Mood swings are a common prenatal and postpartum occurrence. I don’t know about you, but when I was pregnant with my first child I was surprised to feel emotions at a depth I never felt them before. When I witnessed something sad I was deeply heart broken, when something happy happened I was elated. Often these moods came over me for no apparent reason. Over the years this depth of emotion has been integrated into my being. I have come to learn that mothers feel life in a unique way. A mother’s perspective is powerful. Being a mother awakened the archetypal empowered mother-bear inside of me, while also igniting the empathic and acutely vulnerable part of myself.
For many of us, being incredibly sensitive can have its toll. Before having children I always considered myself to be a very patient person, as well as peaceful and easy going. Today, three kids later, I experience anxiety regularly. I feel my children’s anxiety. I feel anxious when I have to get them out the door in the morning, but one would rather read, while the other would rather play, while the other would rather have a tantrum. I feel anxious when I want to get them to sleep at night because I know they’re exhausted, and I know they need to wake up for school in the morning, and I know that I have a pile of dishes to wash and I’m exhausted as well.
I wish this was not true, but a lot of my day feels stressful to me. I often need to “catch my breath” after sending my girls off to school. Sometimes I even need to have a good cry if the morning was an especially tough one. I often need to process my day with my husband after the kids are finally in bed, even though he’s usually too burnt out to talk much at that point. Again, a good cry is sometimes called for after bedtime is complete.
Crying and talking things over with a partner or a good friend are wonderful remedies for emotional ups and downs. HERBAL TEA is another tool I recommend for stress, anxiety and even excitement.
We all struggle to find the time to take care of ourselves. I love herbal teas as a way for self-care. I highly recommend them to women in all stages of life.
I have made it my goal to learn more about many herbs that benefit my health. I am working on stocking my herbal tea shelf and creating a chart of benefits and contraindications for each herb, as well as suggested herbal combinations. I am researching on the net as well as reading a few books. Aviva Jill Romm writes some of my favorite books. The recipe below comes from her book, “The Natural Pregnancy Book”. It is an awesome book for any woman involved in the prenatal or postpartum periods, as well as in childbirth. When I was a doula I gave this book as a gift to my clients. Since then I continue to give them away to friends who get pregnant.
The herbal combination I suggest today is called “Calming Tea”. It is super simple to put together and to make.
1 tsp. chamomile flowers
1 tsp. lemon balm
and ½ tsp. lavender flowers
Put it in 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes. You can add some honey for sweetener if you choose and drink as often as you choose during pregnancy or postpartum. These herbs are helpful for stress, indigestion, sleeplessness and anxiety. You can even use this tea during labor to ease your discomfort and aid in relaxation.
If you do not have these herbs at home I suggest that you search for a store near you that sells high quality dried herbs. They are often sold at natural grocery stores in a bulk section, or at a natural pharmacy. Buying the herbs is the step, which takes the most effort. Once you stock up on herbs that you enjoy using for tea you will quickly learn how soothing the process of making tea can be. It is a wonderful way to feel like you can do something special and nourishing for yourself even while taking care of your family and meeting the needs of your children. Holding a cup of hot tea and sipping it slowly can be calming and comforting for anyone. Over time you may find that your children love tea as well. My kids especially enjoy having tea parties with their little tea sets when they get to drink real tea from them.