Monthly Parenting Magazine

Birth recovery: how to invest in your postnatal he...

Birth recovery: how to invest in your postnatal health 

Real Image Of A Woman And Her Baby At Postpartum Recovery

Absolutely Mama Editor Carly Glendinning reports on the growing trend of women investing in their postnatal health…

It was 3am by the time I reached the ward after delivering my daughter and after 28 hours of labour I was utterly shattered. A midwife came and asked me if I needed some help with breastfeeding and I replied “yes please”. But nobody came. 

This was the start of a difficult breastfeeding journey where I fed solely on one side, using a nipple shield to dull excruciating pain, and could only feed indoors because my daughter hated feeding outside. It was not the magical and bonding experience I’d hoped for, and I carried on for a year like this because it was so difficult to get the support I needed on the NHS.  

With a chronic shortage of midwives in the UK, it might come as no surprise that postnatal care in the UK is woefully underfunded. As reported by the Royal College of Midwives, the system is at breaking point, and frustratingly new mothers are being forced to take matters into their own hands.  

The positive is a growing awareness among new mums about the importance of prioritising their postnatal health and more opportunities to seek additional resources beyond the limitations of the NHS. If you’re expecting, or have just delivered a fresh new human, read on to find out more about where to start looking for additional help. 

Specialist physiotherapy

Pregnancy and birth take a huge toll on our bodies. According to the Department of Health, 1 in 3 women are still experiencing urinary incontinence three months after pregnancy, and around 1 in 7 experience anal incontinence six months after birth. Specialist physiotherapy can help strengthen the pelvic floor, as well as help with other conditions such as diastasis recti, and pelvic girdle pain. The Mummy MOT has a team of trained physiotherapists, osteopaths, midwives, and GPs throughout the UK. 


Feeding support

The feeding journey can be a challenging one and seeking extra support can make the world of difference to your physical and mental health as well as the bond with your baby. Kathryn Stagg is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and can support mothers with everything from issues with latching, to bonding, and milk supply.

Postnatal fitness and well-being 

‘Bounce back’ culture will probably never go away, especially with the pressures of social media. However, we are seeing a trend towards lower impact postnatal fitness with an emphasis on physical recovery as well as mental wellbeing. There’s lots of amazing on-demand platforms where you can work out, stretch, and meditate at home, around your baby’s schedule. One of my favourites is the LDM Pregnancy Project from celebrity personal trainer Louisa Drake. Her programme of resistance, strength, and breathwork exercises can help you to recover post-birth.

Mental health support

A growing recognition in the significance of mental health during the postnatal period, has led to more and more women are actively seeking mental health support beyond the NHS. Private counselling services, support groups, and online resources have become valuable outlets for addressing postpartum depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. Illiyin Morrison is a midwife, birth debrief facilitator, author, and mama-of-two. She specialises in perinatal trauma and can support with anything from a difficult birth experience, to difficulty in conception, miscarriage, still birth, the postnatal period, infant feeding, and relationship difficulties.

Real Image Of A Woman And Her Baby At Postpartum Recovery

Alternative therapies

In addition to conventional healthcare, alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic care can also address postnatal challenges. These therapies are believed to promote healing, alleviate physical discomfort, and provide a holistic approach to postpartum recovery. Laura Bardell, founder of Mama Nurtured is a postnatal wellness expert and postnatal doula. She is trained in Kinesiology, which aims to address imbalances and overall well being focusing on the body’s energy systems. After many years of IVF treatment, and then difficulty with breastfeeding, I had a powerful treatment with Laura. She used muscle testing and other diagnostic tools to identify and then correct imbalances in my body. It helped me to begin the journey of releasing a lot of trauma as well as feel more energised. 

Nutritional guidance

Another area where women are investing in their postnatal health is nutrition. Seeking guidance from nutritionists and dietitians, new mamas are focusing on nourishing their bodies with wholesome foods to support recovery and enhance overall well-being. This is an essential component of self-investment in postnatal health. The Four Pillar Health Solution at Escapada Health combines nutritional advice with acupuncture and lifestyle advice to help you recover in the postnatal period. The team focuses on supporting your digestive system by balancing, strengthening and harmonising your organ functions.

Getting your ‘mojo’ back

Enjoying intimacy after giving birth can be difficult for so many new mums. Research suggests that up to 83% of birthing women experience sexual dysfunction. Women’s health and sexual wellbeing advocate, journalist, and author Clio Wood founded &Breathe retreats to help women recover and get back on track after birth. Her book ‘Get Your Mojo Back’ also offers a wealth of support and reassurance from real mums as well as physios, gynaecologists and perinatal psychologists.

Postpartum hair loss

According to research most women experience some degree of hair loss after birth. The Monpure Hair Clinic in Marylebone has a cutting edge treatment menu utilising the latest innovations in hair and scalp health. Their team of experts headed by Lead Trichologist Sofia Baig can work their magic to support with promoting hair growth, improving hair density, and soothing sensitive scalp skin.