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Postnatal Recovery from a Naturopathic Perspective


The fourth trimester is a complete rebirth process; whilst bub comes into this physical world, mum is birthed into her new self as a mother. Naturally, this is a huge adjustment, physically, mentally and emotionally. 

We’ve put together a list of some of the things that will help you and others you know in the fourth trimester; from wound healing to lactation and cracked nipples here are some simple and natural solutions.

Wound Healing, Inflammation & Recovery

  • Warm Baths: Bathing in warm water is a wonderful well to help with any pain. A warm bath will help with sore breasts as well as the uterus as iit contracts
  • Mummy Soak Bath: Add 1/2 cup of our mummy soak to your bath; a blend which was intentionally designed for this exact purpose. It includes herbs such as Calendula and Witch Hazel to promote connective tissue healing whilst magnesium reduces swelling.
  • Raspberry leaf: Take raspberry leaf tea leading up to the birth to help with uterine contractions post-partum
  • Arnica tablets  - Take during birth to reduce inflammation and help with recovery post-partum. Arnica is wonderful for healing deep pain. On an emotional 


Lactation

To boost milk supply

Low milk supply can be caused by a few factors which include; a delay in breastfeeding, supplementing breastfeeding with other milk alternatives, ineffective latch and states of fear and anxiety around feeding or motherhood in general.

Remedies

  • Try drinking a cup or two a day of Breastfeeding tea to promote milk supply.
  • Incorporate foods such as oats, fennel, garlic, sesame seeds, papaya, and asparagus into your diet. 

To slow down milk production 

Engorgement (oversupply of milk) causes tenderness and pain. Engorgement is different to blocked/mastitis when there is no fever and the breasts are not lumpy. Engorgement may occur as a result of a decision not to milk, when milk comes in very quickly, when mother and child are separated for an extended time, or during weaning.

Remedies:

  • Drink sips of a strong tea of sage is shown to reduce milk production
  • Placing cold cabbage leaves over the breasts to calm the heat and swelling as a result. 

Unblock milk ducts

Swelling of the breast and acute pain usually indicates a blocked milk duct or tube. The blocked duct may feel lumpy and bruised, and a red streak may radiate out from it. 

Remedy

  • Feeding should be continued, but carefully, just feeding and/or pumping enough to empty the breast. 
  • Place a warm compress on the breasts or  soak breasts in warm water & massage the milk out.
  • To increase the medicinal potency of the compress add in herbs such as parsley, comfrey, marshmallow or calendula to clear inflammation and blockages.
  • Cabbage leaves over the breast will also work wonderfully for reducing the associated inflammation 
Mastitis

Mastitis causes swelling and pain, accompanied by acute tenderness and redness of the breast. The infected breast may be hard, lumpy and swollen. There may be fever as well. 

Remedy 

  • Mastitis oil: Pokeweed in some Castor oil & applied to the breast (ensure any herbs are wiped off nipple so baby doesn't ingest)
  • Take echinacea + Vitamin C for the immune system
  • Breast massage will also help
  • Again, cabbage leaves on the breast will be amazing to deal with the inflammation.

Nipples

To prevent sore nipples
  • Expose nipples to fresh air
  • Olive oil, sweet almond oil, lanolin, or comfrey ointment
  • Don’t wash nipples with soap

Treating sore nipples
  • The best remedy is applying your breast milk to your nipples.
  • Alternatively; apply ice, fresh aloe gel or an ointment with comfrey or calendula to soothe and repair.

Emotional Support

  • Trust your Intuition. This is a time, especially as a new mother, when you’re vulnerable and many people can offer you advice, much of which can be conflicting and overwhelming. You have a strong intuition, you are so connected to your baby so your body will tell you exactly what is right for you and them. 
  • Take drops of flower essences to help with the emotional adjustment & support during this vulnerable time. 
  • Lean on your support system; ensure you have people around to take the pressure off and allow you to rest and recover
  • Sleep where possible is a great way to integrate and support your emotional state.

We hope you find some wisdom from this knowledge. Please let us know if you have any questions at all.

Love DA x



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