Healing Tool for After an Abortion
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Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot about abortion from friends and clients. Women are definitely becoming more vulnerable and vocal about their experiences. Since it’s such an important experience that so many women have, I wanted to step away from discussing menstrual health and focus on this. I’ve been talking to so many women that experience abortion so I want you to know that you aren’t alone. Having an abortion is much more common than our culture realizes. There is a lot of silence and shame in having an abortion. Parent Plannethood has stated that 1 in 3 women have had an abortion.
I want you wherever you are right now to take a few deep breaths. Just into your nose and out through your nose or mouth. If you are driving then keep your eyes open but if you are somewhere where you can close your eyes then close your eyes. Really feel that rhythm of your breath. You don’t have to do anything special. Gentle inhale and blow out any tension you are carrying with you right now that already met you at your day so that this is a sacred space together. As we create this sacred space in this call we all leave something uplifting and transformational for us and we give this to one another.
There is so much attention in obtaining abortions. Which obviously needs much more funding, and problem solvers so women around the world can have safe abortions. I can go on about this. I am very passionate about this but Today I want to focus on healing after abortion. We will focus on food, self-inquiry and self-care techniques to support your health after an abortion. Abortion can effect your menstrual health. It stays in your body so I want you to have the best support to relax, feel safe and nurtured. This podcast is an invitation for you to give yourself that. I suggest contacting professionals.
Women need abortions for a number of reasons. Some main reasons are abnormal fetus, rape, financial challenges or other personal reasons.
Abortions can be taken up to 24 weeks but it’s better to terminate up to 12 weeks. Gynecologists recommend abstaining from sex at least three weeks after an abortion because your body needs to physically recover. Emotional recovery can take much longer.
After an abortion, light bleeding is normal. Contact your gynecologist if you have heavy period bleeding, abdominal pain, excessive vaginal discharge, and vomiting.
Since you loose blood during an abortion, it’s important to increase levels of iron and vitamin B12, B9 and B2 (riboflavin).
Here are some natural foods to help your body recover the first three weeks after an abortion:
1. Excessive blood loss after abortion makes your body and immune system weak. A high protein natural food not only improves your immune system, it also make new blood cells. Three ounces of fish, shellfish, beef, chicken, lamb and turkey….and cooked beans…provide high protein and significant amounts of iron and B vitamins. Eat one to two servings a day.
a. Turmeric and Milk is a great protein drink and very strengthening. Cook turmeric with black pepper and coconut oil or ghee. Then add crushed almonds, walnut, dry dates and pistachio. Then you can add any type of milk you want. Whole milk, almond, cashew, etc. Drink this 2-3 times daily for easier recovery. This will give you energy.
2. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties so it’s really great with easing pain and swelling. Add to everything. Making a paste is the best way! You cook it with black pepper and coconut oil or ghee and then place it in a glass container and in the fridge.
3. Saffron can be added to meals and drinks. It has a lot of vitamin C, Iron, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium. This herb will help your body nourish and restore.
4. Dates are rich in iron and help boost the production of red blood cells and reverse blood loss. They are really calming and rejuvenating to the organs and nervous system.
5. Ginger has healing properties that strengthen the immune system and prevent further infection.
6. Flax seed are really good for the uterus, provide strength to your immune system and help your digestion.
7. Dark leafy greens are wonderful to eat for many reason. Fibroids are common after an abortion which may cause you pain. The excessive blood loss can lead to anemia so you need to increase your iron which dark leafy greens have. Dark leafy greens include: turnip, watercress, mustard greens, kale, collard greens and romaine lettuce. These can help your fibroids.
8. Water! You have a lot of blood loss and it’s common to sweat after an abortion so drink a lot of water.
Deciding to end a pregnancy is never easy and can leave women feeling a range of feelings, such as: relief, sadness, grief and guilt. These emotions change from woman to woman. In addition, the natural hormonal changes that occur when pregnant affect abortion and can make you feel more emotional than usual. It is normal to go through a grieving process, regardless of the reasons for abortion. Most women recover in a fairly short time. If you have lasting symptoms it requires professional attention. Whatever your experience: be sure to talk about your feelings with a supportive family member or friend or professional counselor.
Abortion can create a feeling of disenfranchised grief which is a grief that is not openly acknowledged, socially validated or publicly observed. The loss experienced is real but women are not given the right to grieve by others around them and they don’t give the permission to themselves. This can lead to depression. Unprocessed grief can also cause people to stay stuck in anger without realizing the source of their anger, which is not connecting the depression with the unprocessed grief surrounding abortion. In this tension of emotion between sadness and relief, this can disrupt a woman’s life and health. Unless she finds a safe place to talk, process and cry she will live her life with a mask on and keeping this secret tucked away out of her fear.
We don’t need to stay in silence and we can have closure. Here are some steps:
1. Find a safe place to talk, share your story and cry if you want. There are people that can understand your need to process the grief around the abortion. First, be aware to share your experience with a safe and caring person. You can have people that will validate your choice, but not your grief so speak with something that can validate and hold space for your choice and grief.
2. Be honest with yourself and admit you can’t keep the secret anymore. Give yourself permission to speak and realize that keeping the secret takes much more energy than you have to give it to anymore.
3. Don’t confuse the legal, political and religious debates with your own personal journey. Know that going through the healing journey will free up space in your mind and heart to put towards positive outcomes in your life.
Healing after an abortion can be complicated. There are many external and internal factors to help you heal and recover both physically and psychologically. There is no one-size-fits-all. I hope these suggestions are helpful for you and please contact a professional for help if you need it.