Some of the biggest adjustments we go through in the postpartum time are adapting to lack of sleep and fatigue, breastfeeding, physical recovery (recovering your pre-pregnancy body), and blues and depression. Certainly, the better we maintain health before and during pregnancy with good nutrition, self-care habits, stress response management, and exercise, the better we will do with these changes after birth!
Breastfeeding has lasting effects on both your health and your child’s health. It promotes a healthy microbial balance and is hugely important for the development of the immune system (breastfed children have less asthma, allergies, and infections), which again, affects health for a lifetime! For mom, breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer and persistent metabolic disturbance, not to mention all of the emotional and psychological benefits. At times, breastfeeding is impossible and alternative measures are necessary, however most of us can successfully breastfeed with some preparation and persistence – even with very busy life schedules. Important foods to know about for breastfeeding include free range eggs, wild caught salmon, blueberries, apricots, Swiss chard, spinach, fenugreek, dill, and plenty of fluids like water, herbal teas, and bone broth.
Breastfeeding does help some with post-pregnancy body recovery, however there are other important first steps to physical healing to know about. The most immediate exercises to focus on postpartum are diastasis recti recovery exercises and pelvic floor strengthening. We work with amazing pelvic and pregnancy/postpartum physical therapist to help you be proactive now to prevent problems down the road!