As we discussed during our live video call yesterday, much of the remedies, recipes, and wellness care techniques we will share with you throughout your online Original Instructions Postpartum Doula certification program are based on practices which can be found throughout Indigenous cultures across the world.
Finding the common 'threads' or themes which have remained integral parts of well-developed and ancient healing modalities is a way for us to establish some simple truths about the optimal postpartum environment and interactions for the new mother and her family.
Please watch the videos connected to the links below in order to learn more about specific postpartum practices throughout the world. While you watch the videos take notes on traditional postpartum practices that are referenced.
After you have completed all of the videos please write down the similarities you observed within the different practices.
Regardless of who the mother is or the outcome of her pregnancy, the postpartum period of a woman's life is sure to bring a rollercoaster ride of hormones. Because every person has a unique internal chemistry and DNA blueprint, this is no way for us to definitively know exactly how a mother's body, mind, and emotions will respond while in the process of reencountering homeostasis in the postpartum period.
For some postpartum women, a spike in adrenaline can lead to mild to severe sleep deprivation, whereas many other postpartum women may feel a steep decline in serotonin manifesting as the "postpartum blues". In the same way that not all women experience the same symptoms at menopause, there exists an extremely wide range of what healthy looks like during this sacred and intense window in a woman's life. There is no true 'normal' for postpartum mothers, and helping a postpartum mother to understand that can be a tremendous service to your communities and clients.
Because we find it so fulfilling and healthy to celebrate each family's unique postpartum journey I would like to begin the Herbalism portion of your Postpartum Doula training with adaptogenic plant allies. Adaptogenic medicinal plants have the ability to combine with the unique chemistry of each person's body in ways that best support homeostasis one's system. Many plants with strong adaptogenic properties also can be ideal for relieving symptoms of anxiety.
Two of our favorite adaptogens are Tulsi-Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) and Motherwort (Leonurus Cardiaca). This is because, among other things, they both grow plentifully and are readily accessible in large portions of the world.
Motherwort is found to have been one of the oldest forms of plant life still in existence today and has been widely used by women on at least five continents menstruation and the postpartum period. Not only is she so helpful in balancing and smoothing out any jarring changes in our basic female hormones, but she also helps promote the flow of oxytocin which in turn encourages milk production and flow.