Postpartum care is essential. Jennifer Blossom, OTD shares her tips for the most mindful transition into new motherhood. Jennifer is a doctor of occupational therapy who teaches women how to blossom from the inside, out through healthy, holistic practices during the prenatal, pregnancy, and postnatal period.
An amazing, gorgeous, exhausting, empowering, emotional, and beautiful journey. A journey that we, as women, have been called to embrace and enjoy. A journey that is unique and personal. A journey that lasts a lifetime.
In order to truly tap into your full being as a mother, you must understand the importance of practicing good maternal care.
When you take time to nourish yourself, using a holistic approach, you’re focusing on the mind-body-soul connection. By using this approach, you will dramatically see and experience a difference in the way you live, feel, think, and do life.
Let’s dive into all things holistic living after baby. This truly is where happiness, health, and beauty reside.
In its simplest terms, holistic care is the ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle through mind, body, and soul balance. Holistic care is looking at the entire person, understanding that we are each made up of many different pieces, with each of these pieces accounting for a beautiful harmony within the body.
During the postnatal period, holistic care is a key element in feeling your best and giving your best to both your baby and your family. Nutrition, Fitness, Sleep, Spirituality, Social and Emotional health all play a role in implementing and sustaining healthy, holistic habits.
Try this daily postpartum guide to enjoying and being mindful during your first six weeks as a new mom.
Let’s dive in a little deeper with tips and tricks to apply and excel in each of these areas.
Physical Health After Baby
Physical health and fitness after baby is a part of your lifestyle that can affect how you feel – mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Start slowly and understand the reasoning behind your workout. No workouts should be focused on “trying to get skinny.” Instead, remember the many benefits that come from exercise including but not limited to…
- Mood booster
- Muscle strength
- Cardiovascular strength
- Weight management
- Stress, anxiety, and emotional regulation
Learn to listen to your body. What type of exercise does it crave? It’s important to note that exercise is not “one size fits all.” Find a variety of ways to move your body that really resonate with you and get busy.
Discover ways to work out with your little. Exercise while she’s napping (even if this means breaking up your workout into smaller segments!), ask for help from your spouse or family/friends so you can get your sweat on. It’s not selfish. It’s 100% necessary, and you’ll be a better mom, wife, and woman because of it.
Be sure to check with your medical or naturopathic doctor before exercising after baby and abide by their recommendations.
Nutrition after Baby
During the postnatal period, it’s vital to understand the power and importance of nutrition. Have you heard the term “you are what you eat”?
Well, it’s true and if your little is breastfeeding, there’s a direct connection between what you eat and what your baby consumes, making it even more important to understand the importance of nutrition.
Make sure your diet includes
- Vitamins and minerals
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Organic (or as organic as possible!)
- Great hydration
- Lean protein
- Healthy fats
- Pure carbohydrates
- Natural smoothies
Do your best to avoid
- Empty calories
- Processed foods
- Excess alcohol or caffeine
- Sugary drinks, sports drinks, or soda
- Artificial ingredients
- High sugar or fatty foods
Eating well truly is the foundation for feeling well. Each time you eat, think of it as a opportunity to nourish your good cells. Nourish, refuel, replenish.
Creating Healthy Postpartum Sleep Habits
As a mom of a newborn or kids of any age, you know the definition of sleep deprivation. Although you can’t control everything, you can control your sleep routine, and that alone will have a significant impact on both you and baby.
Establishing a healthy routine for you to establish in order to create the best possible outcome for you to achieve a great night (or afternoon!) of sleep.
- Sleep when baby sleeps. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes, a little rest can go a long way and will help to revive your system.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Establish a healthy routine between shifts (nighttime and daytime) and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Raising a child takes a village. Embrace it and flourish in this moment.
- Power down at least an hour before bed. Try to go to bed at a set time every night. Dim your room, bring in your aromatherapy, play relaxing music, read, and just relax. No electronics. Let your body and mind naturally unwind.
- Aromatherapy can be naturally relaxing or stimulating… depending upon what you need. Aromatherapy stimulates the olfactory system. Herbs like lavender can help calm your mind and body, while rejuvenating scents like peppermint + eucalyptus can gently awaken and focus the body.
Spiritual Health After Baby
Another key factor in maintaining overall health and vitality is spiritual health. Make sure you’re taking time each day, whether it’s early in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the evening, to get quiet.
Just 5 minutes without noise or distractions (maybe while your little is sleeping!) to tune in and connect is so important for mental clarity and spiritual balance.
Be patient with yourself (and your family members). Adjusting to life with a new baby can be challenging, but the key is becoming aware of how short this time is in the long run. The days that can be all-consuming will soon be a memory. So relax, breathe, and embrace the opportunity to meditate wherever you are.
Social and Emotional Health After Baby
Taking care of yourself both socially and emotionally is crucial for living well, especially during the postnatal period. With hormones trying to regulate and major lifestyle changes, it’s more important now than ever to stay connected and plugged into the community and your support system.
Create this space – every week – even if you don’t feel like it. Connect with other mothers, find social media groups that spark your interest, go on a romantic date with your spouse, have a girls’ night, get your nails done, go to the spa, take a bubble bath… the list is endless. Find what’s meaningful to you and make an effort every week to tap into this magical component of holistic wellbeing.
When you implement these practices, nourishing the mind-body-soul connection, you can truly blossom from the inside, out. Remember, in order to best serve others, you must first take care of yourself. Release any feelings of guilt and embrace the fact that when you truly care and nourish your body from a holistic approach, you will be equipped with the skills and mindset you need to live, love, and serve.