Postpartum Energy Loss

I just had a baby and can’t seem to regain my energy. What can I do?

According to ayurveda, it isn’t just the sleepless nights that are zapping your strength; the vata dosha becomes dominant in the first six weeks after childbirth—known as the postpartum period. An out-of-balance vata will cause new moms to feel ungrounded, spacey, and like they’ve lost their steam, says Ysha Oakes, a postpartum ayurdoula and aromatherapist in Boulder, Colorado.

To counter vata’s dry, airy qualities and restore depleted energy, think warm, moist, and oily—inside and out—including foods and drinks (such as oatmeal, soup, and salmon), hot steamy baths, hot water bottles on your belly and lower back, and warm-oil massage (light pressure, not deep tissue). Your digestion might also contribute to the lethargy you feel; pregnancy and the exertion of childbirth can displace organs and slow the digestive process. Adding spices such as ginger, black pepper, and roasted garlic to your food may help speed digestion. Ashwaghanda, an ayurvedic herb, can also help rejuvenate, strengthen, and balance your energy. Mix 1/2 teaspoon ashwaghanda in hot water, milk, or almond milk; sweeten to taste; and drink twice a day.