Bringing a new life into the world is an amazing process, but the time spent in labor and delivery takes a toll on the mother’s body. After giving birth, a woman’s body is depleted, and needs to be nourished by her environment (calm, quiet and warmth) and the foods she eats. She needs to take care of herself more than ever at this point, but must also take care of her infant. Balancing these can be difficult for the first few weeks, until both the mother and child are on a regular schedule.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine are extremely helpful in recovery after childbirth. The new mother will be sleep deprived and extremely tired due to the loss of blood and energy in labor and delivery. She may also have some post-partum blues due to the hormonal changes. There are acupoints that practitioners use to help the mother recover physically and emotionally, and other techniques, such as moxibustion to warm the body and help her heal.
A Chinese recipe from Angela Wu’s “Fertility Wisdom” involves poaching an egg or chicken pieces with ginger, sesame oil, and rice wine. These foods have properties to warm the body after giving birth. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, the process of birth can create a coldness in the lower abdomen, as well as stagnation. Shen Hua Tang, or the “Generation and Transformation” formula, is a traditional formula often used to help with lower abdominal pain after childbirth.