The Importance of Rest in Postpartum Care
Over the weekend I started a four month immersion course called Yin Sanctuary and it really reminded me of the importance of rest in postpartum care.
The course is all about learning ancient wisdom, herbal medicine and ancestral traditional ways of postpartum care from the elders.
The day started with learning how to cook a Ayurvedic Meal for lunch which was put in the slow cooker, filled with vegetables and herbs. Then we learnt a traditional Japanese breakfast which consisted of miso soup and egg whilst layered in the most beautiful herbs.
It was incredible to learn new ways that I never knew existed.
Our very first speaker was matriarchal elder from Kombumerri land…. Cherie.
We started by giving thanks to the land and we got to listen some traditional aboriginal songs.
We heard about the ways that they have given birth in the creek on the Gold Coast that they call in for their traditional Birthing Waters. It was such an amazing experience and I felt so honoured to be part of this and learn.
One of the most important factors of postpartum recovery is rest. This allows your body to heal on its own.
Let’s be honest, the female body is phenomenal. Women’s bodies can create life, house them, grow them and give birth in whichever way baby may arrive .
If we truly take a moment to think about the fact that your body has grown a human inside of you, it’s magical!
Whilst growing a baby, the body enables stretching of the ligaments and structural base of the womb. If you birth a baby naturally, your cervix open for baby to arrive and once baby has arrived within seconds the cervix closes back down again…. this is simply magical.
Here is a photo showing the sizing of the womb. After baby has arrived, the womb is still between 1kg to 1.5 kg, so with that much added weight inside your body, rest is even more important.
Your body goes through a lot of work in those nine months and we need to allow it to simply rest once your baby has arrived.
Rest will allow your body to heal by itself in time, so if you can try to rest for three weeks postpartum.
My advice is to start organising your postpartum plan whilst you are pregnant. Arrange some support to look after your other children, organise who will cook food and bring it to you and do the cleaning and the laundry.
We truly need to honour our body and give it time to heal.
During the rest phase, you’re also creating a bond with your baby which is so incredibly special and also needed for your baby’s social and developmental skills later in life.
Bonding and attachment is vital for both mama and baby’s wellness, physically and mentally.
So while you get to heal and be with your baby in bed for those three weeks you’re also creating the foundation for your baby at the same time.
The saying ‘it takes a village‘ is so true.
Pregnancy, birth and postpartum is such a sacred journey and we should honour it in the simplest yet most effective way…… with rest.
You might also like to read Your Holistic Postnatal Recovery Checklist.
Maternal Bodywork Specialist