Postpartum, also called the fourth trimester, puerperium and postnatal is recognized as the period just after birth and the subsequent six weeks that follow. Postpartum is as important as any other phase of the birthing process. During pregnancy, labor and birth of the baby, a mother’s overall health is depleted. The mother is constantly giving of her life force energy, therefore it is most important she is replenished and cared for after birth. Many elders have told me women who don’t take care of themselves in their childbearing years, especially after the birth of a baby, are sure to feel discomforts during menopause.
Postpartum is a significant time for the mother, baby and family. Many physiological, psychological and spiritual changes occur. During this time, the uterus contracts, breasts may enlarge and become tender in preparation for breastfeeding and hormones fluctuate. Internal organs that have moved to accommodate the baby are slowly shifting back to their original positions. As mothers, we need to desire and expect quality holistic postpartum care. As health practitioners, it is imperative that we are more attentive to the postpartum mothers we are serving. Caring for the mother in a loving way will help restore strength, vitality, muscle tone, mental clarity and an overall sense of well being.