When I birthed my preterm baby on all fours of the hospital labor and delivery room, I felt like a badass warrior goddess.
But after a 10-day NICU stay, sleep deprivation, sore nipples, and a couple life or death scares later, I lost it…
the pregnancy glow, the radiance, the connection to my body…it all disappeared like a thief in the night knowing good and well that I had to get back what was lost. Like, now!
But, what exactly was it? Where did it go? How could I get it back? At the time, I didn’t realize what “it” was.
After witnessing over 100 women have empowering births as a doula, I started to realize that “it” was: a woman’s radiance, her connection to her body, her power.
In the throws of caring for a newborn and toddler, getting divorced, moving across the country, navigating single-parenthood, and starting a brand-new job, I had lost the love and connection I had with my body while pregnant and birthing my babies…like so many other women.
With the intent to learn to connect with my glow and radiance again, I searched out teachers, healers, coaches, and mentors to help.
Soon, I started learning how to love myself and connect to my body until I started feeling radiant again.
For the time I wasted looking for my radiance outside of myself, I was saddened at the years lost searching for something that was within me all along.
You might want to go buy some clothes that fit, you might need a lunch date with your closest girl-friend for some “me-time”, you might want to put on your sexiest shade of lipstick and have a dance-party with your 1-year old, cause, let’s face it, doing all this is essential to keeping your sanity after the life transition of pregnancy and birth.
But if you’re ready to take things a step further and ignite your radiance and connection with your body after having a baby, here are 3 self-love practices for you to do as soon as you’re physically capable so you can feel like the goddess that you are every day:
1) Create a list of all the amazing ways your body worked for you and your baby to grow, support, and birth another human being in this world. Write them down and post them around your house.
No matter how your pregnancy and birth went, you grew a baby and birthed it. And because of that, you are a legend and a miracle. Give yourself some credit for it.
Too many women get caught up in negative body-image talk after having a baby.
Stretch marks galore, swollen breasts that give way to saggy ones, wrinkles and folds in new places, we’re all expected to get rid of all those in no-time instead of revel in and give gratitude for all the ways our body did us right.
Stop and give yourself the celebration it deserves. When you celebrate your body and all that it did for you and your baby instead of placing unrealistic expectations on yourself, you’re much more likely to experience optimal health and wellness.
2) Shower your body in love and gratitude by giving yourself a breast massage with your favorite oils.
For ages, women have been told to perform breast massage to gain awareness of any tissue changes that they may need to report to their health-care provider.
However, breast massage is such a potent way to increase self-love as well as relieve pain and discomfort from engorgement or PMS symptoms. It also helps to minimize stretchmarks, improve skin tone, prevent sagging, and improve shape.
Although you might be experiencing sore nipples and feeling “touched-out,” breast massage will offer a new experience to have you feeling less pain around the area outside of your areola and a greater sense of self-love.
To do breast massage, pour a generous amount of coconut or olive oil in your hands. I like to add 5-6 drops of my favorite essential oil to enhance the experience.
Rub your hands together until the oil is warm and slowly bring your hands to the outside of your breasts. Start massaging in a circular direction going down on the outside and up on the inside for 2-3 minutes. Then, reverse the direction and go do up on the outside and down on the inside for another 2-3 minutes.
Remember this is a self-love practice so be very gentle with yourself and massage to the degree of firmness that feels good to you.
When you are finished, wrap your arms around yourself a give yourself a big hug.
3) Dig out the hand-held mirror, take a good look at your postpartum vulva, tell her hello and that you love her every single day for 21 days.
Because it’s rarely talked about, you may have heard the myth that a vaginal birth will wreck your vulva. After all, there’s no way to see what a post-vaginal birth vulva looks like leaving many mamas struggling with the appearance after giving birth.
You may have experienced some tearing and swelling immediately after birth that may have scared or worried you that things would never go back to normal.
Your vagina is an amazing healing machine. You will heal and things will look normal down there again soon.
Instead of fretting, connect with your vulva every day and show her some love for what she’s done for you and your baby. Literally, give her 30 seconds every day for 21 days with a simple “hello beautiful. Thank you.” And watch your radiance ignite.
The world needs more mamas connecting to their body and inner radiance, and who truly love themselves. You are a unique individual with a light and message to share with the world. Ignite your radiance with these 3 self-love practices and share it.
With so much love,