Postpartum depressions are hard to overcome. It takes lots of work and dedication to heal. This post is about healing postpartum depression in a holistic way. To take care of your body is always important but after giving birth it’s necessary to tend to your body, mind and soul to recover and to stay healthy.
There are many ways to keep yourself healthy and not just your body, but also the mind and soul. To grow a baby and give birth asks a lot of your body. To take the time to recover is crucial but there are some holistic methods to aid to your recover so you have more time to spend with your baby.
Sounds like a no-brainer but it’s so easy to fall back into unhealthy fast food when you’re exhausted. As I mentioned in the blog about the fourth trimester is so important to be prepared. Especially when you’re breastfeeding you need to make sure you are eating enough nutritious foods.
- Drink a lot of water! Drink a glass each time your baby drinks, breast or bottle, it’s important mommy keeps hydrated too!
- Lactations bars are easy to make and will help you to increase your production, click here for a gluten free bar or here for no-bake protein bars
- Eat lots of vegetables! If you have a hard time eating them, you can add some extra veggies to your diet by making green smoothies
- Have smoothie bags prepared in your freezer for easy healthy snacks. Read here how to make them easily.
- Try to avoid processed food and sugars. They spike your blood sugar first after crashing down, making you feel down and powerless.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just because you should avoid sugars doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself every once in awhile.
- Try not to focus on losing weight, you should focus on staying healthy
Yoga doesn’t mean you should get on your mat and do a full 60 minute practice. Yoga is so much more than the time you spend on the mat. It’s a spiritual practice to bring you closer to yourself. After birth your body has changed and your view on the world might have changed too. To come back to your center can bring you a lot of peace.
- While the baby is drinking, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Put your phone away and be conscious of the moment.
- If your doctor approves you can start some gentle yoga. Take that moment for yourself.
- Yoga will help you to connect with your intuition so that you’ll feel more confident
- Are you afraid to stay still? Take baby steps. When you feel overwhelmed by just being by yourself and your thoughts, only practice (physical or just meditation) for a few minutes. See if you can slowly build it up.
- It’s also a great way to connect with your baby during yoga. Simply lay him/her on the mat or right next to you. Even if you’re just stretching the spine and doing some small movements, it creates a bond. And when they’re a little bit older they can join your practice!
Our sense of smell is very prominent for our emotions. A smell of a flower or food can bring us instantly back to a memory. Aromatherapy can be used to uplift, calm or balance your emotions. You can simple diffuse an oil, put a bit on your hands and breathe it in, apply it on the bottom of your feet or make your own body wash (it’s not a hard as it sounds!). The list below shows my favorite oils to use for emotional support.
- Clary Sage — My favorite when it comes to calming and balancing. It’s a very grounding oil that helps a lot with releasing anger and frustration. Don’t use during pregnancy as it might induce labor.
- Lavender — The queen of tranquility, lavender is widely known for its relaxing properties. It’s a very comforting and it helps to clear the mind. Diffuse some lavender in the room with the baby for a peaceful sleep.
- Citrus Oils – Wild Orange/Grapefruit/Bergamot/Lemon — All of these oils have an uplifting effect on your emotions. When you feel down or tired these oils will energize you. Put some drops in your hands or diffuse it in the morning for a energizing start of the day. Side note; don’t use these oils too much near the baby because it might irritate the little one.
- Fennel — This oil is great for improving lactation for nursing moms. Put a few drops on your hands, mix it with some fractionated coconut oil and rub in on the chest area (avoid the nipples, babies don’t like fennel!)
- Frankincense — The King of the oils (used by the Egyptians) because of its powerful properties. This list is endless but after childbirth you can put some drops at the bottom of the feet which will help to boost your immune system. It also helps you to breathe deeper which helps you to calm down. It gives you clarity, helps to center yourself and quiet your thoughts.
The list goes on and on but these were my favorite ones. Find out more about aromatherapy here.
Self-care should always be on your priority list but after giving birth you should have it even higher. Sleep deprivation, changing hormones, changed family dynamic (whether it’s your first, second or third baby, it changes!) and changed body can make it harder to care for yourself.
Remember, the better you take care of yourself, the better you can care of others!
Have you had a postpartum depression or know someone who does? An open dialogue about it is so important! Reach out to people who love you, or reach out to that mother who’s having a hard time.
Disclaimer; I’m not a medical professional and I can only speak from my own experience. Always consult with your doctor whether you can start with a physical practice! Do you think you have a postpartum depression? Reach out for help and support! Whether that is professional help or in the form of friends and family, you don’t have to go through this by yourself!