When I think of Radical Care I think of everyone involved as being filled up in their Body, Mind, and Spirit. Radical Care starts with you...
1. Self Care in Pregnancy
If you haven’t already, cultivate a daily self-care practice. Pregnancy is one of the most sacred times in our lives, we are open in a way that can leave us vulnerable. Take time for you. This can look different each person. I love a morning practice, the same steps each morning to awaken the mind, body and spirit. My practice includes some stretching, some singing, and some silence.
2. Prepare your mind body and soul
Prioritize time for YOU. Things that nourish YOU. Is it taking a hike, meditating, meeting up with friends to chat? Whatever it is, make it a practice. Once you’re a parent you will have to re-evaluate where time is allocated. Make it a practice before your baby arrives to make time for YOU.
3. Call in community
4. Hire help
Research has shown that women who use doulas in their birth and to assist in the postpartum have incredibly positive results. A skilled doula can empower a women to make the choices that are correct for her body and baby.
If hiring someone is out of your budget, still check in with local doulas, many know new doulas looking to work for hours towards their certification or some even trade for work.
5. Teas and sitz baths
You can find teas and sitz baths for sale all over the internet, or ask your doula! Using high quality organic herbs can be so beneficial for healing the perineum after birth. Relaxing in the bath can also give relief when your milk comes in and is a great time for you to have for yourself or bring your baby in the tub with you for some lovely bonding time.
Pregnancy and postpartum teas are full of vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy pregnancy and postpartum. Do a little research or ask a doula and/or herbalist for assistance on what may be right for you.
6. Sleep when you can
Everyone gives the advice of sleeping when your baby sleeps, which is usually so impossible, but given enough support, you don’t need to be exhausted all the time with your newborn. With radical self care you can see the light!
7. Skin to Skin! Less clothes... warmer space
Keep your space nice and warm. In many cultures around the world keeping the mother and baby warm in those first few weeks is incredibly important. Babies that are skin to skin with their parents find comfort in being close. A mother’s body actually regulates to the correct temperature that your baby needs. We also know that keeping your baby skin to skin as much as possible has so many other long term health benefits. Your baby’s microbiome is just being created, all of the good bacteria that your baby is getting from you are the fundamental building blocks to a healthy gut in the future. More skin to skin time also aides in bonding and breastfeeding.
8. Be Gentle With Yourself
The best piece of advice is to be gentle with yourself! Everyone has an option, but yours is the only one that matters. Those first few months can be so many things. It is unpredictable what your baby’s temperament will be like and how much help you will need. Remember to be gentle with yourself, and seek the community you need and deserve.
In Support and Love