POST-PARTUM CARE | CUARENTENA
Investing in adequate support and care post-partum is crucial to help integrate the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual experience that is giving birth. If this experience isn't well integrated into the context of the birthing person’s life, it can leave one vulnerable to feeling weak, fragmented, anxious and overwhelmed (several cultures believe that a lack of post-partum care can manifest in several ways; one being post-partum depression).
The act of giving birth requires surrender and it may be the most open and vulnerable a person has ever been- mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Honoring this, traditional birthing ways implement several customs and rituals post-partum to protect, support, "seal" and "close" the new mother. Integrating these techniques early in the post-partum recovery phase are, hands down and without a doubt, what make my physical therapy offerings more effective in the long run.
With a variety of healing hormones coursing through your body, the post-partum phase not only lends itself to healing from the pregnancy and birthing experience, but it is also a valuable time in which anything in your life that needs healing can be addressed head-on. No matter what the outcome of your birthing experience, it has the power to forever change you. It is my belief that adequate post-partum care helps you acknowledge, express, and integrate the meaning and magnitude of this transition in your life. The more time you give yourself to do this work, the deeper you can go. Every person needs to determine what's realistic, desirable, and affordable for them.
In western medicine, once vitals are stable, it’s standard care, for the medical team to discharge the new mother with the parting words, “We’ll see you for a follow-up appointment in 6 weeks.” Often, a newly minted family is left with minimal to no guidance on what to expect recovery-wise or how to cope. In contrast, traditionally, many cultures’ post-partum care begins immediately after birth with a tea offering to help expel the afterbirth and/or binding of the abdomen before the birthing person stands up for the first time. It’s followed by daily sobadas/bodywork, baths, steams and herbal and nutritional support all aimed at restoring digestive function, encouraging the uterus to heal (involution), soothing the nervous system, and establishing breastfeeding. This time-honored, skilled and compassionate post-partum care is usually offered for the first 40+ days.
Currently, the western medical model does not have an established post-partum healing protocol in place. In fact, at the 6-week post-partum follow-up appointment, it is not standard of care to refer people to physical therapy even after a c-section is performed, which is a major abdominal surgery. However, many traditional healing ways outside of western culture have very sophisticated post-partum healing protocols and encourage that a minimum of 40-days be dedicated to healing (la cuarentena). This timeline overlaps with modern medicine's viewpoint that after surgery, trauma, injury, or fracture, it usually takes 6-8 weeks (42 -56 days) for tissue to heal. Initially, the tissue is disrupted and inflamed. Then, with the right input and environment, at the 6-8 week mark, the tissue transitions into repair and remodel mode (meaning the body lays down the necessary scaffolding to support and rebuild the damaged tissue).
At this point, the tissue is more tolerant of being progressively stressed, strengthened and stretched. As the tissue continues to adapt to loads that it couldn't handle before, it becomes more resilient. This echos the belief that many traditional healings ways have: after 40 days of proper nourishment, support and care, the mother emerges stronger and more capable than ever of coping with the demands of their new role.
Whether you deliver vaginally or through Caesarean (C-section), I am skilled at helping you develop post-partum resiliency. Support and care can take many forms including, but not limited to:
+Education on how to prepare yourself, your home, family, and friends for your post-partum recovery period
+Belly Binding/Faja can help with lymphatic drainage to minimize swelling and provide support to ensure proper uterine alignment as your uterus shrinks to pre-pregnancy size and descends back into the pelvis after delivery (called involution). Traditionally, how well your uterus settles back into the pelvis determines how well the body heals. For this reason, the sooner the binding can be done, the better. It can be done as soon as 2-4 hours post-partum, once vitals are stable and is appropriate after a c-section too. Binding is most effective 1-5 days post-partum because involution of the uterus is maximum in the first five days (about 1 cm per day) and then it gradually slows down. The uterus regains its pre-pregnancy size at the end of 6 weeks. This healing may be delayed when a C-section is performed.
+Nutritional Support and Herbal Remedies to support healing, restore digestive function and promote lactation |Tinctures, Tes y Caldos
+Sobadas/Bodywork/Manual Therapy such as abdominal massage, scar tissue release, visceral mobilization, lymphatic drainage and at 6 weeks post-partum, once cleared by your midwife or OBGYN, internal/vaginal assessment can be performed. This work is all done to restore skin, connective, muscle and nervous tissue integrity; promote the slide and glide of the fascia (fascial mobility); and ensure optimal organ positioning and pelvic alignment. Physical body work can also facilitate tremendous emotional releases and can begin to reconnect the birthing person to a sense of self.
+Pelvic and Spinal Stability Exercises to: help successfully carry-out functional activities like lifting, holding, and breastfeeding a new-born; restore pelvic floor and abdominal muscle activation; regain bowel and bladder control; and once cleared, promote satisfactory return to sexual activity.
+Herbal slap baths
COST: $3,500 (30 hours)
VIEW OTHERS WAYS TO WORK WITH AMANDA