A new book from Chinese medicine practitioner, Nat Kringoudis, entitled Well & Good, is full of information needed for a ‘wellness overhaul’.
With plenty of tips and recipes, Nat shows step-by-step how to take charge of your health and wellbeing, for those who want to boost their fertility as well as experience better daily health post birth.
This exclusive edited extract from Well & Good focuses on what’s needed post birth to nourish yourself and baby to ensure you have happy, healthy hormones.
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One of the most noticeable changes after birth can be in mood. This is simply due to the rapid decline in hormones.
Planning ahead to pep yourself up is a good idea. To think we can survive on our own without support or help is madness. In many cultures, women are put on bed rest or set themselves up at home and don’t leave for a period of time (typically around 40 days).
Before having children I thought that was rather luxurious. After having two myself, and studying Chinese medicine in-depth, I now know that birth is a massive event your body needs to recover from, and you also have a newborn baby to adjust to and care for. We can’t all get help 24/7, but it is important to be mindful that we aren’t actually designed to do it on our own. We need help and support so we can recover and nurture our newborn baby.
We now understand that the gut is our second brain and our emotional centre and we know that vital gut bacteria shapes overall wellness. If this delicate environment is upset, the body won’t absorb the nutrients from food that fuel the body’s functions -including producing hormones.
If we have our gut department covered, there is far less chance postnatal depression will take hold beyond the expected, short-term baby blues.
It is normal to feel overwhelmed and even experience sadness post birth as the hormone levels plummet. The secret to kicking the blues lies with a strong ad healthy gut. Eating probiotic foods daily is a must for everyone, pregnant or not. Children and babies too!
Here are a few important tips to help make those few weeks post birth easier. Read them now - because in those blurry few weeks following birth you may have trouble finding the time to read.
Hydrating yourself ensures you are well nourished. And warm baths will help to ease tiredness and soreness.
I’m in love with Peruvian pink salt - it’s so healing inside and out. Think of it as your daily mineral dose. Add it to your food, or to your bath to help relaxation and heal any grazes or sore nipples.
This is the time when your vitamin and mineral stores can plummet. Be sure to take supplements for at least six months after birth. This will also help in fighting postnatal depression.
This is chock full of omega-3 and omega-6, which are both essential for the brain development of your child (through breast milk) and for your emotional wellness, skin nourishment (healing and stretch marks) and general health.
Easier said than done, but it is the elixir of health. Sleep when your baby sleeps - it’s not a crime!
One of the most nourishing and healing foods there is. Because of the cooking process, broth made from meat and bone is full of vitamins and minerals to restore your health.
It goes without saying, but as a new mum I needed constant reminding. Your body needs it for recovery and to nurture your new baby! Get in some rest whenever you can.
Call on your tribe
Draw on your little community for support and help. No new mother should begin to entertain the thought she can do it alone. After all, no other species does!
The weeks post birth can be so confusing. More than anything, remind yourself to come back to nature, by continuing to incorporate proteins and fats at every meal to make sure your body is well supported, and to call on others for help. It will allow you to rest, and I guarantee that your friends and family will love having the chance to help you!
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Well & Good by Nat Kringoudis, published by MUP, is available from mup.com.au at the RRP of $32.99.