After my third baby was born, I didn’t really take care of myself that well. Part of it was just the situation we were in — three small, needy children and a husband in the depths of a serious detox — and part of it was this strange idea that I needed to jump back into things immediately. I hadn’t prepared enough in advance and didn’t know how to explain to people what I needed or how to help me.
I’ve decided this time I’m going to be a little more “selfish.” I’m going to take more time to rest, sit around, let others take care of me. When else in my life can I do it?! And when else do I really need it? I’ll spend my days reclining in bed or on the couch, in the early weeks, snuggling my new baby, napping when I want to, and doing just the fun parts with the older kids (talking, reading books, snuggling). I’ll let others deal with the fighting, cooking, and cleaning!
I also want to take care of myself physically. I want to recover well and without any deficiencies. I now know that part of the reason my third pregnancy and recovery were harder was because I was magnesium deficient. I tried to eat nutrient-dense foods but with the stress of pregnancy and birth, plus dealing with my husband’s detox, it was just not enough. Of course, the situation is different now — he’s mostly past the detox phase (still working on yeast, but he’s much stronger) and more able to help me. I have more friends who could come and help me too, and I’ll take advantage of that.
As far as the nourishment, though, I already shared my pre-baby cooking plan. I want to have lots of nutrient-dense foods around to snack on whenever I need them. But I also want to take some extra measures to help re-balance my hormones and nourish my body.
This tea is not just for postpartum. This could help any woman who is hoping to balance her hormones and nourish her body. It would be great for pre-conception and even late pregnancy. The chosen herbs help female hormones as well as providing a ton of vitamins and minerals that women need. I’ll be making up a huge batch of the dry herbs and storing them in a jar with instructions on how to brew the tea. I’ll have someone brew me 2 – 4 cups daily in the early weeks to help me heal.
- 2 parts red raspberry leaf
- 2 parts nettle
- 1 part spearmint
- ½ part alfalfa
These should all be done by weight. So, for example, you might mix 2 oz. red raspberry, 2 oz. nettle, 1 oz. spearmint, and 1/2 oz. alfalfa. Simply combine them in a glass jar or plastic bag, shake to combine, and set aside.
To brew, scoop a large amount (1/3 – 1/2 c.) into a quart mason jar. Add boiling filtered water to cover. Put the lid on, make sure all the herbs are saturated, and let it steep for 30 minutes to overnight. Strain, sweeten lightly if desired, and drink.
I chose red raspberry because it is known to tone the uterus and smooth muscles in the body, as well as helping to balance hormones. It also can increase fertility (although that’s not why I’m using it!) and reduce the risk of hemorrhage or excess bleeding. It helps the uterus return to its usual size. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, potassium, some B vitamins, and vitamin C.
I chose nettle because it is an incredibly nourishing and soothing herb. It contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, vitamins B and C, and is anti-inflammatory. It can also slow excessive bleeding.
I chose spearmint partially because I like the taste, but also because it’s rich in B-complex (especially folate). It also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. Too much mint can reduce your milk supply, so if you are sensitive to this, you should omit it from the tea. (If you are using this tea for fertility or general hormone balancing and are not breastfeeding, you don’t need to worry about this.)
I chose alfalfa primarily for its vitamin K content, which can reduce bleeding. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. It can help stimulate appetite (and as I tend to skip meals, this is good!) and fight bad bacteria. It is anti-inflammatory and can boost milk supply.
That is why I will be drinking this tea daily! Although I believe it is good for most women! A quick note though: women with lupus or blood-clotting disorders should not use alfalfa, which can cause excessive clotting.