After giving birth, a new mother goes through tremendous changes physically, emotionally, and hormonally. She changes more during the first 72 hours postpartum than she does during her entire pregnancy! Her body is no longer dominated by progesterone and estrogen. Now, she is under the influence of lactogen and prolactin, two wonderful feel-good hormones that make it possible for her to nurse her newborn.
Along with the hormonal changes come life changes. She is now responsible for this new person that needs her undivided attention 24/7. Plus, her body is sore from pushing a baby out, and she used muscles she didn’t even know she had!
How to Support a New Mother
As you can imagine, this new mama needs lots of nurturing and support during such an immense transition.
- She needs healing herbal baths to get her back on her feet again.
- She needs nourishing meals prepared by friends and family.
- She needs herbal teas filled with vitamins and minerals.
- She might need teas to support breastfeeding.
- She needs support and understanding while she cries and isn't sure why.
- She needs her supportive partner now more than ever.
Herbs to Support a New Mother
Imagine the frustration of being up all night with the baby and still tending to the demands of the family. Your phone is ringing and your toddler is asking for a cupcake again. You just want to yell!
Well, it sounds like it is a good time for your good friend motherwort to come in and help you out. It is not sedating at all, but is calming, and helps take the frustration out of the situation. Clients tell me they are better mothers with motherwort on their side.
In fact, it is one of the most emotionally-supportive herbs I know (Leonurus cardiaca), “the lion hearted.” I absolutely love this name, especially as a midwife, when it is my job to protect women and children. I see this name reflected in new mothers, as well, as they turn into mama lions – tender but fierce when it comes to their new baby.
Motherwort is a member of the mint family. But don’t let that fool you. The taste is not pleasant, but incredibly bitter. Motherwort is not easily tolerated as a tea unless it is mixed with her cousins from the mint family. Instead, tinctures are the best way to take it. I prefer to blend motherwort with other postpartum herbs, as well.
Motherwort is not intended for pregnancy because it causes uterine contractions. Motherwort is definitely encouraged for other seasons in a woman’s life, not just postpartum.
Motherwort is good for the heart, good for the womb, and good for the mother.
If you enjoyed this post, I bet you'd love my Nurtured Mother Postpartum Tincture!
And now I'd love to hear from you! If you're a mother, what are some of your favorite ways to be nurtured? Or, how do you nurture the mamas in your life?
Let us know in the comments below!