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  • Writer's pictureJackie Koenig, L.Ac.

Navigating Your Early Postpartum World

Building back Qi and Blood is key. Learn how to do just that from an acupuncturist who's been there!


A mother and her new baby

First off... Congrats!

You climbed the mountain and now find yourself immersed in a new landscape called parenthood. Let's talk about navigating your early postpartum world and what support might help you during this exciting, yet overwhelming new chapter.


Tip #1 - Eat Nutrient-dense Foods


No matter how your birth unfolded, it is likely to have been an exhausting event that resulted in minimal to extensive blood loss. Your body spent the pregnancy building immense stores of qi (energy) and blood to nourish your little one(s) and make it through the birthing process. During the postpartum period, we always need to rebuild qi and blood after birth (or after loss at any stage) in order to regain our vitality and restore our health. How do we do that? Read on!


-Nutrient-dense foods are essential at this time, whether you're breastfeeding or not. This includes eggs, bone broth, fatty fish, organ meats, and seaweed. Read more from this comprehensive post by Expectful here!


-Congee is very easy to make and has traditionally been used to help nourish and rebuild postpartum bodies and those recovering after long illnesses. It's basically rice that's been cooked in twice as much broth or water for twice as long, turning it into an easily digestible, nourishing meal. You can add sweet or savory extras depending on what you're in the mood for! Read more about how to make congee here.


-A lovely, information-packed book that dives into Traditional Chinese Medicine postpartum wisdom, plus genius and delicious recipes is The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother by Heng Ou, Amely Greeven and Marisa Belger. This book is definitely one to include on your registry OR gift for a friend as they near the end of their pregnancy!

-Pro tip: We sell The First Forty Days at Hidden Root Acupuncture!


-Lastly, corral your friends and family and get a Meal Train going! Let others help to nourish you and your family during a time when "what's for dinner?" is the last question on your mind.


Tip #2 - Lean on Your Care Team

After birth, your care team might expand from midwives, doulas, and OBs to include pediatricians, pelvic floor therapists, and lactation consultants. As they say... it takes a village!


While it's often beneficial to meet and establish care with your "team" before baby arrives, it's never too late to ask for help. Here are a handful of practitioners we recommend from the New Orleans area:


Birth Doulas/Postpartum Doulas


Lactation Consultant

Dr. Lisa Credo, MD at Advanced Breastfeeding Medicine of New Orleans - accepts insurance!


Mental Health Therapists

High Wire Therapy -virtual, offers EMDR

Real Talk Nola - in New Orleans


Pelvic Floor Therapists

Nola Pelvic Health - in person appointments

Tighten Your Tinkler- online and self-paced, created by New Orleanians


Pediatricians


Pre & Postnatal Fitness Specialist

Good For the Swole App - Becky is a mom herself who offers a variety of informative, positive workouts


Tip #3 - Encapsulate Your Placenta or Try an Herbal Formula

This is obviously an option that has to be decided BEFORE your birth. Placenta is actually considered a Traditional Chinese Herb known to strongly help build blood (usually deer placenta is the source in traditional formulas). This is because it's very rich in iron, an important component to building back your hemoglobin and iron stores that diminish with blood loss.


If you're interested in learning more about the process and how it might help your postpartum journey, check out New Orleans Placenta Encapsulation, a sister site of Nola Nesting.


Glass tincture bottle of Blood Tonic herbal formula

If you just aren't into the placenta idea, another great option is a Chinese Herbal formula specifically used to build back qi and blood. Check out Sarah's Blood Buidling Tincture here.


"Being a parent is one of greatest mindfulness practices of all."

- Jon Kabat Zinn




Tip #4 - Process Your Birth

Bringing a new baby home, whether it's your first or your tenth, is always going to come with transitions. Recovery is aided by processing whatever feelings you have about how your birth, pregnancy, or postpartum period went.


-This can be done one-on-one with a therapist (see my recommendations above).


-Another effective way to process your own birth story is by listening to others' experiences! For this, I can't recommend The Birth Hour podcast enough.


-Another app chock full of mindfulness exercises and meditations, great blog posts, and a community of support is at the Expectful app.


-Talk with friends and others who have children. It's easy to feel alone in this early postpartum world. Remember that you're not alone and that this time is a short season in the grand scheme of parenthood.


Don't Forget! Acupuncture and Herbs Could Also Help!

Acupuncture and herbal formulas can be a great support postpartum as you recover from your birth and your body is deficient in both energy and blood. Make an appointment today with us at Hidden Root Acupuncture to learn more about how we might be able to help. And Congratulations!




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