I wish I knew about herbal postnatal care after having my baby. It wasn’t until researching postnatal modifications of Pilates and yoga workouts that I discovered that pregnancy hormones can stay in your body for as long as 4 months after you quit nursing! I had never heard that before or, if I had, I hadn’t noted the impact that would have on a woman’s body. Those lingering hormones can create imbalance emotionally and in your body systems.
After my first child, I felt like I bounced back pretty well. I had a c-section, so that certainly added time to my recovery. However, I can remember jogging with the kid in the stroller just months after he was born.
The second time around was not as easy. I had significant pubic instability and was seeing the chiropractor at least once a week and doing my best to keep my body together the other 6 days of the week. Truly, I felt like a living Humpty Dumpty. One day, when I was seeing Dr. Crystal Green, I told her about what I was going through and she recommended I add a chaste tree berry supplement.
What a difference that made! This odd pooch that I had under the left side of my c-section went away in a week. My abdomen started toning, and my cycles started becoming more regular. Of course, it is worth noting that I started the supplement at the time that my pregnancy hormones were probably leaving my body. Still, I think it has worked for me.
I want to share some other suggestions that Dr. Green has for postnatal women. After having a child and dealing with all of the chaos of mothering and making milk and healing yourself, we all deserve some help from somewhere! I hope this article is helpful for you.
Herbal Postnatal Care
Dr. Crystal Green, D.C. of Green Family Chiropractic says that “Most moms, unless there’s a medical reason, need to support the liver postpartum to help with hormone processing and regulation. The liver processes all hormones that go through the body, so it helps to keep liver function at it’s highest.”
“I like to use herbs as teas because we absorb a liquid quicker and we don’t have to rely on digestion in case it’s underfunctioning,” says Dr. Green. She recommends a tea of blessed thistle, dandelion root, wild yam root, and astragalus root as a tea to promote liver function. This tea works as a safe and gentle detox. That being said, it should only be taken for the first two months after giving birth.
To increase milk production, you can add a tablespoon of fennel and marshmallow root.
Chaste Tree Berry
Chaste tree berry, also known as Vitex, is a helpful herb for women through many phases of life. It can help with premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis, fertility issues, postpartum hormone balance, and symptoms of menopause, according to Dr. Green and livestrong.com.
Frequently, it is taken as a pill.
Although there are many choices, this is the chaste tree berry that I take. I have been very pleasantly surprised with how well it has helped me in a short time.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
“Red raspberry leaf tea is very dynamic and can be used for different aspects of pregnancy and postpartum,” says Dr. Green. During pregnancy, it helps prepare the uterus and improves contraction strength. Postpartum, it helps shrink the uterus back to normal size. It can also be used for aches and pains in a bath with Epsom salt.
A Tea for Increased Milk Production
Although there are many recipes for teas to increase milk production, Dr. Green notes that they often have the same ingredients. Here is her favorite recipe:
1 Tbsp. raspberry leaves, 2 tsps. nettle, 2 tsps. borage slowers, 2 tsps. blessed thistle, and 2 Tbsp. fennel seed
Place the herbs in a quart jar, and steep 10 minutes (as you would with a tea). Drink 1-4 cups per day.
Gotu kola supports moms with tears, long labors, and c-sections. It’s great for soft tissue support and also helps with moods.
According to WebMD, “Gotu kola is also used for fatigue, anxiety, depression, psychiatric disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and improving memory and intelligence. Other uses include wound healing, trauma, and circulation problems (venous insufficiency) including varicose veins, and blood clots in the legs.”
It can be taken as a pill. Here is the gotu kola that I take.
To contact Dr. Crystal Green, D.C. go to greenchirofamily.com.
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What postnatal supplements are you taking? Let us know in the comments below.