Recovering from birth
Throughout the world there are many customs surrounding the fourth trimester.
In Asia, Africa and India many new mums are involved in a tradition called ‘confinement’ for up to 40 days post birth. Time is spent resting and sleeping, learning the art of breast feeding, and being waited on hand and foot by the elders in the family.
There is the magical custom in Morocco where the new mothers hands are painted with an intricate lace pattern using henna. Whilst the design remains visible on the mothers hand she is exempt from all household duties, giving her time just to be with her baby. The henna plant is said to be full of ‘baraka’ a positive power that protects against the evil eye.
All cultures have a tradition of making healing foods for the mother throughout this period, food that is designed to heal, support mood and emotions, boost milk, improve strength and restore energy.
Bush Tucker for Weary Mums
A list of potential postnatal foods recommended by women of the
Warmun Aboriginal Community, Western Australia
Boab nut – full of vitamins and energy
Black bream – makes a great stew!
Kangaroo – gives lots of energy
Sugarbag – honey found on the snappy gum & bloodwood trees for good energy
Water lily – root boiled to make a tea for strengthening the new mother
Konkerberry/Greenberry/Whiteberry – sweet berries containing lots of vitamins
source – Baby Wisdom by Deborah Jackson
Your body has a lot of work to do in the postpartum weeks: recovering from the hard work of labour, healing any tears or bruised tissue and getting milk production underway. It will take time for your body to return to its non-pregnant state the right nutrition during this process will make all the difference.