Ayurvedic Postpartum Healing with Ameya Duprey: Podcast Episode #151
Kristin and Ameya Duprey discuss the root causes of postpartum imbalances and how to heal them. Ameya is an Ayurvedic practitioner, postpartum doula and author. You can listen to this complete podcast episode on SoundCloud, iTunes, or wherever you find your podcasts.
Welcome. You’re listening to Ask the Doulas, a podcast where we talk to experts from all over the country about topics related to pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and early parenting. Let’s chat!
Kristin: Hello, hello! This is Kristin with Ask the Doulas, and I am joined today by Ameya Duprey. Ameya is a postpartum doula trained in traditional Ayurvedic care, and you’re also a massage therapist, an author, course creator, and so many other things. Welcome, Ameya!
Ameya: Thank you so much. It’s really a joy to be here with you today.
Kristin: So I would love to hear how you got into the important work of supporting women with traditional methods of healing.
Ameya: Yeah. So it all started with my Ayurveda training. I became an Ayurvedic practitioner first, focusing on detoxification of the body. It’s called panchakarma. So I did that for many years, but while I was getting that training back in 2000, I became pregnant with my daughter. So I had her really young. I was 22 when I had her. But I did have some Ayurvedic training already, but it honestly wasn’t enough. When I had her, I had lots of problems myself. I didn’t really know about Ayurvedic postpartum care. I had a friend who was an Ayurvedic postpartum doula. They’re called Ayur doulas. And so when I was three weeks postpartum, she came over and offered me a massage, which was really wonderful. And it was at that time that she put this – planted this seed, where she was like, why don’t you do this work? Why don’t you become an Ayur doula? And at the time, I was totally overwhelmed and just had a baby. You know, she was colicky. My birth was super difficult, and all this stuff. So I filed that away for later, and then in 2011, Ysha Oakes, who is the only woman teaching Ayurvedic postpartum care in the country – I knew about her, but she came to Grass Valley, California, where I live now and lived then back in 2011, and she offered a training to become an Ayur doula, so that’s when I did it. And for me, between my own personal journey with postpartum healing and recovery and how difficult it all was for me, between that and the knowledge and work that I was already doing with Ayurvedic and detoxification therapies – it’s funny because recovering from birth is the opposite of detoxification. It’s rejuvenation. But some of the techniques and therapies that are used are actually similar. So in that time frame, I guess back in 2005, I became a massage therapist to complement and legitimize my detoxification work because it involves oil massage, what they call abhyanga and other things. So it just was very easy for me. I love food, and I love healing the body with food. And Ayurveda is known for that. It uses – that was the thing that originally got me into Ayurveda was being able to use the spices in my kitchen to heal and balance the body. I just was really excited to learn the work and just knowing how little information there really is about how to actually heal from birth. So that is how I got into being an Ayurvedic postpartum doula and have been working since then, seeing clients in their homes, and then back in 2017 was when I started my blog, Shakticare, and started trying to get the information out there to the masses of how to actually heal your body with natural methods from birth and make a full recovery. Since then, I have an online presence, as well, and have been – I created my book, Mama’s Menu, which is an Ayurvedic postpartum cookbook, and I also have my online postpartum recovery program now, Fully Healed Mama.
Kristin: That’s amazing. We really don’t have access to resources like yours in Michigan, so I love that you had the insight early on to really create this comprehensive blog and resources for women no matter where they live.
Ameya: Yeah, and that’s the thing because there’s only a limited supply of Ayurvedic postpartum doulas, and they’re not cheap, either. It’s important for mamas to be able to access that information wherever they live.
Hey, Alyssa here. I’m just popping in to tell you about our course called Becoming. Becoming A Mother is your guide to a confident pregnancy and birth all in a convenient six-week online program, from birth plans to sleep training and everything in between. You’ll gain the confidence and skills you need for a smooth transition to motherhood. You’ll get live coaching calls with Kristin and myself, a bunch of expert videos, including chiropractic care, pelvic floor physical therapy, mental health experts, breastfeeding, and much more. You’ll also get a private Facebook community with other mothers going through this at the same time as you to offer support and encouragement when you need it most. And then of course you’ll also have direct email access to me and Kristin, in addition to the live coaching calls. If you’d like to learn more about the course, you can email us at email@example.com, or check it out at www.thebecomingcourse.com. We’d love to see you there.
Kristin: So what are your top tips for healing in the postpartum phase for our listeners who may not be, again, familiar with Ayurveda?
