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Holistic Postpartum Recovery Plan: Months 6-12

posted:

2/26/2024

@caroline__potter

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Caroline

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The first year postpartum—it’s everything mixed together—a bundle of emotions, messy and beautiful, fulfilling and discouraging, tears of desperation and tears of joy. As you approach your baby’s first birthday, celebrate your motherhood journey just as much as you celebrate new life. Learn all about postpartum with the Holistic Postpartum Recovery Plan: Months 6-12 blog.

Mama, between months 6-12 postpartum recovery, you are still in the midst of it, your hormones are still strong, sleep is all over the place and as your baby begins to move more and sleep less, these changes can quickly pile up and drain you. After each of my 3 babies, I feel like months 6-12 can require some of the most intense work and replenishment. At this point, you may also have the capacity to do some of this work.

You may feel like the fog has begun to lift in some aspects of your life but in other ways you still may feel you are in the depths of the fog. This is normal and to be expected. You may have days full of energy and days when you are exhausted. 

Let’s give you the tools to continue replenishing your body in this season of 6-12 months postpartum recovery.

Picture of Caroline similing while she holds her baby in her arms - Holistic Postpartum Recovery Plan: Months 6-12

Start here with targeted postpartum replenishment first.

Postpartum Restorative Tonic

CBD Nano Jellies: choose broad spectrum if breastfeeding, full spectrum if not.

Recognizing Postpartum Anxiety & Depression in Real Life

Postpartum Recovery Plan: Months 1-2

Postpartum Recovery Plan: Months 3-6

Picture of Caroline standing while she holds her baby in her arms - Holistic Postpartum Recovery Plan: Months 6-12

What’s going on with your body during postpartum months 6-12

Mama, you are still in the midst of postpartum recovery, there isn’t a right or wrong timeline here, only your unique circumstances! It’s easy to compare your progress, healing and energy to other mamas, but just know that all of us celebrate victories and healing and also walk through hard times on our own timelines.

Walk into this season with realistic expectations—your hormones will be wonky, your baby’s going through so many developmental changes, you will still be tired, your emotions may still seem all over the place (in fact this is often when overwhelm hits the most). 

But also listen to your symptoms—just because something may be “common” does not mean it has to be your “normal”. Pay attention to what’s going on in your body because it’s signaling you that something your physical body needs support.

Explore our Holistic Nutrition Services >

Cover picture of the "Postpartum Support 6-12 months"

Lean into your intuition.

Intuition is truly a mother’s greatest gift. There is no one that knows you, your child or your unique situation better than you. With so many opinions, research and ‘noise’, grounding your thoughts and trusting your intuition takes practice but will reward you everytime.

There have been so many moments in my motherhood journey where people told me what my children were experiencing was just “common and normal”. I knew there had to be a better way, I knew something was off. And every time I trusted my intuition, we put together another puzzle piece of their unique story. We started to heal the situation and find answers. We started to relieve the pain, sleeplessness and suffering. 

All because I trusted my motherly intuition.

Read How to Trust Your Intuition as a Mother >

Eat iron rich foods.

Around 6 months, you can expect your monthly cycle to return. You may have already gotten it, or it could also be quite some time before it returns. There isn’t a right or wrong here, your timeline is unique. 

Iron rich foods are important for energy, hormone balance and to replenish stores lost through creating your baby, giving birth and your monthly cycle.

The best iron rich foods include:

  • egg yolks
  • leafy greens (rich in both iron and VItamin C for optimal absorption)
  • grass-fed beef
  • pumpkin seeds
  • shellfish
  • liver or organ meats

Fact to note: Iron needs Vitamin C to be absorbed and utilized efficiently—Vitamin C helps with micronutrient absorption, in particular iron. Pair with Pure Radiance C.

Start a consistent CBD routine for balance and replenishment.

CBD balances your endocannabinoid system—there is not a single function in the body that is not impacted by the ECS. Sleep, hormone balance, digestion, ability to navigate anxious thoughts and overwhelm, nervous system regulation, mood balance and more are all regulated by the ECS. Stress is one of the biggest depleters of the ECS, and creating a human, giving birth and navigating the intensity of the newborn phase is beautiful but also stressful.

