my postpartum must haves.
The first two weeks of the postpartum period are incredible. They are on of the most emotionally, physically, and spiritually intense times in a woman’s life. I remember exactly what it was like in those first weeks. Although it was a blur, there was a certain feeling that clung to me. How often do you experience groundbreaking evolution in your life, that painfully and magically takes your breath away?
The biggest hurdle is often dealing with your postpartum body. You’ve just delivered a baby, and yet you’re looking longingly at other moms, wondering how they got to the 2, 4, 6 week mark…wondering how they are now raising toddlers, teenagers. Sometimes it feels like this stage will last forever. Energy levels can be low, blood is still flowing, wounds are healing, some things sting, some things ache, some things throb. Some things gush milk at an alarming rate. I quickly found out what brought me the most relief and I’d love to share.
1. Witch hazel: This is a wonderful healer, and can instantly soothe wounds with it’s cooling, healing qualities. Add it to your peri squeeze bottle, or drizzle some on an organic cotton overnight pad with some water, and toss it in the freezer until frozen. It’s much nicer than an ice pack.
2. Perineal Wash (postpartum poultice): I purchased mine from Gaia Gardens. It’s made up of Plantain, Comfrey leaf, Comfrey root, Rosemary, Thyme, Yarrow, and Calendula. I brewed many batches and left a large mason jar on the back of the toilet. A couple times a day I’d use the wash, with some witch hazel in the squeeze bottle (I’m not explaining this…you know, once you’ve given birth!) to promote healing. The silliest thing I did was add a few heaping handfuls to my bath. I didn’t even think to use some cheesecloth and make a tea bag for the bath. Nope, I just let the thousands of petals and leaves float all around me. And then, once I began draining the tub, I realized my idiotic mistake. It took me 45 minutes to clean out the tub, and then, I realized I had caked on leaves stuck to my back, which I sprinkled all over the house. What a nightmare. Use cheesecloth.
3. American Biotech Labs Silver Biotics: My mum sells this stuff, so I have a big bottle at home. I used it everyday in the squeeze bottle. This stuff is amazing and can be used internally and externally. This isn’t collodial silver but a “patented nano-silver particles suspended in a medium of highly purified water.” I just take it. Thanks mum.
4. A few hearty meals that will blow your face off: Thanks to my amazing mother who can cook up a storm and saute a bunch of wilted kale in coconut oil goodness, and then drench it in lemon juice and Lord knows what else, but let me just say, it was heavenly (so was the paprika crusted tilapia, oh man). And thanks to my incredible husband who came out of the woodworks in the first few weeks postpartum and cooked the most delicious chili I have ever eaten. There was even chocolate in it. He makes better chili than I do, although I’ve only ever made vegan cocoa coconut chili. His recipe is better, although, I’m sure mine was 100 times healthier. I don’t know what was in it, but it was topped with greek yogurt, green onions and shredded cheddar, and I felt as though I would weep with thanksgiving. The first few meals after baby comes can really change your life, especially if you have zero appetite like I did during pregnancy. Also, stock up on great coffee and luscious cream (because now you can drink it in your morning joe—even if you don’t like it, do it!)
5. And finally, to get you lactating as soon as possible, have a cup of lactogenic chai (caffeine free) and take advantage of essential oils (particularly clary sage and geranium)
Mama’s Milky Chai: The night before my milk came in, I threw together a little concoction of lactogenic spices and other goodies:
- 2 cups of almond milk (but you could use oat milk if you really want to get serious)
- 1 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp blackstrap molasses
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for a good 15 minutes. Strain and drink. You will smell like maple syrup, thanks to the fenugreek, but the drink itself is rather delicious and creamy, although it has some bite!
Clary Sage or Geranium Rub for bringing in the milk:
Put a teaspoon of organic olive oil in your palm and 10-15 drops of clary sage OR geranium. Don’t mix the oils, just choose one. Massage in a downwards motion on your breasts, making sure to go under and in between each one. Do this right after baby feeds. Wash off before baby feeds again. You can do this for a few days. I did it once, and my milk came in that afternoon.
Enjoy the postpartum!