Ashley Wilson’s Phlox Postpartum Is The Modern Cure For The Pregnant Princess, Postpartum Pauper To Postpartum Queen

The addition of a Postpartum doula cannot be underestimated for new mothers. Ashley Wilson is the founder of Phlox Postpartum, a support service that allows new mothers to find their joy during their fourth trimester and the transition to Motherhood.

So what does a doula do? Ashley Wilson, founder of Phlox Postpartum, out of Sydney, New South Wales chatted with MOM Magazine to explain the offers a doula provides, as well as the benefits of investing in one. 

“I do postpartum work,” explains Wilson, herself a mama of two. “Supporting mothers after they have a baby, so they get an opportunity to rest and to experience joy,” she continues. 

It was Wilson’s own tricky postpartum experience that propelled her to wanting to support other women in some way. “My own experience was lonely and isolated,” she shares on her website. “I dreaded the sun going down each evening because I wasn’t getting nearly enough sleep. I was trying to bond with my baby while also keeping a household running.” 

Wilson goes on to explain that what she really does is hold space for mothers to be able to experience the joy of motherhood, much like the feeling of a Goddess they get during pregnancy. “When you’re pregnant you’re looked after {for the most part},” she explains. “However, when you’re sent home with a baby, you might get a midwife check on you a couple of times, depending on what country you’re in or the system {that’s in place.} Most of us are left to figure out this confronting experience, all the while being sleep deprived and on a hormonal roller coaster.”

Wilson offers as much practical support as she does emotional; certified in Ayurvedic Healing, and Prenatal / Postpartum Yoga Teaching, she cites housework as the main source of assistance; not limited to laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, etc., because these not only take the most time out of the day, but also prevents a new mom from having time to rest, bond with their new baby and reflect on their transitional period. Even so, the general client feedback Wilson has received has been the gratitude for the emotional support she provides. This emotional support, Wilson explains, allows new mothers to feel seen and heard and to move into the next chapter of their lives with joy and abundance from the postpartum experience. 

Ayurvedic doula and postpartum educator Ysha Oakes explains that the 40 postpartum days determine the next 40 years of a mothers life. “After birth there’s a sacred window of time,” she says. “A time for complete rejuvenation of a woman’s physical, mental and spiritual health. A time for deep, extended bonding with her newborn.” 

Despite this notion – and the fact that many new mothers can call upon family and friends to help them adjust to motherhood, Wilson states that the time after childbirth can be a daunting time for a woman’s confidence, and her own anxieties in particular prevented her from seeking the assistance she needed during her postpartum period. 

Similarly, new mothers significantly change neural pathways, which close themselves off so that a mother can focus their undivided attention on raising a child. Because of this, moms experience what is commonly known as “Baby Brain,” which leads to, of all things, the inability to communicate basic needs and at times, finish sentences or remember the basics of your to-do list. This is where Wilson came up with the notion to create ‘Village Building,’ a system that helps leverage existing relationships to utilize their strengths. “You may have a mother in law, yet you don’t want her in your personal space. How can you utilize her during your postpartum?” explains Wilson. “Maybe she’s a great cook and can make meals.” 

She continues; “You make her feel part of your village and be able to do something for you that’s going to be beneficial. I think of it as critical thinking because one person can’t be everything to you. Your partner can’t be your whole plan. Your mother can’t be your whole plan. So just figure out each person’s strengths.”

Supplying wisdom on self-care is another one of Wilson’s postpartum pillars. Reconnecting oneself is something she speaks about on her various blog posts, with her step-by-step guide easing anxieties while equipping mothers with the tools they need to prevent disconnection. 

One aspect of the postpartum stage Wilson emphasizes can be a significantly larger challenge than others is the financial costs one has to endure.    

“One of my key messages is, you don’t have to spend in order to set yourself up with a supported postpartum. I think it’s really important that people understand there are some universal needs around postpartum and they come from more traditional cultures like Chinese medicine and ayurvedic practices.”

Wilson’s Five Pillars are testament to her knowledge of self as well as her experience with motherhood; these five pillars are: Rest, warmth, nourishment, hydration and connection. Five things, she says, that can happen without having to employ someone. 

Ashley Wilson’s Five Pillars

Extended Rest: “Anybody can set up extended rest for themselves. If your partner has to go back to work after one week, get friends to come over and take your baby for an hour so you can have a nap. Sit in your lounge and hold the baby while you have a shower.  If you don’t have that person available to you, prioritize rest, and that is with your feet up, so lie down. Stop the admin, don’t go to the grocery store, let your house be loose until the weekend when your partner is home to help with the chores.” 

Warmth: “Keep your body physically warm because when you are warm, you can heal from the inside. Make yourself a thermos of tea or a bone broth. You can make bone broth in the weeks leading up to birth. You can freeze it, keep it in a thermos and then just drink warm tea, warm water, eat warm food, nothing cold, nothing crispy, nothing crunchy for the first six weeks.” 

Nourishment: “Every meal that you make in the weeks leading up to birth, make extra and put some in the freezer. There’s a plethora of postpartum recipes that you’ll find online. Dal, soups, stews, all the things. Just freeze one or two portions each time you cook. You’ve got a stash in the freezer so that you know you’re eating nutrient dense food that’s going to help recover you while not wasting time cooking, doing groceries, or thinking about food.”

Hydration: “Try to drink around two to three liters of water a day, ideally room temperature. Keep water bottles around your home. Hydrating yourself helps with mental clarity and recovery.” 

Connection: This is twofold. Personally, when I’m working with a mom, I provide connection on a physical level with foot soaks and leg and foot massages, as well as the emotional connection, being a non-judgemental ear, validating their experience. Just identifying one or two people in your life outside of your partner who you can share vulnerability with and share the ups and downs that you’re going to go through will make a huge difference knowing that you’re not isolated and alone.” 

These five things, Wilson says, are the foundation of having a joyful experience and can be set up before having a baby. “Understanding these five pillars and then putting them in place for yourself will make such a difference to your postpartum experience,” she says. 

Ashley Wilson is the founder of Phlox Postpartum and an absolute necessity for new mothers. Her invaluable knowledge and guidance can be found across her socials, and on the Phlox Postpartum website