With a consistent CBD routine you’ll notice:

  • Deeper sleep, even on nights when sleep is minimal, your body will be able to do more with less.
  • Hormone balance and a regulated cycle, this takes time.
  • More joy and patience in motherhood, especially during the chaotic, overwhelming moments!
  • Ability to navigate anxious thoughts and rationalize rather than spiraling downward.
  • Increased capacity and energy.

My ability to regulate my emotions, anxious thoughts and reactions totally changed once I started taking CBD daily! CBD gives you that buffer—it takes a short fuse and turns it into a long fuse. It gives you that moment of margin to pause and then react, rather than reacting instantly. 

With CBD, I can think through the chaos better, can actually pause and rationalize rather than react and have way more physical and mental capacity to tackle the day.

*I recommend starting with the Balance and Restore Collection—it is a customizable buy one get one free bundle. Choose Broad Spectrum (if breastfeeding) or Full Spectrum Jellies for a 24 hour baseline of balance and the Hemp Flower Extract for those more intense moments when you need instant relief. The Lemon Lime Collagen is amazing for hydration, hair growth, headache relief, metabolism, rebuilding joints and muscles and energy in the afternoon.

Expect fatigue to still come in waves.

A year after having your baby (and most likely the first few years), you will still be tired. Yes, I said it! Your sleep may still be interrupted from time to time, and your hormones are still strong. Depending on how your baby sleeps (there isn’t a good or bad here), will influence you. Energy and sleep take a long time to replenish. You may not be tired every day, in fact some days your energy might be strong, but if  you are still getting waves of exhaustion, that is ok!

You also might be experiencing light sleep, and that is a protective measure and gift us mamas have in order to help our babies when needed. At 6-12 months postpartum recovery you may see an increase in sleep anxiety, difficulty falling back asleep or waking up super tired some days even after a great night’s sleep. Your mind is now on your baby, making it harder to get that deep restorative sleep—the beauty and difficulty of motherhood.

A few tools to help you get better, deeper sleep:

Best advice: get into bed earlier. Deep, restorative sleep happens between 10pm-6am. And if you feel like some days you need to go to sleep at 8pm, do it! You still are playing catch up. 

Get our FREE Holistic Sleep Guide >

Begin to carefully and intentionally strengthen your core.

Relaxin, a hormone that increases greatly during pregnancy to soften and relax the ligaments and cervix to prepare for birth, does not begin to drop or normalize until 6-12 months postpartum. Relaxin is essential for pregnancy and birth, but postpartum it also can lead to a weakened core, pain, bad posture, tension headaches, and changes in your musculoskeletal system making you more susceptible to injury.

Immediately following birth many of our hormones drop drastically, but relaxin does normalize until the first year postpartum and even longer if breastfeeding. This is why intentionally exercising and slowly re-building core muscles is key. Working with a pelvic floor specialist to address your unique situation can be so helpful for life long benefits. Many countries around the world cover pelvic floor therapy for mamas postpartum, but here in the US you most likely will need to intentionally seek it.

Jumping right back into exercise, running or activities to “loose” the weight may be popular and common, but it also doesn’t set you up for long term success. Easing into movement with stretching, pilates, yoga, walking and specific core strengthening exercises may seem “small” but is truly what your body needs during this season. Hardcore crunches and ab exercises aren’t required, but rather the movements are small, relaxing and intricate.

Collagen is key to help restore and rebuild joints, connective tissue and muscles that were stretched and strained during pregnancy and birth. I LOVE this Lemon Lime Collagen for energy, hydration and muscle strength and recovery—plus it’s delicious and you’ll crave it daily!

Holistic Postpartum Tools: Months 6-12

Cover picture of the "Holistic Sleep Guide - Learn how to get deep, restorative sleep and wake up energized" - Holistic Postpartum Recovery Plan: Months 6-12

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