Despite nearly four million childbirths in the United States each year alone, postpartum care tends to be an area often neglected by both the medical profession as well as in our culture. Little information exists on the unintended health consequences following childbirth. Naturally, with the attention shifting to the infant, the health state of the mother tends to take a backseat.
What most people don’t realize is that the consequence of not taking proper care will result in weakness and will, in Chinese medical perspective, sow the seeds for future illnesses, such as degenerative diseases that usually don’t manifest for another decade or two.
Immediately after childbirth, symptoms like fatigue, poor sleep, depression, anxiety, low back pain, arthritis, uterine hemorrhage and breast feeding complications are just some of the common complaints at postpartum. Chinese medicine believes that pregnancy and childbirth depletes vital Qi (energy) and blood, weakens the kidney and spleen systems and exhausts the Jing (essence), which makes the body vulnerable to attacks of pathogenic factors. The diseased condition will lie latent until such a time when the situation is ripe for manifestation.
The following are some of the recommendations for the three months following childbirth. By adhering to these guidelines, a new mother can expect to achieve more quickly the restoration of her energy and vitality, the reduction of her weight naturally and the enhancement of milk production and prevention breast infection. Following these guidelines will help stabilize mood swings, relieve back pain, bring back libido and ensure a full rejuvenation of her body, mind and spirit.
- Rest and relaxation
- Self-massage and acupressure
- A clean environment
- Herbs in the diet
- Meditation and visualization