Recovering from Childbirth: Postpartum Nourishment
February 20, 2018 ~ Meghan J Paterson
The days and weeks following the birth of your child can allow for some of the most magical moments while you sit gazing at this being you've co-created. It can also be filled with elation, feelings of relief, over-the-moon in awe, exhausted beyond anything you've ever felt, unsettled and a little off kilter as your internal systems begin to shift. And maybe a little Hungry or a lot hungry, feeling like your body is craving nourishment.
If we consider the exertion, blood and fluid loss, and internal logistical of shifting organs, we can easily conclude that postpartum food is most beneficial when it is deeply nourishing and easy on the digestive tract. So if you're being asked about a meal-train or friends and family offering to bring you meals then here are some guidelines to share with them so the made-with-love food will benefit the needs of your postpartum body.
Five Characteristics of the Best PostPartum Food
• Hot-to-warm and moist/liquid
• Nutrient-dense (lots of good fats!)
• Easy-to-digest, spiced for digestion
• Enjoyable (of course!)
Good foods to nourish a postpartum mom
Plenty of purified water
Organic chicken and vegetable soup with plenty of fresh herbs
Greens!! Fresh salad greens, dark leafy greens, and green smoothies
Sweet vegetables (yams, squash, carrots, beets)
Raw nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
Raw almond butter
Whole grains (quinoa, amaranth, oats, sweet brown rice, millet, teff)
Carminative herbs and spices (cumin, cardamom, fenugreek, ginger, mint, fennel seeds)
Raspberry leaf tea (raspberry leaf along with fennel help to contract the uterus)
Nettle tea enriches and increases milk production
Healthy fats (avocado, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, fresh flax or fish oil)
Food to avoid during the postpartum period
Please keep this list in mind when selecting your recipes and their ingredients.
Citrus fruit, especially juices
Heavily spiced foods
Raw garlic and onions
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage)
Wheat / Gluten
Refined soy products
Caffeine (coffee, tea, soda)
I've included a few recipes which I hope bring you much nourishment during this amazing time in your life. If friends or family are asking to support coordinating meals here are some great sites to pass along.
Embracing your Mother Archetype
November 20, 2017 ~ Meghan J Paterson
This mothering journey can unfold in a multitude of directions in any given moment of any given day, hour or minute. We hold ourselves in such high regard to be everything we possibly can, in all of the relationships we find ourselves in, especially the one we have with our children. I recently came across an article about the Mother Archetype and it resonated in such a deep way, that I felt sharing this may benefit others who are feeling the weight of motherhood.
The term "archetype" originates in ancient greek, the root words are archein, which means "original or old"; and typos which means "pattern or type". Together it's meaning is an "original pattern" of which all other similar persons, objects or concepts are copied, modelled or emulated. There are many different types of archetypes and they may present themselves in several ways with generally one being more dominate. So I propose to you to take a moment as you read, to check-in with yourself about what resonates for you.
Maybe you're the mother who must have everything in it's place before you have someone over, or maybe your home is cluttered and lived-in.
You might be spontaneous and free-spirited, or well-organized and a planner.
Maybe you like to fill your days by being busy and going out and about lots, or you enjoy being in the comfort of your home.
You may place fun high in your priorities or maybe you place education higher.
The truth is;
"You can do anything, but not everything."
~ Davin Allen
The thing is that whichever of these personality traits you find yourself nodding your head to doesn't reflect who you are as a mother. If we collectively come together with honesty and truth we will discover that we are all keeping it together the best we know how. Which is pretty unbelievable, may I just say. Our culture creates these archetypes that we feel we must fit ourselves into, when in actual fact if we all just took notice of who we truly are and what we offer to our relationships, there may be a chance that we can accept who we are as mothers and step into the truth of our own archetypes.
Figure out what you are good at and allow yourself to gravitate to that.
I am not very good at taking time for myself, so I schedule time during the week just for me. My husband travels a lot and living on an acreage means there's a ton to do, so I hire someone to support what needs to get done. Cleaning our home is not a priority, but thankfully it is for my husband.
However, I love to cook from scratch, so family dinners are an every night affair. I love being outside, so at every chance I am outside with our children, creating experiences. I' also enjoy growing food and medicinal plants, so I share this passion with my children.
Embracing your strengths and looking to others in your tribe and community, will free you up to be the mother you want to be. Be gentle with yourself, especially in those early days and weeks, as your mothering journey unfolds and you learn what resonates and what doesn't!
Nature's Gifts for Healing
October 20, 2017 ~ Meghan J Paterson
As the darkness of Autumn begins to fall upon us and we draw into our unique hibernation rhythms we tend to transition during this time with a variety of alignments that can take a lot out of ourselves and our little ones.
I wanted to share my love for a herbal remedy that I make myself with Elderberries. Elderberries are one of my most-used go-to remedies for cooler months. The dried berries of the Sambucis Nigra plant are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat cold and flu illness's more quickly. They can be used to make a variety of remedies, and my favorite is this simple elderberry syrup.
Be sure to wait until the fruit is a deep purple and juicy when squashed. There is a fine line when harvesting. You want to get them just before they are ready to fall off the bush by themselves because they are so ripe. Seeing the birds at the elderberries is another good sign that they are ready to harvest.
The easiest way to harvest them is to simply cut the entire bunch of berries from the bush. Wait until you’re back home to remove the individual berries from the stems.
Once home, there are a few ways to remove the berries from the stem. Some people like to use a fork to remove the berries. I prefer just using my hands. If the berries are as ripe as they should be, they will drop right off.
Both the flowers and berries are edible. One of the most important things to remember about elderberries is to never eat them raw.
According to the Botanical Safety Handbook:
"The raw and unripe fruit, the seeds, the bark, and the leaves of S. nigra and related species S. racemosa contain the cyanogenic glycoside sambunigrin, ingestion of which may cause vomiting or severe diarrhea."
I offer you this recipe to try and please let me know in the comments below if you have used Elderberry in the past to support your family and if you try this recipe be sure to share your thoughts on how it went.
The Sacred Journey
September 12, 2017 ~ Meghan J Paterson
I sit in reflection of how far I've come in the creation of SacredCedar BirthWorks and my passion to support women in all facets of their mothering journey. As the summer season begins to ebb into the flow of fall I am called to write and share about the beautiful landscape that woman find themselves on as they open their thoughts, minds & body to the magic of becoming a mother!
I invite you on this mothering journey of exploration where it is my desire to share, inform, excite, support & honour the labyrinth that all mothers walk in all the different phases that we find ourselves on.
I will be sharing from my heart's experiences as a Mother of two, Breastfeeding Councillor, Holistic Birth & Postpartum Doula. Please share your thoughts, questions, wants & desires and I will be honoured to provide thoughtful information that will support all mothers to thrive and be nourished from the inside out.