On December 13th I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, and I wanted to share my recovery tricks with you. This time around I was very lucky to have a nice and quick labour without any pain relief and this; while wildly out of my control, certainly made my recovery easier, there were also some herbs that helped me to heal, regain my strength and be able to care for my new little bundle of love more easily.
Its important to remember that physically you have the whole pregnancy to recover from as well as the marathon of giving birth so its very important to nourish your body as you just literally grew a human who will have taken everything they need to be healthy from your reserves (amazing!!) and in all truth if you are breastfeeding you still are growing them and your body gives baby priority over you. It can also be very hard to eat properly, often we reach for snack foods during these early days of parenting and they generally aren't the most nutritious items so I love to drink this tea which is loaded with nutrients and also full of healing properties to encourage your body to return to its new equilibrium. When I say new equilibrium we also have to remember that our bodies will be adjusting to a new sleeping pattern which could be mistaken for a torturous sleep deprivation technique and also for those who choose to breastfeed; your hormones will remain a little more out of wack until the time comes when baby weans. Breastfeeding is serious business and takes alot of energy to do; you actually need more calories then when you are pregnant 500-600 extra per day and you need to drink lots and lots of water. I find that including at least a quart of infusion/tea per day to be extra helpful to give you the nutrients you and your baby need as well as keep hydrated.
The tea that I have been drinking is made of Nettles, Raspberry Leaves, Oatstraw, Fenugreek, Fennel, Yarrow, Comfrey and a tiny bit of Lavender and here is why:
Nettles are a nutritional powerhouse; full of calcium and are the highest source of absorbable iron in plant form; they are also full of Vitamin A, K, Chlorophyll and many other trace minerals. Nettles are basically a multivitamin! They enrich the blood, nourish the nervous system, cleanse and aid in liver function, nourish the adrenals, work as a tonic for the endocrine glands, help keep blood sugar levels even and help to balance all of the bodIes systems while helping it to deal with stress. All of these reasos make it a great herb for new and expecting moms and for helping to create nutritious beast milk.
Raspberry Leaves are full of calcium, magnesium, potassium, Iron, Vitamin C and B vitamins helping to cleanse and remineralize the body. They are particularly beneficial to women as they also tone the reproductive organs and the uterus during pregnancy. They also help to increase and enrich a nursing mothers milk. It can also help if your are experiencing any lingering leg cramps and to improve sleep quality.
Oatstraw is very nourishing to your body and is particularily high in Calcium. It also helps to nourish your nervous system which can be a little shotty after giving birth and if you are experiencing sleep deprivation and new Momma stress - lets face it we all get Momma bear syndrome and worry about our little humans!
Fenugreek contains protein, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, and diosgenin (which is a compound that has properties similar to estrogen). While Fenugreek can help to increase libido and help with PMS and Menopause symptoms I chose to add it to the tea as it has been shown to help increase breast milk production by up to 500% within 24 hours of consumption.
Fennel Seeds are also known to help boost milk supply. It is also a great herb to aid in digestion and relive tummy issues, which you may not be experiencing as much your baby might be. They have a much harder time relieving gas then we do which is why they need our help with burping etc. Fennel is the main herbal component of Gripe Water and if we drink this in our tea it will transfer to our milk supply thereby aiding our babies tummies to be gas free and comfortable. Happy Babies equal happy Mommas, plus it adds a nice liquoricy flavor.
Comfrey is a cell regenerator and after a massive body change we want all the help we can get in order to bounce back into shape both inside and out. This herb helps to promote healing in a very speedy manner.
Yarrow can help in the healing process in several ways, it helps to reduce the effects of cramping, it is an antiinflammatory and it helps to promote your body to stop bleeding. It can also help to promote physical relaxation.
Lavender is a gentle nerve tonic helping to promote relaxation. Often we can get quite wound up from the demands of caring for a newborn, it is a huge change and responsibility and for some the worry can interfere with self care and sleep. The lavender helps to soothe our nerves and allows us to relax.
Here is a picture of the handsome man that has me wrapped in a newborn bubble of no sleep, no showers and complete love: