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  • Maria Simon

Postpartum from an Ayurvedic Yogi: The First 42 Days

Guest Post by Mother Maria Simon-


In Ayurveda (the science of life), there is a saying that the first 42 days of

postpartum care will reflect the quality of life for the next 42 years. I tried to follow this

mantra for my first 6 weeks postpartum.


I was so anxious about what was to come in the postpartum period after

having my baby. I tried to educate myself as best I could, about what to expect and how

to care for oneself. Unfortunately, in America, people think you should just “go, go, go”

right after giving birth. Fortunately for me, I had just finished up my internship studying

Ayurveda right before Wren was born. I knew I wanted to support myself during this

period just as much as I did during pregnancy. There is a major emphasis on the

birthing person in Ayurveda. Those first 42 days are crucial and honored. Your body is

transitioning from being full of Water and Earth (Kapha) to a sudden shift to space and

ether (Vata). There is suddenly a lot of reorganizing that needs to take place between

your body and mind, all while you are caring for your newborn. I did the best I could

and am beyond thankful to have had so much help from my partner and Midwife,

Hannah.


*REST REST REST! I completely rested for 6 weeks. This was by far the greatest

thing I did for myself. I will cherish the time that my family spent in bed. Only leaving to

use the bathroom, while food and drinks were brought to me. I never ventured out

farther than my backyard during this period.


*WARMTH/GROUNDING Balancing the cold, emptiness in the womb and trying to

keep my mind from wandering too far off into space was another priority. Focusing on

warm, grounding, fatty and easily digestible foods, like rice, ghee, warming oils, herbal

teas, bone broth, porridges, soups, stews, spices, root vegetables, lots of fluids, and a

minimal amount of meat earlier on were of the utmost importance.


*ABHYANGHA (Self Massage) Abhyangha was a big part of my postpartum care

routine. I could not find the time to do it each day, but I would try to do this as much as

possible. Using warm oil and massaging my body (especially my belly) as much as I

could was so nourishing. This was a practice I had focused on during my pregnancy as

well. There are so many benefits to this ritual (for everyone).


*HELP Asking and accepting help greatly benefited me during this sacred time.

Accepting help aided me in caring for Wren and myself, and those were the only things I

needed to focus on during these initial forty-two days, and beyond.


Overall my early postpartum experience was not easy by any means, but I

felt I was able to get through those first 42 days with grace. I am proud of myself for

nurturing myself during the newborn chaos, and I have a very good feeling about my

quality of life for the next 42 years.



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