Jenny Schatzle

Cheryl Johnson


Hypnobirthing & The Wisdom of Ayurvedic Postpartum Nutrition

EPISODE: 20   |    DATE: December 10, 2020


“I wish we could focus more on mentally how we feel instead of physically how we look. That would help us heal tenfold.”

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Key Takeaways

  • Hypnobirthing is the kind of prep class that gives you confidence and takes the fear of the unknown out of childbirth.
  • Hypnobirthing combines breathing techniques and other comfort measures to help affirm a woman’s choices and to help her trust her instincts. Hypnobirthing achieves that by way of self hypnosis. 
  • There is no right time in your pregnancy to begin the hypnobirthing class. The question is: how much time do you have and when is there a class available? The techniques will always be useful, no matter if you’re 30 weeks of 38 weeks along. If you are further along, you might want to think about hiring someone to privately move you through the class.
  • Hypnobirthing is divided into 5 units, and you must move through all of them:
  • Cheryl believes that women who use hypnobirthing likely have an easier time postpartum because of the techniques they have learned to remain calm.
  • When it comes to postpartum care, there is a sacred window of about 40-42 days postpartum where women are especially in need of nourishment and support.
  • From an Ayurvedic perspective, women should be consuming foods that are oily (good fats), rich, watery and warm.
  • Everything you eat postpartum should be warm because it takes so much energy for the digestive system to process cold foods, and you need to save your energy.
  • The foundation of Ayurveda says that we all are defined by our constitution, which is made up of a combination of 3 doshas: Kapha, Vata and Pitta. You usually have one dominant dosha. But these doshas also define the seasons of the year and our life.
  • In her reproductive years, a woman is typically in the Pitta stage of her life.
  • Rest and self care in the form of baths and oil massages are just as important nutritionally as what we eat postpartum.
  • In postpartum nutrition, we need to focus more on how we feel rather than how we look. We need to give ourselves a full year to recover after having a child.

About Cheryl

Cheryl Johnson started her yoga practice in 1996 and holds specialty certifications in Prenatal and Restorative Flow, is an ERYT, RPYT with Yoga Alliance. She has much respect for Iyengar yoga and the focus and detail it brings to alignment and form. She studies with Peggy Kelley at the Austin Yoga Institute.

Aside from teaching group and private sessions, Cheryl is an Ayurvedic Doula, certified through Rasa Ayurveda, and a certified HypnoBirthing Practitioner through the HypnoBirthing Institute. As a birth doula and childbirth educator, she offers tools of guidance learned from years of yoga practice by means of mediation, breath awareness and visualization for her prenatal students. Cheryl teaches from the heart.

Cheryl’s personal practice is thoughtful and honest, and her intention is to create the same environment for her students during each class. She has been blessed to take from many great teachers; taking with her tools and words of wisdom from each experience. She is grateful to all her teachers and offers them her humble gratitude.




Ayurvedic Recipes

Aparna’s New Mother’s Dhal

Serve as a thin soup to start as it is easier to digest.
1/4 – 1/3 cup moong dal, soaked for at least 30 minutes
3 cups pure water
1 – 2 tablespoons ghee, coconut or sesame oil
2/3 – 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/4 – 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 pinches cayenne (optional – added at the last minute)
2 small lime or lemon wedges (or 1 teaspoon tamarind paste)
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1. Clean mung beans for stones, rinse well and soak if possible for at least 30 minutes.
2. Bring water to boil and add mung beans. Skim foam and toss. Simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes.
3. Warm oil or ghee in a small heavy skillet and add cumin seeds and garlic. When beginning to brown, add fenugreek seeds and stir just until they are quickly toasted (they brown quickly).
4. Add most of the cilantro, stir to sizzle and add pepper and turmeric. Stir a little of the broth into the pan to rinse it into the soup. Add salt, and tamarind (if using) to blend well.
5. Serve with optional lime if not using the tamarind.
recipe from the Cookbook by Ysha Oakes
Photo credit: Valeria Boltneva

Molasses Lactation Cookies 

Make a big batch, divide into containers and save in the freezer.
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
5 tablespoons water
* combine these two and set aside
1/2 cup ghee
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
* combine these then add to the flax & water
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1 1/2 spelt or wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon shatavari powder (omit if you don’t have)
Put it all together. Make into a log and slice into cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
recipe from Sarva w/ Inner Sun & Moon
Photo credit: Marta Dzedyshko

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And remember, mama you’re doing GREAT!