Thanks so much for your interest in caring for postpartum mothers. The notes below are from my presentation on herbs for postpartum mothers at the 2014 annual conference of the American Herbalists Guild. Below are some resources that might be helpful, whether you attended the presentation or not.
Do let me know if you have questions or if you know of a resource that should be listed here.
Here is my Pinterest board with ideas for foods to bring the postpartum mom (note that this is a revised link from what was posted in the AHG proceedings)
- The Nursing Mother’s Herbal, by Sheila Humphrey
- Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health & Natural Health after Birth by Aviva Romm
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche Leauge
- Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple by Nancy Mohrbacher – A highly-recommended textbook of breastfeeding problems & solutions.
- Mother-to-Mother support groups – Excellent for building community and meeting other moms.
- Postpartum Depression continuing education unit ($0.99 on Kindle) – a well-researched exploration of the biomedical understanding of PPD
- Find an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) – medical professionals comprehensively trained in breastfeeding support. Many insurances cover these services. Get a recommendation if possible, as some are more thorough and experienced than others.
- LactMed – databased from the National Library of Medicine on drugs and lactation. Many physicians are not familiar with this resource. Many medications are compatible with continued breastfeeding.
- Infant Risk – “call center based solely on evidence-based medicine and research. We are dedicated to providing current and accurate information to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and healthcare professionals. We are a training center for medical and pharmacy students and medical residents in the use of drugs in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers”
- Fussy Baby Network – phone support for parents whose babies are fussy/crying. They also offer information for professionals. From the Erikson Institute.
- Doula Match – Find a postpartum doula to support the mother
- Why Won’t This New Mom Wash Her Hair? A Fascinating Look at postpartum customs from women around the world by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow
- Share – Pregnancy and Infant Loss support network, with online forums and group support.
- Compassionate Friends – Support groups for families who have lost a child
- BereavedParentsUSA – self-help group for family members who have lost a child/grandchild/sibling
Relevant Papers from the Medical Literature
- Benjamin, D. R., van de Water, A. T. M., & Peiris, C. L. (2014). Effects of exercise on diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscle in the antenatal and postnatal periods: a systematic review. Physiotherapy, 100(1), 1–8. doi:10.1016/j.physio.2013.08.005
- Duthie, L., & Reynolds, R. M. (2013). Changes in the maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in pregnancy and postpartum: influences on maternal and fetal outcomes. Neuroendocrinology, 98(2), 106–115. doi:10.1159/000354702
- Gaberšček, S., & Zaletel, K. (2011). Thyroid physiology and autoimmunity in pregnancy and after delivery. Expert Review of Clinical Immunology, 7(5), 697–706; quiz 707. doi:10.1586/eci.11.42
- Kealy, M. A., Small, R. E., & Liamputtong, P. (2010). Recovery after caesarean birth: a qualitative study of women’s accounts in Victoria, Australia. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 10, 47. doi:10.1186/1471-2393-10-47
- Lyu, L.-C., Lo, C.-C., Chen, H.-F., Wang, C.-Y., & Liu, D.-M. (2009). A prospective study of dietary intakes and influential factors from pregnancy to postpartum on maternal weight retention in Taipei, Taiwan. The British Journal of Nutrition, 102(12), 1828–1837. doi:10.1017/S0007114509991243
- Normal and Abnormal Puerperium. (2013). Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/260187-overview
- Onyango, A. W., Nommsen-Rivers, L., Siyam, A., Borghi, E., de Onis, M., Garza, C., … WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study Group. (2011). Post-partum weight change patterns in the WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 7(3), 228–240. doi:10.1111/j.1740-8709.2010.00295.x
- Pierard-Franchimont, C., & Pierard, G. E. (2013). Alterations in Hair Follicle Dynamics in Women. BioMed Research International, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/957432
- Samadi, S., Khadivzadeh, T., Emami, A., Moosavi, N. S., Tafaghodi, M., & Behnam, H. R. (2010). The effect of Hypericum perforatum on the wound healing and scar of cesarean. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), 16(1), 113–117. doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0317
- Sayyah Melli, M., Rashidi, M. R., Delazar, A., Madarek, E., Kargar Maher, M. H., Ghasemzadeh, A., … Tahmasebi, Z. (2007). Effect of peppermint water on prevention of nipple cracks in lactating primiparous women: a randomized controlled trial. International Breastfeeding Journal, 2, 7. doi:10.1186/1746-4358-2-7
- Sharma, G., Lobo, T., & Keller, L. (2014). Postnatal exercise can reverse diastasis recti. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 123 Suppl 1, 171S. doi:10.1097/01.AOG.0000447180.36758.7a
- Skalkidou, A., Hellgren, C., Comasco, E., Sylvén, S., & Sundström Poromaa, I. (2012). Biological aspects of postpartum depression. Women’s Health (London, England), 8(6), 659–672. doi:10.2217/whe.12.55
- Tanner Stapleton, L. R., Schetter, C. D., Westling, E., Rini, C., Glynn, L. M., Hobel, C. J., & Sandman, C. A. (2012). Perceived Partner Support in Pregnancy Predicts Lower Maternal and Infant Distress. Journal of Family Psychology : JFP : Journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43), 26(3), 453–463. doi:10.1037/a0028332
- Wender, E., Siegel, B. S., Dobbins, M. I., Garner, A. S., McGuinn, L. J., Pascoe, J., … Yogman, M. W. (2012). Supporting the Family After the Death of a Child. Pediatrics, 130(6), 1164–1169. doi:10.1542/peds.2012-2772