Living well postpartum
thanks to naturopathy
Nathalie Habot has a very valuable role with women since she is a naturopath and a yoga teacher specializing in women’s health. She guides and accompanies women on the path to well-being and fulfilled femininity at all times of their lives and especially during pre-conception, pregnancy and postpartum. In this fascinating discussion, Nathalie gives us the keys to living her postpartum as peacefully as possible thanks to naturopathy.
Can you tell us about postpartum in general ?
This famous period after childbirth is commonly called “the golden month” or “the fourth trimester”. It is a pivotal period during which the woman’s body will physically and emotionally recover from the 9 months of pregnancy and childbirth.
Often women are well supported during pregnancy but after the birth of their child, they sometimes find themselves alone and disoriented when they should be well surrounded.
How can naturopathy help and support postpartum women ?
My goal as a naturopath specializing in women’s health is to provide them with support and comprehensive support to live this transition more serenely. Indeed, if they are informed and better prepared physiologically, they will be less destabilized by the problems of everyday life and will live their role of mother more peacefully.
More concretely, naturopathy is a valuable support based on lifestyle and diet that will allow them to recover physically and emotionally from pregnancy but also useful to relieve postpartum discomfort, hormonal upheavals and support them if needed for breastfeeding.
I cannot recommend starting to consult during pregnancy to prepare the ground. Generally, clients who come to consult me during a pregnancy aspire to take care of themselves with the healthiest and most natural practices possible to give the best to their baby.
How do you support your patients who have just given birth ?
As I said just before, ideally I start accompanying women during pregnancy, even in pre-conception, but sometimes I meet them directly postpartum. I will make sure to provide them with all the necessary nutrients as well as dietary advice so that they can live the last weeks of pregnancy and postpartum with as much vitality as possible.
Studies show that we are all deficient. During pregnancy, the baby draws on reserves of minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids, especially during the last trimester for its brain development. So, I will always make sure to look at the analyzes of my patients but in the majority of cases, I will systematically advise to take supplements and in particular omega 3.
I always insist on the importance of omega 3 but you should know that a deficiency in omega 3 can have a huge impact on emotional health. Moreover, studies show that a deficiency in omega-3 can sometimes be one of the causes of postpartum depression.
I also recommend eating all the good fats during pregnancy and postpartum such as small fatty fish (mackerel, sardines), good cold-pressed oils (rapeseed, flax, camellia, oilseeds (almonds, nuts, seeds. .. ).
We do not talk very little about it, but the food and supplements that a woman will take during her pregnancy and even before conception also prepares the health of the child both cognitively and immune.
I’m not here to put pressure but to do my best to ensure the well-being of the mother and the child while adapting to her needs and what she may be going through during her pregnancy.
Can you also tell us about postpartum nutrition ?
Yes, postpartum nutrition is also very important for the new mom to recover faster. She needs warmth both on the plate and in her emotional accompaniment to be able to restore the uterus, kidneys and adrenals which have been overstretched.
For food, I recommend preparing dishes in advance that can be frozen (bone broths, casseroles, dahls, soups…).
In short, they need to eat comforting, nutritious, and hot foods.
Do you also propose to do a postpartum project ?
We all know the famous birth plan to prepare for childbirth, but I will systematically advise you to think about doing a postpartum plan with your spouse or the whole family if there are already other children.
The goal is to anticipate the post-pregnancy organization in the new family dynamics. Both in terms of household chores, shopping, cooking but also visiting family and friends. Indeed, all the daily life and the logistics of the household will have a significant impact on the smooth progress of the recovery of the mother.
What do you see the most in your practice, what do women need ?
In France, for example, women have very little maternity leave, they are asked to return to work after three months and cover everything. Even though the postpartum tends to be more and more democratized, I see through my practice that there are still a lot of women who are not informed at all. We must not forget that a birth is also the birth of a mother. The future mother would need to be listened to and pampered too, but it is difficult because society asks a lot of women and still involves very little of fathers.
Ideally, for the first 40 days, the mother should remain focused on her recovery and the needs of her child.
You should lie down as much as possible to spare the tissues and for the uterus to fall back into place. That’s why spouses are very important but there is still so much to do to make room for the father. This period is decisive for his whole life and even his life expectancy but it would take another article to develop this subject.
Women can also have a lot of pressure, feeling lost and guilty between the injunctions and the infantilization of the medical profession and family. I always insist on taking back their power and listening to each other. They know best what their baby needs.
In maternity we quickly forget that in order to be able to accompany the other, we must first take care of ourselves.
Any other tips you would like to share ?
Do not hesitate to ask for help. As I said in the previous question, the new mother can quickly feel overwhelmed by visits from family or friends. I always remind her that if she receives it is not to serve others. I also advise putting things for her on the birth list such as a rebozo treatment, a massage, household help, healthy meals delivered to your home, vegetable cures…
I also suggest getting closer to groups of mothers to feel supported and supported by other women who are going through the same thing as her. And if possible, I encourage you to surround yourself with specialized practitioners such as a doula, a midwife, an acupuncturist, a naturopath, a lactation consultant, an osteo…