WITH AYURVEDA, IT'S THE SMALL THINGS THAT MAKE THE BIG DIFFERENCE. ONE OF THE MAIN AREAS IS MEALS - CONSCIOUSLY CONSUMING FOODS THAT ARE BEST SUITED TO YOUR BODY TYPE OR DOSHA, PREPARED FRESH AND WITH SPICE.
Only eating when hungry is also a big part of it - this has the power to transform your body and mind.
With the guidance of my doctor from India, I have established daily rituals that keep me centred. On rising I have a warm oil rub and shower, drink warm water before practicing yoga and exercising with my family, followed by a light breakfast of cinnamon, cardamom and ginger porridge with dates. Lunch is the biggest meal- spiced organic vegetables, coconut fish curry and basmati rice and dinner is light.
THROUGHOUT THE DAY I TRY TO TUNE INTO MY BODY - SURRENDERING TO HOW MY BABY AND I FEEL AND THEN ACTING ACCORDINGLY: IF WE'RE TIRED WE REST WHENEVER POSSIBLE, IF WE'RE SLUGGISH I MAKE SOME CHAI AND GET OUTSIDE.
IT SOUNDS BASIC BUT SO OFTEN WE IGNORE HOW WE FEEL AND PUSH THROUGH AS IF TO PROVE WE CAN.
It's essential that mothers become attuned with their own needs. That way their 'grace' tank is full and ready to give to their children. Listening to your body models self-care to your baby, and I think that's really important.
As a naturopath, do you have any specific advice on how women can nurture themselves while breastfeeding?
PRIORITY IS GIVEN TO THE DELIVERY OF NUTRIENTS TO THE INFANT VIA BREAST MILK, EVEN AT THE EXPENSE OF MATERNAL RESERVES.
If a mother’s intake of certain nutrients is low she may become depleted and exhausted. Key nutrients to consider including in either increased dietary form or supplementation include: folate, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, selenium, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B12 and K.
Additionally, anxiety, fatigue and stress can negatively effect milk production and let down; ask for help where needed and practice relaxation techniques or sleeping whenever baby is sleeping.