine Issue #77

Provided and published by ICPA. For more information, visit discoverkidshealth.com

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