Postpartum is a mix of many feelings and emotions. When you give birth, you not only bring a new soul into the world but you also birth a new person in yourself. There may be a normal phase of getting lost but if you have the right support, you can feel so empowered - helping you to find your voice back and be able to heal better.
Jazmin Turley, a birth and postpartum doula, believes that the postpartum process depends on each person individually. One of the biggest obstacle for preparing for your postpartum period in your healing is the belief system that society have put on us. Most of the time, we feel ashamed of asking for help because we think it's extravagant or luxurious and sometimes makes us feel kind of greedy. Jazmin believes that the biggest way of preparing for your postpartum is acceptance of receiving help from others.
To help you have a smoother postpartum process, Jazmin suggests:
- Finding a support system. If you're noticing that you're having anxiety or depression, speak to your partner if you have one, your mother if you have one, and work as a team. Find mental health specialists like a doula or a Cuarentena, if you need to. It would also help to let your friends know.
- Seeking help from others. A lot of us are uncomfortable with voicing our needs and sitting in the spotlight in this way. Realizing that it's a gift and the natural order of things not as an indulgence because this is just part of the process. Seek people that could cook for you or help you clean the house, or could look after you baby for you to have that 15 minutes for yourself.
Helping Your Body Heal Physically
When you give birth, you’ll lost a lot of blood and you need to heal internally. Your placenta which is like the size of a plate on your belly, will detach. If you have an external injury that big, you would be put on bed rest but because it’s internal, a lot of us don't see it and fail to acknowledge that our bodies need to heal especially where the placenta and the baby was.
Social media also adds some false belief where you would see a lot of moms just bouncing back right after giving birth. A lot of people often forget how their body need some time to rest because internally, their organs need time to recover to be able to function normally again. It is so important to know that the physical health impacts everything else. Jazmin shares five essentials of postpartum healing that she honors on her Cuarentena practices to help your body heal physically.
- Retreat. Staying close to home and for the mom to think that she’s kind of in a babymoon inside her home. If people want to see you, they should visit you at home.
- Warmth. This is the biggest thing for physical healing because warmth creates circulation in your blood which helps promote healing physically. This may be keeping yourself warm lighting candles or having ancestral baths, and by taking foods that are warm and easy to digest.
- Support system. Having a good support system can help you have a smoother postpartum. We need to be able to articulate and express effectively what we need with a good group of people, whether it be family, friends or a support group with other moms.
- Rest. Create a condition where even though you're waking up a lot at night to feed the baby, try to figure out ways of creating the utmost rest especially during the day. Take turns with your partner or consider having some help from other people so you can rest and relax.
- Ritual. Honor the significance and the sacredness of this time. On Jazmin’s Cuarentena practices, they nourish and hold space for the new mom to help her heal physically. This also includes having an ancestral herbal bath to warm the mother and aligning her with the Closing of the Bones ceremony.
Having soft, warm and nutritious food for the moms especially during the first few weeks of postpartum would greatly help as well. Some of Jazmin’s go-to’s are a nice warm Atole, the oatmeal helps with breastfeeding and the piloncillo helps regulate the blood sugar, bone broth and chicken noodle soup. She recommends having some broth first, then the meat and the noodles the following week, slowly building off of that to make sure that you are taking foods that are going to heal your body and help with digestion.
Helping Your Body Heal Spiritually
Jazmin shares the traditional belief in Latin America that when a woman gives birth, her soul leaves her body to make room for the new soul to enter the earth. It is important to encourage moms to feel welcomed and to help soul come back to herself. Here are some great recommendations to help moms heal spiritually.
- On Jazmin’s Cuarentena practice, she prepares the space and set the mood in the home by using low light settings and a lot of soft plants and candles. She would also keep the home warm by lighting palo santo, sage, and copal or just having some candles and heaters to create that space of comfort. Once you feel comfortable and born and taken care of, that hold space for you to tune into yourself spiritually and know that like you're safe and that it's like non biased and that you're going to be taken care of.
- There are also oils like palo santo oil, jojoba oil, and clary sage that can be anointed to the mother and just massaging it on her feet, her hands or her womb letting her feel that her body is a goddess and is an amazing vessel that just brought new life not only for her baby but for herself.
- You can also do postpartum baths and filling it with beautiful herbs and plants to create space and showing her that she's sacred.
- Jazmin also do the Closing of the Bones ceremony and Reiki on the mother to help her not only aligning physically but also energetically and spiritually.
- A lot of prayers and meditations could definitely help, too.
Jazmin also encourages moms that it's okay to do very little. Especially the first 40 days, your focus solely should be on bonding and getting to know your new baby and yourself, and know that just doing those things alone is abundantly enough and it's not too little. Give yourself space to accept that and to honor that space.
Some of the other resources Jazmin talked about are:
- The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Johnson
- The First 40 Days by Heng Ou
- Guide to Pregnancy & Birth, an eBook by Jazmin Turley
To know more about Jazmin and to grab a copy of her eBook, you can reach her thru Instagram, @wombxnco; or thru Postpartum Revolution @thepostpartumrevolution, an events and conference community she co-manage in Utah.
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