Pregnancy ends. Always. In the vast majority of cases, it ends with the birth of a beautiful healthy baby and I dearly hope this has been your experience.
However, it is so important to acknowledge that there are rare times it does not. We must discuss this openly in order to help remove the stigma of this occurrence, that is why I mention it here. No dimishment of this immense topic, just acknowledgement that these things are part of life.
Whether you have a newborn, premature or full term, or whether your pregnancy ended with the loss of a small life, whether you terminated your pregnancy or experienced miscarriage, your body has been through a massive process of change and requires time to recover. If you have loved and lost, my heart goes out to you and I encourage you to seek help wherever you can to grieve.
Whatever your situation, I’m offering some natural ways to help your body heal. Here are some pieces of information that may help – from me to you, with love.
I am not a doctor or a nurse. I am not a professional health practitioner. I am, however, a person who has given birth to three children and also have been pregnant many more times than I gave birth. Most of the pregnancies I experienced that did not end with birth, ended with miscarriages.
Before I had lost my unborn baby, I had no idea what it felt like to lose a baby at all. And even then, I still have no idea what it means to lose a baby after birth. The idea of it breaks my heart, and yet still I cannot know what that is like. I can only give what I have to give, and that is knowledge of some of the things the body may need to recover from a pregnancy. I wish to speak about the elephant in the room rather than avoid it, but with great reverence for your personal experience whatever that may have been.
In the days, weeks and months that follow the ending of a pregnancy, however that happens, the physical and emotional wellbeing of mothers might sometimes become the last thing on everybody’s mind. If the pregnancy ended with a tragic loss then likely a whole family or community may be grieving and the physiological aspect of recovery may be overlooked.
Paramount to any kind of physical recuperation is rest. This is not easy to achieve if you have a young baby, or if you have just lost one and are mired with grief. Nonetheless, an effort to slow things down and take some time to live more simply and with less obligation to go out, to leave the house or to socialise will be rewarding. In some cultures, it is customary to spend up to 40 days at home following birth so that mothers can recover and be cared for by family and friends in the home.
Beetroots are an incredibly powerful natural cleansing agent. Being high in iron and folate (naturally occurring folic acid) which is a key factor in regenerating and reactivating red blood cells, they aid in increasing oxygen supply to your whole body. With the added benefit of high copper levels, they also help the iron be absorbed or more ‘bio-available’.
3. RESCUE REMEDY
Flower remedies work by distilling the essence of healing flowers into water by leaving them to soak in the sun. Edward Bach is an English doctor who created a range of these flower essences to be used for natural health. The one I have used for years is “Rescue Remedy” which is purported to be very good for sleep, reducing anxiety and finding calm in times of turmoil. It is readily available at major pharmacies.
The mix was created by Dr Bach to deal with emergencies and crises – the moments when there is no time to make a proper individual selection of remedies. It can be used to help us get through any stressful situations, from last-minute exam or interview nerves, to the aftermath of an accident or bad news. Rescue Remedy helps us relax, get focused and get the needed calmness.
This is a mineral that is essential to the normal functioning of the human body, primarily as it facilitates the absorption of calcium and allows bones and teeth to remain strong. It is the fourth most dominant mineral in the body and is crucial in hundreds of biochemical processes. You will find is naturally in seaweed, kale, whole grains, seeds, nuts and legumes as well as to a lesser degree sweet potato, tomato, some greens and dairy products and fish.
Magnesium can relieve constipation, strengthen bones, help with migraines and sleep issues, aid in balancing blood sugars (therefore preventing diabetes) and improve heart health. Perhaps most importantly if your pregnancy has ended it can relieve anxiety and even help in the treatment of panic attacks, agitation and stress.
It also helps with the production of collagen which is a crucial factor in the health of ligaments, skin, tendons, bones and blood vessels. These all need boosting up following labour.
Additionally, this mineral will help by offering anti-inflammatory benefits, aiding absorption of many other key vitamins and minerals as well as lowering blood pressure. For correct intake please consult a nutritionist, naturopath, or well-informed supplement supplier. And remember that not all supplements are made equal, to ensure you are getting the best results always seek out high quality, practitioner-grade supplements as most health food chains will stock consumer brands that are cheaper, the consumptions of which may not actually result in providing nutrients that are readily available in the body.
A note to new mums: YOU’RE DOING GREAT, first of all! And secondly if you’re into breastfeeding this is hands down the best resource I know of. If you have a chapter of the Le Leche League nearby, get on that wagon for sure. Do send me any questions (click ‘contact’ below) and I’ll help any way I can.