Postnatal classes and treatments:
In Chinese Medicine, the postnatal period is defined as the four months after birth. It’s during the first month that we must pay special attention to mother’s health, and ideally she receives the support and care she needs to rest during this time.
As pregnancy can put considerable strain on a woman physically and emotionally, postnatal Acupuncture treatments, including the use of tonifying herbal formulas are a nourishing, relaxing and effective way to improve the mother’s health during this time.
Eating well, breathing deeply, resting when we can, receiving treatments (even if baby needs to come with you) and calling in all the support you have will ensure your health and vitality is allowed to blossom in this often challenging time.
Acupuncture can be beneficial in the following cases:
- Postnatal depression
- Problems with milk supply
- Low energy and mood
- Back and hip pain
- Resetting your nervous system
Depending on the birth process, Yoga, from approximately 3 months onwards (this will depend on your birth) is also an excellent way to bring your body back to it’s pre-birth state. It’s best to begin with Gentle Yoga and work your way into a more challenging class.
In addition to the above therapies, a nourishing diet is vitally important during this time. Whereas we may feel like preparing a healthy meal during this time is the least of our concerns, it’s vital to provide you body with the necessary nutrients.
- Depending on the nature of your birthing and the amount of blood lost, additional iron may be needed. This can be taken in through various beans such as kidney, lentil and lima, spirulina, dark leafy greens, molasses, tofu, brown rice, nettle tea or soup, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
- Avoiding dehydration is important, as you may actually forget to drink water or other liquids such as herbal teas.
- If you’re breastfeeding, you’re continuing to share your nutrients with baba, and therefore need to continue with higher amounts of all nutrients than during the pre-pregnancy phase.
- In addition, eating little and often, including snacks full of protein can be a life saver. Helping to avoid dips in blood sugar and keeping hormone and energy levels balanced can have a positive impact on mood.
Examples of nourishing food during this time:
- Brown rice, oatmeal, dark leafy greens, spirulina and various beans such as lentils and kidney beans help to return iron to the body, a vital mineral often depleted from loss of blood at birth.
- Warming food that is easy to digest is ideal. Foods such as soups and stews allow the body to spend less work on digestion, ensuring that the highest amount of nutrients are absorbed.
- Making a bone broth is an excellent way to include many essential nutrients into your diet, or alternatively Miso soup is a nourishing alternative.
- Enjoying ginger tea with your meals also helps the body to digest well.
It is only normal that women need to dedicate time to their own health, not only the care of their babies, postnatally. Where this may seem like a big ask, the importance of taking time out after birth to nourish vital energy and rebuild good quality blood after labour (whether vaginal or cesarean) is a practice that helps to ensure the mother’s quick return to pre-birth health.