Author: Shalay Struhs
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 978-1-4787-1273-2

For me the real questions came after the baby was born, the year after, or the postpartum period. Questions that nobody seemed to be able to answer. Questions like, ‘Why am I tired?’ ‘Why do I have anxiety?’ ‘Why do I feel crazy?’ ‘Why am I depressed?’ ‘Why do I feel like I might die?’” states Shalay Struhs in her short booklet, I’ve Had My Baby, Now What? Your Step By Step Guide to Surviving the Postpartum Year Safely and Naturally.

At only twenty-five pages, this small paperback book is the size of half a sheet of paper with direct and to-the-point information about a woman’s body after giving birth and the first year after delivery. Targeted to the pregnant mother or one who has recently had a baby, it is a good source for reference and remembrance that hormones are raging in the changing body.

Writer Shalay Struhs knows about postpartum reactions and how her body responded during and after her six pregnancies and deliveries, with the first five of them always being negative, trying and traumatic. It was not until her sixth pregnancy that she learned how to control, limit and rid herself of the stress, trauma and changes her body went through the first year after giving birth.

In this concise book, Struhs gives an introduction listing forty-eight symptoms caused from hormonal changes after delivery that sound so similar to those during menopause. With seven simple steps, she promotes a healthy diet listing what foods to eat to lessen the adverse symptoms, encourages taking daily supplements, recommends yoga at least twice a week, considers acupuncture to relieve the more chronic signs, values a good night’s sleep, reiterates the importance of hydration and stresses walking thirty minutes five days a week.

Besides urging a mother to buy organic foods, she makes sure to mention getting enough omega oils, eating plenty of phytoestrogens, and drinking kombucha and green tea. The supplements she recommends in addition to continue taking prenatal vitamins are vitamin B complex, vitamin D, flax oil, spirulina (a blue-green algae), ionic minerals, and L-theanine in capsule form. Water is one of the most vital needs and the indicators of lacking it are dark urine, dry skin, thirst, hunger, and fatigue.

Although the booklet is so short and direct, it is a quick read that new mothers can review quickly during their hectic day to aid them in staving off postpartum depression, exhaustion and other hormonal imbalances.

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