Essential postnatal self-care

When Freddie was born, a friend of mine who had her baby the same week gave me a beautiful book called The Fragrant Pharmacy a guide to aromatherapy and essential oils. I promptly put it on a bookshelf and forgot about it while buried under newborn explosive poos and leaking breastmilk – does anyone else do that? With the best of intentions life gets in the way sometimes.

But i spotted it last week again and brought it down – only two years later… I sometimes feel like you only find things when it’s the right time for you to properly benefit from the insight it might bring into your life…well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it….

In the past week I’ve written an “expert” piece for Mother & Baby where I was talking about the super powers of essential oils during labour/your birth experience and in the postnatal ward – lavender oil is truly a magic elixir: uplifting, healing, soothing, antiviral, antibacterial, encourages relaxation and a deep breathing skill which benefits you and baby – there basically is nothing that lavender can’t do apart from actually donning white gloves and delivering your baby to you.

I then did an interview with Gurgle and found myself talking about the awesome Mum Power we display when we have those wobbly emotional episodes. We tend to belittle them and think of them as weakness, as an unwanted hormonal side effect of pregnancy and motherhood.  But, honestly ladies how can it be a weakness, to be absolutely overflowing with feeling and emotions – it’s a sign of love, strength, power, of being a warrior, of wanting so much to have the best for your children that there’s not enough bodily space for it to inhabit and it has to spill out. I happened after this chat to serendipitously find and open up The Fragrant Pharmacy at a page titled Post Natal Care.

Such simple steps can be taken in those heightened emotional exhausted motherhood days – that can happen way beyond the newborn phase, my littlest is 2, and today I feel like I’m walking through treacle with exhaustion – to transform a day or even just a moment from sucky to serene. Those days where you’re stuck on shouty mumma mode, and can’t seem to get out of the cycle of reflecting your child’s emotional outbursts back at them.

Having a baby is the most profound chemical change that we’re likely ever to undergo as humans. Sort of like that transition time when the caterpillar is pushing its way out of its cocoon to fly away as a butterfly, we’re pushing a baby out of our body either through the door or the sunroof, and pass through a turnstile that we can never go back through. It’s not only a physical change – it’s a huge social change that will profoundly alter every move we make for at least the next 10 years of our lives. Unrelenting demands from our children but also from society, surprising emotions such as anger, jealousy, envy can suddenly become louder in our internal dialogue than they ever were before as we move through this period of huge transition.

Firstly we need to acknowledge this monumental life shift, this hormonal surge, this emotional tumult, the psychological, physical and social shift that we’re being carried along. Profound changes are afoot in every aspect of our lives, from our leaky boobs to our now-empty social calendar.

We need to find non-complicated quick and easy ways to encourage balance in this turbulent time. Essential oils can help to even out hormonal and and emotional choppiness so that your self-esteem, confidence, motivation, self-belief aren’t able to fall out of balance too much.

Goodbye mama blues essential oils:

  1. Bergamot 

  2. Neroli

  3. Geranium

  4. Clary-sage

  5. Grapefruit

  6. Rose

These can be used on their own or in a combination that you feel works for you, up to 30 drops in 30ml of a carrier oil such as Almond oil or coconut oil – trust your senses, close your eyes and take a deep breath, respond to what your sense of smell delights in. Swish them in a bath, massage them into your arms, belly, thighs. Dab them behind your ears. I always dot Jasmine oil on my wrists as it simply makes me happier – and more importantly makes me breathe more deeply to take in the fragrance.

Giving yourself an hour a week – at a bare minimum: shoot for 3 hours ladies, or a WHOLE DAY – for some solace, pampering, mindful connection to your senses and state of mind, is a kind of buffer for those “JUST PUT YOUR SHOES ON!!!” moments that we will all experience at some point daily in our mothering journey. It’s how you can pull yourself back from the choppy feelings that those moments entail, and move forward calmly. It’s amazing how just a few breaths, even better an hour, or three, of deep connection to your senses by way of essential oil care can cushion you, strengthen and revitalise.

#parenting #mother #depression #neroli #essentialoils #postnatalcare #motherhood #wellness #mentalhealth #Pregnancy #aromatherapy #energy #calming #fatigue #massage #postnataldepression #psychology #yoga #anxiety #baby #clarysage #labour #lavender

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