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Postpartum Principle 1: Rest


I created a Prepare for Your Postpartum Course to fill the gap I see in the preconception-pregnancy-birth-postpartum world. There is a lot of emphasis on the pregnancy and the birth (for very good reason) but that emphasis falls off quickly in the postpartum period, when a mother is in one of the most vulnerable stages of her life. My goal with this course was to give mothers a framework for their healing and recovery postpartum so that they feel supported and cared for during this time. Over the next handful of weeks I'm going to be sharing more information on what I believe is the five basic principles of postpartum.


This week's topic is on rest.


In the same way that we rest after we have injured another part of our body, like an ankle, knee or shoulder, we also want to give time for our bodies to heal, especially the uterus and pelvic floor. The wound left behind from the placenta needs to heal and requires weeks to do so. The wound is roughly the size of a dinner plate! Rest can come in different forms, whether it is your actual sleep at night or resting/napping during the day. 


Sleep quality is highly important, since sleep quantity will likely be interrupted. Whether it is having a conversation with your partner regarding bedtime routines or scheduling in naps during the day, do what you can to get enough sleep. You can also set up time to intentionally rest. Sitting, laying down, stretching, just being for 5-10 minutes helps create mental rest.


 Thanks to our societal pressures, it can feel awkward or uncomfortable to “not do anything”. We measure our worth by our productivity. Externally we may not be doing much, but while resting postpartum, you are giving space for your body to do much healing internally. You may not see the actual changes occurring, but if you have had a baby previously, you know that your body very quickly tells you when you haven’t been resting enough. Signs like your postpartum bleeding increasing, feeling more cramping, and being more tired indicate that your body still needs you to rest.


Questions to consider:

When you think of resting, what does that look like?

How are you getting rest in your life now?

What feelings does it bring up in you when you consider resting on a daily or weekly basis

What does an intentional rest reset look like for you?


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