MIND, BODY & SPIRIT

Get back to you – learn when it’s ok to say no, in favour of tak­ing some time to re­lax and un­wind

Little Treasures - - CONTENTS -

Tips for self care this au­tumn

Re­gard­less of whether you have a nor­mal or com­pli­cated de­liv­ery, your body un­der­goes some ma­jor changes af­ter child­birth. How you cope with these changes can have a pro­found ef­fect on your over­all ex­pe­ri­ence. As a prac­ti­tioner, I’ve no­ticed that most stress for new moth­ers stems from feed­ing is­sues, pain and com­pli­ca­tions from birth, and sleep de­pri­va­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, there isn’t much you can do about the lack of sleep. But, medic­i­nal plants are ex­cel­lent to sup­port your well­be­ing dur­ing the post­par­tum pe­riod and help your body to heal from the im­pact of preg­nancy and birth. For ex­am­ple, Fen­nel (Foenicu­lum vul­gare) is con­sid­ered both a galac­to­gogue and carmi­na­tive herb. It helps to boost breast milk pro­duc­tion and, at the same time, help re­lieve wind and tummy trou­bles (in both mum and baby). Fen­nel also in­creases ap­petite, en­hances the se­cre­tion of di­ges­tive en­zymes and as­sists in the proper ab­sorp­tion of nu­tri­ents. Galac­to­gogue herbs help to in­crease the body’s pro­duc­tion of breast­milk. Even if feed­ing is go­ing well, these herbs are help­ful to take dur­ing your baby’s growth spurts, when they are ex­tra hun­gry. And if milk pro­duc­tion is a prob­lem, then these are won­der­ful herbs to take ev­ery day to boost pro­duc­tion. Fen­nel, Fenu­greek (Trigonella foenum­grae­cum) and Anise (Pimpinella anisum) are well-known as culi­nary spices but also dou­ble as ef­fec­tive galac­to­gogues and carmi­na­tives when they are of medic­i­nal qual­ity. Great for breast­feed­ing moth­ers with windy or col­icky ba­bies. Nervine herbs help to sup­port and re­store your ner­vous sys­tem, which ev­ery new par­ent will ben­e­fit from. When you are re­laxed, you may find your milk lets down eas­ier, your naps are more restora­tive and your baby doesn’t feel stress or ten­sion. Chamomile (Ma­tri­caria chamomilla) is a gen­tle seda­tive that helps to re­lax mus­cles through­out the body and calm the nerves, ideal for sooth­ing both mother and child in the de­mand­ing times af­ter birth. Chamomile has im­por­tant wound­heal­ing, an­ti­sep­tic and an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties, which help to ease af­ter­birth pains, heal the womb and pre­vent in­fec­tion. St John’s Wort (Hyper­icum per­fo­ra­tum) has an up­lift­ing ef­fect on phys­i­cal, men­tal and emo­tional ex­haus­tion. It strength­ens your ner­vous re­silience when fear, anx­i­ety and ir­ri­tabil­ity can be­come over­whelm­ing. Plus, we can’t for­get about poor dad! He will also ben­e­fit from some ad­di­tional sup­port. Net­tle (Ur­tica dioica) is a highly nutri­tious herb, con­tain­ing strength­en­ing min­er­als and trace min­er­als in­clud­ing cal­cium, mag­ne­sium and iron, trace min­er­als, vi­ta­mins (A and C) and en­zymes. It is an in­vig­o­rat­ing tonic in de­mand­ing times like breast­feed­ing. Rasp­berry leaf (Rubus idaeus) is well-known as a preg­nancy herb but I like to rec­om­mend it post-par­tum as well. It is in­cred­i­bly nu­tri­tive, re­plen­ish­ing your body’s stores of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. When taken reg­u­larly it helps to tone and strengthen the pelvic tis­sues sup­port­ing the re­cov­ery of the strained pelvic floor mus­cles. It also helps to tighten the uterus back to its prepreg­nancy shape. Most plant medicines are easy to take and in­te­grate into your busy daily rou­tine, which is im­por­tant when you have your hands full with a new­born. We have a won­der­ful ar­ray of qual­ity, New Zealand prod­ucts that you can pur­chase over the counter, un­der the guid­ance of your mid­wife or health prac­ti­tioner.

When you are re­laxed, you may find your milk lets down eas­ier, your naps are more restora­tive and your baby doesn’t feel stress

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