20+ Ways to Calm Your Mind in Pregnancy & Postpartum
Several times each year, I have the opportunity to teach pregnant families about the tools, tips, practices and life skills they will want to embody for their very best postpartum and life. Yes, I said “life.” Rarely spoken of in Western culture is the fact that the rest of your adult life will be deeply impacted by your postpartum experience. It’s something that postpartum traditions around the world have held onto; and, it’s something that has fallen between the cracks in the United States. We know this because we recently wrote an article about the declining maternal health rates across the country. The statistics nor our bodies, minds, children or lives lie, dear friend.
Fortunately, facts like these propel your doulas forward in why they serve – and how they do, too.
On this note, has your doula given you any ways to embody a better pregnancy or postpartum yet?
Read on as we explore how of you can occupy this tender space with strategies that increase your calm in pregnancy and postpartum.
Getting rid of unrealistic expectations
The number one reason why postpartum mothers, birthing people and partners struggle in postpartum (beyond missing traditions) is unrealistic expectations. I can tell you that after over a decade of working with postpartum people, from yoga classes and recovery groups to life coaching and Ayurvedic doula care, this is one of the greatest impacts on our collective postpartum wellness and/or lack thereof. Inappropriate expectations for pregnancy, birth, postpartum and parenting results in our undoing here, often. Let me clear something up for you right now…
If you think pregnancy is tough (and for some, it really is) – postpartum needs an even wider, deeper and more highly-specialized support system than any other season of your life. Including your pregnancy.
Postpartum requires a level of love, compassion, community and care that most (if not all) of us have never experienced before!
And, you can be okay here. Truly! Today we’ll focus on some simple strategies to increase your calm in pregnancy and postpartum. While we want you to be surrounded by all of the above (love, compassion, community and care), we also want you to have tools in your toolbox regardless of circumstance.
20+ ways to increase your calm
The following tools, tips and practices are shared from a traditional lens. Feel free to print this page out and hang it on the fridge!
- Avoid looking at your phone for the first hour of your day
- Try EFT or tapping
- Swap your coffee for tea
- Listen to a pregnancy meditation, baroque period or 432 Hertz music
- Create new thought patterns by using affirmations or mantras, and
- Consider acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractics or another form of body-based care (including somatic therapy)
Since postpartum is forever (our bodies change so much in ways you can’t even see!) we have a longer list for you,
- Eat warm foods with healthy fat and spices
- Practice the art of making tea
- Wear warm fuzzy socks to keep the heat in your body
- Use abahynga or self-massage to oil your body (in Ayurveda oil is love)
- Take a sitz bath or an herbal bath
- Stand on the earth, preferably in grass
- Hum or practice bumblebee’s breath
- Turn off social media and the news
- Connect with someone safe, family, friend or therapist/counselor to talk about what’s on your mind
- Hug yourself
- Ask for a hug from someone you love
- Pet a dog/cat
- Turn off the doorbell
- Go for a walk
- List your gratitude
- Recreate the womb environment in your bedroom
- Avoid bright lights, loud noises and too much peopling/advice
If certain ideas resonate most for you, feel free to star or circle these. It is so important to listen to your innate wisdom in pregnancy, postpartum and life.
You’ll thank yourself later.
Jennifer & Your Cherry Blossom Postpartum Doulas
Jennifer Magnano is a mother, writer and Ayurvedic postpartum (doula) specialist. Working for the betterment of mothering and caregiving bodies, she honors the wild, holy work of our Becoming as VP & Director of Postpartum Care with Cherry Blossom Doula Services in Arizona and as founder of a global collaborative called The Postpartum Institute. With personal experience of the chaos and complexity to exist throughout the caregiving years, Jennifer’s ongoing work is that humanity knows peace. The kind that begins within and echoes throughout generations to come.
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.