I thought I'd share a few things that have made this postpartum a bit more pleasant. First up, right after delivery and faithfully from that moment forward is the herb for moms of many: Raspberry leaf. This wonder from the earth is a great uterine tonic, controls bleeding and helps the uterus to contract efficiently after birth (it's great all the time really, not just postpartum). The nurses who cared for me all marvelled at how well my uterus had responded to this eighth birth. I just smiled and thanked God for Kim, who insisted I take plenty of raspberry.
My room smells like lavender with a hint of tea tree oil.I love these two essential oils! Both herbs have wonderful antiseptic qualities. The lavender smells like a lovely floral and the tea tree is a bit more medicinal. A few drops in a peri-bottle, sitz bath, or bathtub are healing to both body and spirit.
Next up is Trail Mix Crunch from Mareblu Naturals, my sustenance while in the hospital. In this bag are delicious chunks of almonds, cashews, and pistachios with just a light coating of rice syrup and salt. I'm allergic to wheat, so the typical after-labor snack of graham crackers and peanut butter was not happening for me. I packed a bag of this awesome trail mix (purchased at Costco) and ate it throughout my hospital stay. Note to self: if you tell dietary about the allergy, the food will be safe, but even worse than normal hospital fare.
I've been drinking copious amounts of Postpartum Recovery tea, purchased from the good folks at Earth Mama, Angel Baby. The tea is delicious and full of more good things for both both mind and body. From the company's description:
This herbal blend of organic stinging nettle, organic raspberry leaf, organic alfalfa, organic oatstraw , organic lavender, organic lemon balm, organic cinnamon and, of course, organic lady's mantle . It's rich in valuable minerals iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus necessary for postpartum mamas. And its astringent herbs help tone the uterus, reduce uterine bleeding, and all the while, helping to calm and balance brand new mamas.
I'm finding the ad copy to be entirely true.
I'm alternating that tea with Milkmaid Tea, equally delicious and created to enhance breastfeeding.Fennel is the herb of choice for encouraging milk quality and quantity. I'm not a huge fan of fennel, but this tea is good. Karoline seems to approve. Speaking of breastfeeding, my friend Cindy gave me a My Brestfriend as a shower gift. Ahhhh...this is far superior to a Boppy. The pillow in front is sturdy and just the perfect height for nursing and the cushion around the back supports my back and shoulders and
forces encourages great posture. Oh and, while I was hanging out at Earth Mama, Angel Baby, I tossed some Happy Mama spray into the cart, too. Now, life even smells good.
I'm not going to Hat Tip the dear friend who recommended Bottom Balm (bet you were worried there, for a moment, buddy), but I'm going to mention it here for the benefit of anyone who might ever benefit from such a salve and I will tell you that I am forever indebted to her for suggesting I get it "just in case." Calendula and chmomile in shea butter and olive oil are pretty typcial "balm" ingredients. This one has St. John's Wort as well and my buddy and I think that might just be the magic elixir.
I've been listening to lots of Baby Needs Mozart, a perennial favorite in our house. Karoline and I drift off to sleep together and I remember similar snuggles with her siblings while we listed to this CD.
Finally, I'll tell you what I read in the hospital...a couple of days before Karoline was born, a plain manilla envelope arrived in the mail. I peeked inside, gave a little squeal, and sighed "perfect." And then, exercising great self control, I didn't read a word, but tucked it into my suitcase. I think I am the only postpartum woman on the planet who can say she spent the day after birth reading Danielle Bean's new book. It was an unedited, advance copy and I had to restrain myself from marching next door to the first-time mom with the baby that cried all night and sharing it on the spot! I think she could have used the kind encouragement.