Feeling tired postnatally is a given. How tired you are depends on many things. How supportive your partner is, what you are eating, how well baby is sleeping. All of these factors and many more will contribute to how you feel in the first few months after your baby is born. Not only for the new Mum but also for Dad too.
For a woman the changes postnatally are not only physical but emotional too. Physically the uterus will start to shrink once the baby is born. This is called the involution of the uterus or ‘after pains’ and may cause cramping. Breasts will enlarge as milk is produced and initially can feel very uncomfortable. But once feeding is established any discomfort should disappear.
A new mum will also experience blood loss from the vagina called Lochia. This will gradually cease; each women experiencing a different length of time. Emotionally the changes can be enormous. Hormones fluctuate dramatically after the birth and can result in mood swings. The ‘baby blues’ is the name given to feelings of teariness and maybe the inability to cope, and are often felt a few days after the birth of the baby. These feelings however should pass and do not mean that she is suffering from post natal depression. Please refer to my earlier blog for issues round this subject.
For Dad, well, he too will experience emotional issues as he comes to term with the changes going on around him. Maybe the birth was traumatic and he has witnessed his loved one go through a dramatic physical process. Men often report feeling like a spare part once their baby is born. The mother’s role is very obvious but a lot of new dads struggle with their new identity.
What both of you will be feeling is tired and this is where a few essential oils can be helpful for you both to regain a little equilibrium.
You could use the essential oils in a bath. Easy to do and can make a real difference to how you are feeling. Take it in turns, one to have a relaxing bath whilst the other looks after the baby. For Dad this can be a great time to have a little bonding with their new son or daughter.
Make sure you have everything you want and need. No good having to shout out for a cup of T or even a glass of wine! Your partner is busy with the baby and this is your time to be alone, so get a little organised, make sure that book is to hand, the candles are lit and you can have 20 min of ‘you time’
A few suggestions would be…..
Geranium, Pelargonium graveolens will assist with hormonal fluctuations.
Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, can help ease the tiredness and leave you feeling relaxed.
Any of the citrus essential oils will gently revive you.
Marjoram, Origanum marjorana, particularly useful oil if you are feeling left out. This oil will nurture you and help restore feelings of being able to give without needing to receive.
Frankincense, Boswellia carterii, is great for transition and acceptance.
Run a bath to your desired temperature. Choose which essential oils you want to use, a combination of 2 or 3 is good. Now add your chosen drops to a tablespoon of vegetable oil, no more than 6 drops in total this will help the oils disperse in the bath water. You could always add a tablespoon of full fat milk before you add the oils; take a leaf out of Cleopatra’s book! Essential oils start to evaporate once they leave the bottle so add them just before you get in. Now stir the water round, step in, close your eyes and relax.
Just by taking some timeout for your self can make a difference to the early days of parenthood. There is nothing wrong with needing some time out. Talk to your partner, share your feelings and enjoy being a new parent!