Post-natal recovery

The post-partum period is one of the most vulnerable times in a woman’s life, due to the extreme effects of labour and the rapid hormonal changes after birth.

It is also a busy time – for new mums, it is a period of intense learning as they adjust to life with a newborn. Women who already have older children need to juggle child care with baby care.

With these demands on your resources, it is vital that you let your body recover well.

Chinese medicine has a long history of caring for mothers and babies.

The first month is the most important – called the Golden Month. Women routinely take cleansing and nourishing herbal medicines after the birth to quickly rebuild and repair. They also do at-home warming treatments, and receive in-clinic acupuncture treatments when possible. Combined with these treatments, they have family support to ensure they get plenty of rest, nourishing food and relaxed time with the new baby.

It is possible for modern Western women to create these conditions around them during the first month after birth. This gives you the best foundation for post-natal health and helps to avoid problems in the future that can arise during this vulnerable time.

 

Post-Natal Care Plan

Days after birth Treatment
1-3 Herbal medicine for cleansing
4-30 Herbal medicine for nourishing
4 or 5 (approx) At-home “mother-warming”
14,21 & 28 In-clinic “mother-warming”

 

 

Postnatal cleansing and nourishing

Special Chinese medicine herbal prescriptions help you to rebuild and replenish after the demands of birth and the hormonal changes that follow.

 

Stage 1: Cleansing

Immediately after the birth, a special herbal formula is taken for three days to help clear the placenta and assist with healing.

 

Stage 2: Nourishing

For the next four weeks, a nourishing formula helps to rebuild your energy and compensate for blood loss during the birth process. This is important for two reasons.

  1. If you are planning to breast feed your baby, then it is essential to replenish your energy and blood as quickly as possible as they are the foundation of an abundant milk supply. It is much better to apply “prevention medicine” at this stage and replenish your stores immediately.
  2. Being in a depleted state, with all of your energy channels open and exposed after the intensity of birthing, you are physically vulnerable. It is a time when small disturbances or mild illnesses can set the seeds for chronic problems in the future. It is quite common in clinic for us to hear women report that the health problems they are currently experiencing began with the birth of one of their children.

 

These herbal medicines are included in the Prebirth Acupuncture Treatment Pack.

 

 

“Mother Warming” Sessions

At-home treatment

This is a very beneficial treatment that you or your support people can do at home on about day four or five (for example, after your milk has come in). It involves using Moxibustion on special points that warm, soothe and nourish your body and it feels very relaxing and nurturing! When you come for prebirth treatments, I can show you how to do the mother warming treatments and provide the moxa stick.

 

In-clinic treatments

About 10-14 days after the birth, come to the clinic for a restorative acupuncture and moxibustion session to continue the repair, rebuilding and nourishment. This is a lovely time for you to rest and receive support.

This first in-clinic Mother Warming session is included in the Prebirth Acupuncture Treatment Package. Two or three follow-up visits are highly recommended, a week apart. The combination of the at-home session, plus the in-clinic sessions, supports you throughout the crucial first month of recovery.

 

The Golden Month

The Chinese really emphasised the importance of nourishment, warmth and rest during the critical first month after birth. The benefits to you include better energy, quicker recovery, enhanced bonding with your baby and better breast-feeding.

Some women are lucky to have friends and family close by who can help with cooking, cleaning and caring for siblings while mother and baby rest. If you are away from such support, you can simulate this environment for example:

  • stock your freezer with nourishing soups and casseroles during your third trimester
  • enlist a food delivery service – cooked meals, groceries, fruit and veg etc
  • enlist a laundry and/or ironing service
  • hire a cleaner if mess is a big stress for you – write down instructions about what, when and how you want things cleaned so you can relax
  • organise play dates for your older children and offer to return the favour when your baby is a little older
  • buy a nappy service for a month or two if you are using cloth nappies
  • anything else you can outsource that will help you to rest and recover

 

If you can take time throughout your pregnancy to de-clutter and create simple routines for on-going house keeping, this can help you transition to the demands of life with a newborn. A helpful website to achieve this is flylady.net.

 

Post-natal issues and recovery

Please contact me if you are experiencing any of these issues to find out how Chinese medicine can help and when to have treatment:

  • Retention of placenta
  • Persistent uterine bleeding
  • Swelling and pain
  • Afterpains (uterine pain especially while breastfeeding)
  • Mastitis
  • Low milk supply
  • Night sweats
  • Postnatal depression

 

Bringing your baby and children

I am very happy to accommodate you and your newborn (and siblings) during the postnatal period.  Although you’ll find it easier if you can bring someone along to help with your baby while you’re in your session, I understand that help’s not always available – so please just bring your baby and kids along.  Don’t worry about trying to time acupuncture sessions around feed and sleep times as newborns change their routines like the wind!  Just come along and we will make it work for you and your baby.

 

 

Newborn wellness check

Please bring your gorgeous little baby for a quick check during the first few weeks after birth.  I can give you Chinese medicine information that is relevant to you and your baby at that time, and if you wish I can gently warm some points with moxibustion or do a gentle Qi Gong energy soothing treatment for your little one.

If you are bringing your baby with you while you have “mother warming” or restorative treatments, then we can combine these sessions.

The Newborn Wellness Check is included in the Pre-Birth Acupuncture Treatment Pack.

 

–> Acupuncture during pregnancy

–> Acupuncture to prepare for labour and birth

–> Pre-birth Acupuncture Treatment Pack

–> Herbal therapy after labour and birth