What is Postnatal Care?
You have just had a baby and your body needs time to recover. In the West, we tend to feel that we should as soon as possible “get back to normal” with all our old tasks as well as taking on the new one of caring for and feeding our new baby. However, your body needs extra support at this time to make a full recovery.
How Chinese Medicine can Help
In the Asian traditions, women are expected to rest for 30 days after giving birth and not to leave their home for any reasons. The emphasis during this time is eating nourishing foods, engaging in gentle activity, sleeping when the baby sleeps, and enjoying lots of kiss and cuddles with the new baby. In addition, acupuncture can help support lactation, postpartum recovery, and mood. Mother roasting is a relaxing acupuncture and moxibustion treatment designed to help restore the mother’s qi and to aid in recovery from labour and delivery.
How to ensure a full postnatal recovery:
1) Be Prepared
In the weeks leading up to the baby’s arrival, finish any loose ends and tasks you have been postponing, such as:
- Work-related maternity leave paperwork
- Stocking up on baby supplies
- Cleaning and organizing your house
- Washing the baby clothes
- Making and freezing meals
- Organizing email/phone contacts for the birth announcement
- Asking friends and family ahead of time to keep visits brief in the first few weeks
2) Ask for help
Most family and friends want to help but don’t necessarily know what you need. However, insome cultures, it is just expected that family and friends will pitch in.
You can ask your friends and family to:
- Clean your house
- Prepare food
- Take the baby for a while
- Get groceries
- Do laundry
- Take the dog(s) for a walk
Ask professionals for help with:
- Health concerns for you or baby
- Sleep issues
You will have heard a million times during your pregnancy to “sleep when your baby sleeps.” This is very true, although often hard to do. During the first few days, adrenaline is coursing through your veins, making it difficult to settle your mind long enough to sleep. When exhaustion sets in, you find yourself staring at a laundry pile or dirty dishes. And then before you know it, you’re cleaning your house, making phone calls, and doing anything else but sleeping. This is a great opportunity to learn to “let go,” though that’s easier said than done. This takes practice but it can be achieved. Your dishes will wait for you, just sleep if you have the opportunity. It will make you feel more like yourself and like a better mom.
4) Eat regular nourishing foods
5) Enjoy your postpartum bubble
You will be amazed how quickly each day will go by, and you’ll believe the only thing you did all day was stare at your beautiful baby. Cherish these moments!