Early Postpartum Support.
The first 40 days is said to set the tone for your postpartum life. Feeling nourished and supported is emphasised greatly in Traditional Chinese Medicine (aka: TCM, which includes Acupuncture). Replenishing yourself during your forth trimester navigates the hormone fluctuations, sleep scarcity, delivery experience and recovery, rebuilding Qi, blood and fluids, milk production issues, mastitis, recovery from tears (read that how you will), prolapse, surgery and scar healing.
There’s no comparisons with ‘severity’ of symptoms between your own pregnancies, or other people’s. Your baseline is your baseline, and the aim is to build up from there.
Pregnancy doesn’t only belong to those who identify as women, but we still use the term ‘mother warming’ treatments to refer to rebuilding Yang energy, Qi and blood that’s depleted during birth using acupuncture and moxa. Acupuncture is adjusted based on your birth experience and can be used to promote c-section recovery with softening and fading scars, as well as any deeper concerns, lactation issues, mastitis, pain, mood support, blood loss and recovery to name a few. Moxa is a warming herb used topically over the womb and sacrum to warm the body, assist with the uterus as it resizes, tissue support, while relaxing muscles and sinews through that region.
Consuming things that are easy to digest and nutritious helps with your stress response, fatigue levels, and mental/emotional support during this time. TCM emphasised things that are cooked and easy to absorb such as congee’s (can be made sweet or savory), porridge, broths and soups, & warming herbs. Nutrient dense meals that have a postpartum focus work to restore Qi and Blood. Classically we avoid raw & cold foods, ensuring the intake of energy results in easy nutrient assimilation.
NOT NEW TO POST-PARTUM?
If this isn’t your first birth & you never felt you caught back up, then there’s every possibility you’re going into this feeling like you don’t remember what a fuller cup feels like. Perhaps even a *scoff of scepticism* over the idea of not feeling bulldozered?! If this is you, then consider this your sign to touch base for some support. It’s not an overnight turnaround, but there’s plenty of support on-hand to move you in the right direction. If during pregnancy the time allows, some pre-labour prep may also go a long way.
Bodies were built for this, so if you’ve chosen to create a tiny human (or two ..or more), your greatest gift is going to be in giving yourself the time to replenish and recover well, so as to enjoy the long days and short years.
Laelia is a TCM practitioner who loves to support people in feeling less depleted. She’s available on Fridays and Saturdays at NBIP. You can book in with her here