Postpartum Care and Recovery
You have just given birth and are surviving on little sleep, your body is recovering from pregnancy and birth and your hormones are all over the place. Your precious little newborn needs you to help them slowly adjust from being in your womb to coming earth-side. Welcome to the fourth trimester!
The fourth trimester is the time when your newborn adjusts to life outside the womb and you adjust to new motherhood. Motherhood is one of the biggest transitions in a woman's life. It is important to support and care for a new mum as she navigates this life changing transition, building a village to support her during this important time.
We believe that after birth planning is more important than pregnancy planning. Pregnancy and birth take a toll on your body and emotions not to mention the increased nutrient demands on your body following birth and when breastfeeding. Whether you have a natural birth or a C-section, all new mums need support to heal and replenish vitality so they can care for their baby.
During pregnancy, nutrients from your body are used to support the developing placenta and your baby depleting your own nutrient stores. Pregnancy followed by childbirth results in a loss of essential nutrients for you, which can lead to postpartum depletion. It's important your nutrient stores are replenished post birth regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or not.
In fact research tells us that low levels of key nutrients can lead to an increased risk of perinatal anxiety and depressionº. Plus dietary intervention post birth, making sure you get the right nutrients from food based sources, results in better outcomes for future pregnancies.
Many traditional culture have a long history of postpartum care. In Chinese culture the 'Golden Month' is traditionally the first 40 days following childbirth, an important time postpartum when new mums are nourished with nutrient dense foods and herbs, and are encouraged to rest and recover from birthing their baby. Caring for the mother, so they can care for their newborn and have a positive start to their motherhood journey.
The Golden Month is based on Chinese medicine principles - during child birth a mother loses nutrients, blood and Qi (vital energy) that needs replenishing. The Golden Month enables a new mum to replenish vital energy stores and nutrients following pregnancy and child birth through rest, nutrition and care to help support breastfeeding and bond with their new baby. In fact there is a traditional saying ‘nourish the mother, to nourish the child’.
Not only does post birth aftercare help a new mum recover and ward off the 'baby blues', it can help prevent future problems with physical and emotional wellbeing. In Australia, 1 in 10 women will experience postpartum depression or anxiety, so it's important that all mums have the care and support they need. Good nutrition is vital to help support maternal mental health during the postpartum period as many women are depleted through pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
At HQ we think that’s more than enough reason to practice some after birth care, so to help mums on their journey we have developed our own Golden Month - Post Birth Vitality to help care for you, so you can care for your little one.
- Sparling TM, Henschke N, Nesbitt RC, Gabrysch S. The role of diet and nutritional supplementation in perinatal depression: a systematic review. Matern Child Nutr. 2017;13(1)
- Zielińska MA, Wesołowska A, Pawlus B, Hamułka J. Health Effects of Carotenoids during Pregnancy and Lactation. Nutrients. 2017;9(8)
- Ares segura S, Arena ansótegui J, Díaz-gómez NM. [The importance of maternal nutrition during breastfeeding: Do breastfeeding mothers need nutritional supplements?]. An Pediatr (Barc). 2016;84(6):347.e1-7.