Recovering after pregnancy: The 40 ‘sacred’ days after childbirth

Recovering after pregnancy: If you’ve recently had a baby or know someone who has, you’ll know how life turns upside down. Your days become nights and you don’t know what day of the week it is, but when you hold this little delicate being that you’ve created nothing else seems to matter?
But that’s not true- you matter too!  Read four important tips from Carmen, the Pregnant Chef for the first 40 sacred days of recovery after childbirth. 

#1 Make yourself a priority 

Our wise ancestral traditions had a clever way of helping us remember that; whether it be the ‘cuarentena’ in Hispanic countries, or the 40 days of ‘confinement’ in China. This time is a sacred one, where the family and friends all come together to mother the mother, so that her sole responsibility is that of taking care of her newborn.

And although in a modern society we may not have this privilege, it is time to make use of all those friends, family and colleagues, who throughout your pregnancy have offered their help or want to know what you may need as a gift. Get them to cook for you! Or do grocery shopping, babysit your other children, or just plain pamper you to make sure you don’t become second priority. Believe me, you’ll appreciate it more than another baby grow which you’ll have the chance to use once (if that even!).

#2 Prepare food in advance and eat it hot!

Next thing on the list is prepare nourishing food in advance. Once again our wise ancestors had something to say about this, and it seems that pretty much all cultures agree on this one- make it hot. I don’t mean spicy hot, but temperature wise. Salads and raw diets are not suitable post birth as they take a lot more energy to digest; energy the rest of the body needs to heal, rebuild and produce adequate milk supply.

So, get cooking before that baby decides to come! Best to choose meals that are easy to freeze so that you have lots of healthy options for when you least feel like cooking. If you’re struggling for ideas- see my blog The Pregnant Chef (lots more to come on this topic soon!).

#3 Heal the body

But I know what you’re thinking- what about the scary things like stitches or recovering after a caesarean? As long as you look after yourself and give your body the opportunity to heal, the body is normally very good at mending itself.

But here are a few rules of thumb; maintain adequate hygiene, avoid using soaps around the stitches, and wash often. Also, make sure you eat lots of fibre rich wholesome foods and drink enough water (at least 1.5 litres!) to avoid constipation.

#4 Do pelvic floor muscles exercise

Last but certainly not least; do your pelvic floor exercises! Think of your pelvic floor muscles as a trampoline that have been stretched and stretched throughout your pregnancy- it’s time to help them spring back to life! And by doing the exercises each time you feed your baby, you’re more likely to remember too.

On a final note, always remember “there is no perfect way to be a mother, but a million ways to be a great one”! Hang in there; you’re doing great!

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