How to Heal Your Body After Birth
Did you know that dietary shifts in the first month (plus) postpartum in Asia are clinically proven to make an impact on maternal mental health?
What you consume postpartum, matters.
Here at Cherry Blossom, Ayurveda is the system of natural healing (dating back over 5000 years!) that we consider when we apply Asian medicine to the postpartum space. Originating in India, Ayurveda or the whole-body science of life, helped form Ancient Chinese, Greek and Tibetan Medicine. It’s wisdom has a wealth of emphasis on how to care for women and caregivers specifically during pregnancy, labor, birth and the first year postpartum.
Backed by Western Science, we actually have factual evidence of the following –
“Independent of ethnicity, adherence to the Traditional-Indian-Confinement diet that is characterized by intake of herbs and legumes, and Soup-Vegetables-Fruits diet high in fruits, vegetables and fish during the postpartum period were associated with less PPD and PPA symptoms, respectively.”– Prospective Associations of Maternal Dietary Patterns and Postpartum Mental Health in a Multi-Ethnic Asian Cohort, NIH
What this means is that an Ayurvedic approach to eating can support motherhood and postpartum spaces regardless of the persons traditions, cultures, and beliefs! It’s something that we stand by as an absolute truth – as we’ve seen food fuel lives time and again.
Gut health is mental health.
Collectively and globally, we know that somewhere around 85% of women experience some variation of mood swings, crying, weepiness, impatience with breastfeeding or other care, guilt for having these feelings or overwhelm, irritability and/or sadness – the cause which can be attributed to a large drop in hormones which occurs following the birth of the placenta.
Eating for mental health makes a radical difference because almost all of the serotonin (e.g. happy hormones) we utilize to feel good originate in the gut. And, the right foods feed the microbiome within your gut allowing serotonin to thrive!
How to eat to energize and fuel your healing body.
Often we get asked two questions:
- Do you prepare meals for moms/families? And to this we get to answer with a great big YES! and,
- Do I have to follow the specific meals within your guidance? To which we answer yes… and no.
Our team is passionate about creating nourishing meals for mothers and families. We provide meal planning, preparation, and cleanup in your home, which takes the weight off of your shoulders – and those who want to support you through food, but might not know how.
We have a wealth of incredible recipe options from our 42 Day Recipe Guide; and you do have quite a bit of say in what kind of meals we prepare. With one requirement – these food must be prepared from an Ayurvedic lens so that we can truly support your gut health and healing. It’s why we do what we do!
What to remember when eating postpartum.
When choosing a postpartum meal, you will want the following qualities present
- The food must be warm and warming – meaning, properly spiced
- The food must be moist (with greater moisture needed immediately post-birth)
- The food must have healthy fats to aid in digestion – think sesame oil, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and ghee; and
- The food must be eaten in small, frequent quantities
The preparation and the consumption of postpartum meals matters. So your food is cooked slowly and it is eaten slowly – preferably in a calm environment when possible.
One last note about postpartum eating.
Many mothers are eating for two (or more) post-birth. This means how you eat can encourage a healthy milk supply; and it can prevent your body from experiencing nutrient deficits. In Ayurvedic medicine, we explain this by advising our families that the first 42 days are equal to the next 42 years. If you can take this time to tend to your body, your body and your mind will thank you for years and years to come.
Questions about your journey?
Reach out to learn more about Ayurvedic postpartum support, including meal prep and womb care services.
Hi! I’m Alyssa Leon. I lead Cherry Blossom Doula Services, LLC – an inclusive birth + postpartum doula team in Arizona; and mentor doulas in Arizona and beyond.