The joy of being a mother is filled with excitement, fear and anxiety. In the middle of attending to the little one, postpartum care often takes a backseat for the mother. Ayurvedic texts has great wisdom to draw upon healing tips during the postpartum period of a mother. Since pregnancy leave a void in the body that increases Vata Dosha in young mothers, it is crucial that she gets adequate rest, love and care during the first few week of birthing.
Ayurveda believes in three doshas, or life force energies – Vata, Pitta and Kapha, derived from the five elements of nature. Vata is space and air, Pitta is fire and water and Kapha is earth and water. Each person naturally leans toward one dosha that affects their body type, health and temperament. When a child is born, the Vata in the body increases because of loss of fluids and blood, now empty abdomen and reduced energy levels. This often creates an imbalance in the body leading to postpartum anxiety.
Here are simple ways to counter Vata, that will help new mothers heal fast and set them on a healthy path.
1. Adequate rest
Ayurveda recommends that the first 42days must focus on healing by adequate rest, care and bonding with your new-born. It helps to balance the Vata, restores the reproductive tissues and boosts lactation channels. Besides, it also helps the mother and child settle down with each other. Setting aside this time after birthing helps new mothers deal with postpartum depression better. If the body doesn’t get adequate time to heal, mothers are often unable to bond with their new born.
2. Postpartum Nutrition
Since increased Vata in the body leads to compromised digestive fire, it is important to fuel the body with adequate nutrition. These are foods that are easy to digest so that the body has maximum energy to perform its primary functions. Have warm and comfort foods like soups, broths and root vegetables. Add ghee to your diet while you are lactating. Increasing your bodies intake of healthy fats is vital to a good recovery. Good quality fats are important to balancing hormones. Vata requires fat to return to balance. Spices such as black pepper, cumin and ginger has healing properties that must be added to your meals. Avoid raw foods, salads and cold meals.
3. Integrate relaxation practices in to your daily routine
As a new mother, your daily schedule will drastically change while tending to your new-born’s rapidly changing needs. However busy the day get; moments of self-care are a must. It could be stretching your body for ten minutes, breathing exercises, meditate quietly or take short naps. This will restore your sense of order and body balance leaving you more energetic, restful and grounded.
4. Oil Massages
Babies and mother need oil massages to balance out Vata in the body. Massage oil is nourishing that strengthens body muscles and also add heat and flexibility to the body tissues. A daily massage with plenty of warm oil for both mother and baby works wonders for the overall body wellness. If you have someone to help you post-delivery, then set a daily massage routine.
5. Enough physical rest –
Adequate sleep is a simple way to calm Vata. A good sleep helps new mums through postpartum anxiety phase. It supports the immune system, memory, metabolism and mood, amongst other vital functions. Even with a new born in tow, sleep as much as you can.
There is no amount of preparation that can support your postpartum uncertainties. But this is a period of healing. Be kind and gentle to yourself. If you feel low or anxious, get in touch with your healthcare provider to discuss your concerns. Motherhood can be intense and overwhelming but right postpartum care and nourishment can support you through this journey.