For too long, the postnatal woman has been largely ignored. It has seemed that as soon as the newborn baby made their dramatic arrival, the mother shifted into a space of oblivion.
However, as we’re increasingly beginning to realise, the fourth trimester (the three months after a woman gives birth) is critical in not only creating a lifelong bond between mother and baby, but in regaining the mother’s long-term health.
Thanks to the likes of Dr Oscar Serrallach (who we are so excited to be welcoming to our next GRACE Talks event) who coined the term “postnatal depletion” and experts like the wonderful Jo Whitehead of Jo Kate Nutrition, light is now being shone on the postnatal woman. How to support her, how she can rebuild her health and how to set her up for success in taking care of her baby and herself.
In Jo Kate's new e-book - Nourishing the New Mother - she provides much-needed education, tools and practical tips to help women as they prepare for and navigate the postpartum period.
In a nutshell – it allows for communities and families to focus on the health and wellbeing of the mother so she can best look after her baby.
The book covers nutrition for the postpartum period, treatment plans for when issues arise (such as reflux, low milk supply and mastitis), how to get ready for baby (including a hospital bag packing list, foods to eat in the last few weeks of pregnancy, cesarean section recovery and the best foods to eat after birth), as well as information on the ideal postnatal diet, with pantry lists and 36 recipes to boot.
We're pleased to share an exclusive extract of this beautiful new e-book with you today.
“The first few weeks of motherhood bring on a myriad of emotions: from sore nipples, to pain from contractions as your uterus shrinks back, to the influx of hormones, to learning to live in a sleep deprived state – it really is a time for all of the emotions to run wild. And then, come the visitors, arriving to shower the baby with love and gifts, cuddles and affection, but oftentimes, the mother can be left to the side as the new arrival has all of the focus and attention.
In some cultures, the first 4o days (or fourth trimester) are given to confinement, where the new mother and baby rest and develop a bond. Given the fact that the mother has spent the past 9 months carrying the baby and not to mention, expending all of her energy to deliver the child (naturally or via cesarean section), allowing the mother and child the time they need to bond, receive nourishment and gain much-needed rest is crucial. In our western society, this looks different, but we can and should introduce some of these traditions.
One of the most grateful times in my life was when my friend Jodie, visited me in my home after I had my third child, Florence. She arrived and put herself to work right away – hanging out my washing, washing my dishes and asked how I was really doing settling into life with three children. It was honestly one of the most touching moments in my life – having a dear friend come in, amongst the chaos and mess, and offer such practical help during such a vulnerable time for me. I often think back to this day and remind myself how I can do the same for others.”
To view more and to access the e-book, visit Jo Kate Nutrition.