Congratulations on the birth of your precious baby! Right now you may be feeling a mixture of elation, exhaustion, excessive and fluctuating emotions, and new-found love and awe. If things didn't go as expected, you may be feeling discouragement, sadness, or are blaming yourself for what you feel are failures on your part. The raging hormones in your body make everything you feel an extreme. Everyone experiences these extreme feelings, so don't be alarmed. Ensure to surround yourself with positive and supportive people during this adjustment period. Rest as much as you are able. Get lactation help/advice even if you feel you've got a good handle on things - use the help/coaching while you can! Enjoy your precious baby.
What is happening - Your body is undergoing a huge change - your uterus is shrinking to return to normal size as your organs readjust to their former positions, your hormones are raging switching from pregnancy mode to lactating mode, you are exhausted from the ordeal of labor and delivery, you are joyous over the birth of your child. If things didn't go as planned, you may be starting a grief period over the failure to have the kind of delivery you desired or unplanned complications with your precious baby, etc.
What you can do - Make sure you void as soon as your doctor or midwife gives you permission to get up. This will help your uterus be able to contract and return to normal size and prevent heavy bleeding. You will experience uterine cramping/after-birth pains (you may or may not notice this) from time to time and especially if you are nursing when your baby is suckling at your breast. This is the process of your uterus shrinking. It's a good thing although the pain can sometimes be really upsetting and uncomfortable. Often, these pains intensify with each baby you deliver. Knowing to expect them is half the battle, because if you don't know to expect them, the pain can be alarming and frightening. Rest as much as you are able. Eat a nutritious, balanced meal. Drink plenty of water. Walk around every so often to ensure proper circulation. If nursing, nurse frequently.
Natural Solution Ideas
For the afterbirth pains, apply Lavender & Siberian Fir to lower abdomen or apply the Monthly Blend for Women.
For perineum discomfort, apply the Anti-Aging Blend or Frankincense with Lavender diluted with Fractionated Coconut Oil. You can also put 10 drops each of Frankincense & Lavender in a spray bottle with distilled water and spray the perineum.
If you had a tear or an episiotomy, apply Helichrysum diluted to help the area with the healing process.
If you had to have a C-section, after a few days, you can apply the Anti-aging Blend or Myrrh to the scar twice a day.
Diffuse or apply oils topically (bottoms of feet or back of neck or along spine) to address post-partum emotions:
Grounding Blend - help with mood, emotions, feelings of being overwhelmed (Day 4 post-partum is often the hardest)
Monthly Blend for Women - help the body as the hormones adjust
Joyful Blend - uplift mood and bring joy
Invigorating Blend - calm and uplift the mood
Orange - calm and uplift the mood; drink 1-2 drops in a glass of water for happier mood
Diffuse this calming blend: 2 drops Geranium, 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Sandalwood, 2 drops Ylang Ylang
To read all posts in this Labor & Delivery & Beyond Blog Series, access the links in this introductory post.
Read more about the Doula Services that Christine Russell, RN offers.