40 Days Postpartum
In Ayurvedic there’s a saying that goes, “Forty Days for Forty Years.” Essentially, this means that what the new mother does during her first 40 days postpartum will define the next 40 years of her life, specifically her health. That’s why the first 40 days postpartum are considered to be the fourth trimester. What you do during this time can have an impact on your health and your bond with your baby.
The moment your newborn leaves your womb, the two of you start on a new journey together. This is as much of an adjustment for new mom as it is for baby. Your body must now start to heal from the physical traumas of pregnancy and delivery, and your baby is adjusting to the world around them as they learn and grow.
But as much as it is your priority to care for your baby, you must also need to care for yourself. This means minimising the stress surrounding you and tuning out all other obligations other than those that accompany your newborn.
This is the foundation of the 4th trimester. Modern society seems to have forgotten the ancient Ayurvedic principles that focus on the mother’s recovery and baby’s care equally. Mothers of newborns are tired and may struggle with hormonal mood swings and breastfeeding. Embracing the fourth trimester can help to build confidence and reduce stress for new life with your little one.
How to manage 40 days –
In Ayurvedic medicine, the 40-day postpartum recovery includes a few basic, helpful activities that prioritise self care:
• Rest, rest and rest
New mothers and babies are advised to rest at home for 40 days or six weeks to avoid coming in contact with external energies that may influence the well-being and health of the mother and baby. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, and errands can be handed off to someone else during postpartum recovery. This allows mum to sleep when the baby sleeps and allow her body to use its resources to heal.
• Cover the ears & feet, and keep warm
The ears are regarded as an entry point for air to enter the body. To prevent an imbalance of the vata,new mothers (and babies) are advised to plug their ears with cotton. Keeping feet warm can also help balance vata.
• Revitalize the digestive system with Warm Foods
Foods are rich in ghee to promote digestion, keep energy levels high and to ensure stools are soft. Foods are also rich in herbs and spices that expel gas and support lactation. For example, black pepper and ginger are preferred spices among some, and most avoid chilies. Warm foods like soups, roasted veggies, and oatmeals are comforting. You need to eat enough calories to produce milk for your baby and fuel your body with nutrients that will promote healing. In Ayurvedic health, Kitchari is a go-to dish for new mothers for nutrient-rich flavors.
Snacks like nuts, ghee-rich laddoos, protein-rich foxnuts, and nut-based halwas (an Indian sweet dish) are typically kept at hand for new mothers to munch on throughout the day. According to Ayurveda, a mother’s diet influences the quality of milk and health of the baby.
• Stay hydrated with spiced Lactation Teas
Ayurvedic spices and herbs are chosen to stimulate milk production, promote warmth and support the digestive system. Our Motherhood blend of tea is ideal for lactation while also supporting physical recovery, mood, and immunity. Breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to sip on warm water and drink warm teas to stay hydrated. The teas are typically a concoction of galactogogues (herbs that stimulate milk production) which also tend to aid in digestion, such as methi (fenugreek seeds), saunf (fennel), jeera (cumin), ajwain (caraway) and Shatavari. These herbs and spices can be added to food as well.
Turmeric milk (Golden Milk), often mixed with ginger, is frequently consumed too. Ayurveda also recommends dashamoola tea, which is made with 10 roots and helps in removing excess vata from body and regain strength and vitality.
• Massage your self or have someone massage you daily with Vata oil
Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage is one of the best tools for anyone to ground and restore balance to the Vata dosha. After child birth the open space in the body creates vata disturbance. When you are in the midst of the postpartum stage and experiencing the effects of Vata, a loving self-massage each morning or evening will help you stay healthy and grounded.
• Use Postpartum Belly Wrap
Belly binding is an Ayurvedic tradition that supports the abdominal muscles postpartum as your body heals from pregnancy. Wraps can improve posture and support the torso while your organs return to normal.
The end of the 40-day postpartum period is a time to celebrate. Moms are usually regaining their energy. Breastfeeding is well established. And the bond with your little one is unbreakable. Be excited to find your rhythm again and for what’s to come next, but don’t let your eagerness overshadow the importance of postpartum recovery.
For more informative articles about Postpartum health and other health related issues, please visit our website www.santripty.com and also YouTube channel https://youtube.com/@santripty and feel free to consult with our experienced team of doctors, get benefits and stay healthy.
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