Ameya: Yeah. So Ayurveda, for those of you who don’t know, is the traditional healing science from India that dates back at least 5,000 years, since before really the written word. And so there’s an Ayurvedic way to do everything. Between the food that you eat, the exercise that you do, to the way you heal your body after birth. And if you have heard of Ayurveda, you may have heard of the three doshas, and three doshas are – you know, they are body types, but they’re also just made up of the five elements. So in Ayurveda, there are five elements instead of four. Space or ether is the fifth one. So it’s space, air, fire, water, and earth. And when you have a baby, all mamas have the same imbalance, and that is the vata imbalance, which is made up of the air and ether elements. So those are out of whack, out of balance after birth, and so that is the main thing that we need to work on to bring back into balance. And how air and ether elements manifest in qualities – so we can just say vata to make it a little more easy, but they have – vata consists of certain qualities, like cold, light, mobile or changing, irregular, dry, for example. So after birth, all of these qualities manifest in your body, like cold, for example. Through the process of birthing, you’re expelling so much energy to birth creation into this world, so your whole body goes cold. That means your digestion goes cold, but also you have, like, bad circulation, and your whole body is cold, and so that is something that is the case for everyone. And so the best way to deal with that is to bring warmth back into your body. So with your diet, you need to rekindle your digestion so that you can digest your food and nourish your body and nourish your baby if you’re breastfeeding, and you need to make sure that you have – you’re staying in a warm, cozy room and taking hot baths and drinking only warm water. If you give birth in a hospital, don’t let them feed you ice water. It’s really bad for you. Yeah, your system is very sensitive after you give birth, so you have to pay attention to that. It’s another quality of vata that gets imbalances. So it can manifest, for example, making you feel out of it, spacey, your mind all over the place kind of thing. And so that – you can help that by eating grounding foods and putting heavy blankets over you, and even having some warm oil on your head. Anything that you can do to help ground you will really just help in general after you give birth and your recovery.
Kristin: And as you mentioned, massage with the warming oils and things.
Ameya: Yeah, absolutely. And this other quality, mobile or just change, there’s just so much change in your hormones, in your body, in your family dynamics, in your partner dynamics. It can just be really overwhelming and hard to process it all. So routine is crucial after birth. That way you can – again, it’s about grounding everything and so that you’re not, like, wondering what you should be doing next every single second. A lot of mamas experience lots of anxiety and definitely worry and everything after birth, and honestly, that is just a manifestation of vata. Anxiety is a classic manifestation of vata, and of course, after you have a baby, then there’s just – it’s different. What if something happens to me?
Kristin: So many different thoughts, for sure.
Ameya: Yeah, so many different thoughts. I think every mama has that thought. So yeah, just so much change, and to recognize that, and there are things that we can do to help that, and having a healing routine is really helpful to be able to just kind of ground that and not have to worry about what you’re doing next and just get settled into that routine.
Kristin: Perfect. So outside of your blog, what other resources would you recommend for women who wanted to learn more about ways that they can cure imbalance and heal? Your website is your primary source, and can they find resources on your master class and the cookbook and so on, directly from those sites, or how do you best suggest we all connect with you?
Ameya: Yes, my website does have everything on it. I do highly recommend my free master class on how to heal from birth without feeling stressed out and exhausted. It’s a really valuable training that I feel like every mama should watch. There, you’ll learn three mistakes that most new mamas make and how to avoid them, as well as learn about my natural recovery method that I’ve created. The natural recovery method is something that all mamas can do anywhere in the world, and you don’t have to have me as your personal Ayur doula, but it does come from my personal work, working with mamas in their homes. And so I just simplified it and created a system that can work for all mamas everywhere.
Kristin: Beautiful. And you mentioned that your cookbook is part of that, so they can get more information?
Ameya: Yeah, my cookbook, if you end up deciding to join my program, Fully Healed Mama, my cookbook is one of the free bonuses, and you get a physical copy. It doesn’t matter wherever in the world that you live; it will be sent to you. And I know getting a physical copy of a cookbook is really, really nice. Most mamas prefer that, so that’s why I do that. If you only wanted to get the cookbook, then you can do so from my website, which is the best way to support me, as well as my daughter who did all the pictures and the editing of the book, so it is a family affair. That’s wonderful, and then you can get it also on Amazon if you’d like. I do have also electronic copies available on Amazon for Kindle and also on iTunes if you wanted to just get the ebook version.
Kristin: Lovely. And you’re also on social and other channels, so Instagram and Facebook? Can they find you on other social media networks?
Ameya: Yeah, I’m on Instagram. My handle is shakticare. And on Facebook, you can find me at myshakticare. And that’s really if you want to have a direct conversation with me, you can just give me a direct message. I’m on my devices a lot, so I’ll get it. So that’s really – if you have any questions, that’s a really great way to get a hold of me.
Kristin: And again, you offer virtual consultations, so if someone wanted to work with you direct virtually, that’s certainly an option beyond your master class, correct?
Ameya: Yes, yes. I do offer one on one sessions, and you can find that information on my website. I offer different packages depending on what your needs are. And then my online program, Fully Healed Mama, is a wonderful program. It’s definitely my best value. And not only do you receive all of – I teach you how to fully heal from birth and feel amazing again, even better than before you were pregnant is the feedback that I’ve gotten, but also you do have access to me daily, actually, in my – we have a private Facebook group with my Fully Healed Mama program that I answer questions every day, and I also do – every three weeks, I do live Q&A calls.
Kristin: That’s incredible. Well, thank you for sharing all of your amazing resources, and I will have to pick up a copy of your book. I’ll make sure to order it directly from your website, and I so appreciate your time, Ameya. Thank you for again chatting and sharing all of your resources.
Ameya: Yeah. It was really my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
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