Brand Spotlight - Postpartum Chat with Charlotte Sternkind
You’ve likely spent a lot of time planning your birthing and maybe have even hired a birth doula to support you and partner through this intense journey. Hopefully this major life event will take less than a day and will be filled with joy as you hold your precious baby in your arms.
Especially if this is your first baby, your postpartum time will be full of new changes:
- altered sleep schedules
- breast or chestfeeding pumped breastmilk or formula on a erratic schedule designed by your baby’s hunger
- new aches post-birthing or engorgement as your breasts learn how to make milk and feed or be pumped
- your own hunger will likely grow
- your body looks and feels different
- emotional swings are likely especially around day 4-5 when the birthing hormones suddenly subside or when any major pattern shifts like partner or you going back to work
We generally consider this time that we call the Sacred Window to be the first 6 weeks (8 or more if you birthed by Caesarean).
Do you have a village? That’s your strong support team besides your partner who would be willing to cook, do laundry, clean up the home, do some grocery shopping or for siblings-arrange playdates or pick up older children. It’s great planning to have a list of everything you do, then ask for support and see who else can help.
If you can’t have family and friends in due to the pandemic or are simply new to your city, it’s ideal to have a postpartum doula to help you navigate these many changes and support this transitional time. Western style postpartum doulas will likely help with all the previously mentioned tasks and also have a specialized skill set of what is common in postpartum, breastfeeding and pumping support, and what concerns need to be referred up to your or baby’s medical caregivers. More specialized postpartum doulas, that have supportive skills focused on returning the birthing parent back to health such as restorative cooking and bodywork are also avilable. In the Center for Sacred Windows where I and my colleagues teach Conscious Postpartum Caregivers, we view the postpartum time through the Ayurvedic lens and have trained many caregivers across the United States, Europe, and Australia-some are even willing to travel to you.
Properly prepared food can be restorative to your body. Maybe you’ve filled the freezer with lovely foods you have made ahead. In Ayurveda-the Indian system as applied to life-we recognize that freshly cooked foods carry the most life force and healing energy. Furthermore, many new parents want to return to their pre-pregnancy shape as quickly as possible and begin a restrictive food plan too soon. Your baby is growing brain cells and their only food source may be you! We know the brain needs healthy fats to grow and also that low blood lipids (fats) are implicated in postpartum depression. Besides oils, good fat sources can also be found in avocados, nut butters, and the Almond Herbal snack depicted. If you birthed via the birth canal, eat about a pound of good quality fats a week. If you birthed by Caesarean, limit the fat intake to your regular amount until your suture is fully healed and not leaking (usually about 10-14 days).
Your body will likely be feeling different. Even the best pregnancy can possibly deplete the birther. Ayurveda focuses on two types of bodywork that are rejuvenative. Very oily light massage with organic sesame oil replenishes the skin and deeper tissues including the nervous system and reproductive system. Marma or Indian acupressure supports the body that birthed by Caesarean or when the emotions are really rough. We also support the family in bonding to the new baby by teaching infant massage.
Postpartum clothing needs to be non-binding. The products on this website are ideal for supporting that changing body. To frame it in a Western perspective, when the uterus has birthed, the area lies empty. Emptiness likes to be lightly contained with a belly binder like the Support Waist Trainer. In Ayurveda we say that emptiness-the air/ether quality-rises and can result in emotional or mental instability if those qualities reach the heart or mind. Similarly, bras need to be supportive yet easy to breastfeed or pump in ideally without underwires that can inhibit flow to and from the breast.
You deserve to be heard, you deserve to be treated like the powerful woman you are who needs a little more support during this precious time. Gentleness, simplicity, flexibility, compassion, non-judgement, empowering your intuition, and deep listening are qualities that nurture and promote healing.
This is where you can find an Ayurvedic postpartum doula. Find out more, Like and post an inquiry on https://www.facebook.com/AyurvedaForPostpartum, or contact us at http://www.sacredwindowstudies.com/ We have a worldwide listing of doulas that can serve you well. If you’re more Do-It-Yourself minded, the Center for Sacred Window Studies created this course written for parents during the pandemic when we were all unsure of how to serve in a healthy manner. https://sacredwindowstudies.teachable.com/p/diy-ayurvedic-postpartum-care-for-expecting-parents