Giving birth is hugely physically demanding. If you had a vaginal birth you probably feel sore, especially if you have torn or have had stitches. If you’ve had a caesarean, you are recovering from major surgery – do not underestimate this.
During pregnancy and labour, your baby will have been prioritised with regards to dietary nutrition. If you haven’t been getting a surplus supply, this can lead you to feeling deficient yourself. When you are deficient in essential macronutrients, vitamins and minerals it can affect your health in a variety of ways, including: tiredness, low mood and poor healing.
Post-Pregnancy, recommendations may include some of the following:
The physical act of giving birth can drain key vitamins and mineral – zinc can be lost during a demanding event, iron with blood loss, B-vitamins with energy expenditure and magnesium may be depleted from hours of muscle contractions (Holford, 2009)
Vitamins A and E are vital for wound healing, whether that’s from a vaginal birth or caesarean (Holford, 2009)
I may suggest herbs to improve healing and reduce inflammation
Support breast-feeding with fennel and chamomile tea and essential oils.
Other more controversial suggestion, that you may want to consider:
‘Postpartum women are consuming their placentas (placentophagy) encapsulated, cooked and raw for the prevention of postpartum depression (PPD) and for other perceived health benefits. Although almost all non-human placental mammals ingest their placentae at parturition, the first documented accounts of postpartum women practicing placentophagy were in North America in the 1970’s (Ober 1979). In recent years, advocates and the media have popularized health benefits of the practice and more women are considering it as an option for postpartum recovery. Health care advocates claim that hormones and nutrients, including oestrogen, progesterone, lactogen, iron, β-endorphins, and oxytocin are retained through preparation and consumption (Apari and Rozsa 2006; Beacock 2012; Selander et al. 2013). Although the presence of some of these components, including progesterone (Piasek et al., 2001), iron (Bradley et al., 2004), and oxytocin (Sugahara et al., 1985), have been shown in term placenta, their maintenance and stability in raw tissue and in preparation, as well their effects after consumption on the postpartum woman have not been tested.’ Coyle (2015)
Placentophagy is something that all animals do in nature, but something that is still seen as a taboo in western societies. If this is something you are considering, then I have included 3 of the best (and most thorough) research papers I could find on the topic below. It certainly makes for some interesting reading.
If you would like to discuss, how I could help support you postpartum – please contact me below. Everyone is welcome to a complimentary 20-minute call to discuss whether Nutritional Therapy would benefit them.
Coyle, C et al (2015) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4580132/pdf/nihms698023.pdf