As I sit poised over the computer trying to think of a way to inspire new mums to really slow down and genuinely allow for recovery after having their new babies, I reflect on my own postnatal time.
My new little boy, Junah, is now nearly one and even with my training and experience looking after postnatal women, I found it hard to really give myself permission to relax and not try to be a super woman; to not try to “get back my pre-baby body” straight away and to not be out and about in the world as quickly as possible. For so many reasons and beliefs, a lot of us feel the pressure to bounce back straight away from birth or even miscarriage. When in reality we would find in the long term, if we really allowed for good recovery and rest especially during the first 40 days, (15 for early miscarriage) our body, our health and our emotional self would have so much more vitality.
Sounds good? So lets do it, if you or someone you know have just given birth really encourage them or yourself to bunker down in those first 40 days, rest, keep warm and eat healthy and blood building foods. Here are a few great tips to help you to recover well after birth.
Don’t leave the house too much in the first few weeks.
Staying relatively still and snug in your little nest can be good for you and your little bub. It’s a very sensitive time for baby as they adjust to their new world outside of the womb. It is also a good opportunity for mum to rest as much as possible, be waited on by caring partners, friends or family and allow the body to heal from the labour and birth.
The Chinese are very strict on this point and even suggest not getting wet for the first 40 days just in case it leads to a drop in body temperature! With our nicely heated homes we now don’t have to go this far, but ensuring that you stay warm helps to keep the body healthy and the immune system strong. This includes eating warming food and avoiding icy drinks and ice cream.
Eat nourishing blood supporting foods
Whole foods and home cooking! Avoiding processed foods and refined sugars is the key. For the meat eaters, hearty slow cooked stocky soups and stews and for the vegetarians, root vegetables with plenty of parsley, nettle and dang gui to enrich your food. Make sure you eat 3 good meals a day with healthy snacking in between to help with milk production and body repair. If your partner has to go back to work and you’re by yourself, ask them to make a plate of easy, healthy snacks for you to grab, as you are breastfeeding or changing nappies.
Postnatal/post menstrual blood building soup
3-4 organic chicken legs (break the bones if you can)
Ginger (sheng jiang) 1-inch knob
Wolfberry (gou qi zi)* small handful
Chinese dates (da zao)* 3 to 5 pieces
Dang gui* 3 to 4 pieces
2 tbsp sesame oil
Potatoes and/or other root vegies
Simply place all the ingredients except the Chinese greens into a pot of water and bring to the boil and then simmer until the chicken has broken apart. Remove the bones and add the Chinese greens until they are just cooked, season and serve.
(For vegetarians replace the chicken with eggs and add them with the Chinese greens)
These ingredients are sold at Kundalini House or can be found at most Chinese supermarkets.
NB. Chicken, ginger and sesame oil are warming ingredients and should be avoided if you are still bleeding heavily.
Written by Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner Pip Atherstone-Reid.
Pip has been practicing Chinese Medicine for 12 years and is one of the founders of Kundalini House. She has extensive experience in treating fertility to postnatal.
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- When taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding, may have a positive effect on infant health, including decreasing the incidence of allergy symptoms in the first years of life.
- Dairy-free. Vegetarian friendly.
Available at Kundalini House, 30 and 60 capsules
Kundalini House, Fitzroy North offers new mums a 6 week course of yoga classes to help embrace the ebb & flow of energy during the first few months of mothering. Share with other mums, an informal light hearted time of bonding with your child as you appreciate the many aspects of the Buddha in your babes!
This is a great opportunity to re-unite with mothers you met at the prenatal classes!
Contact Kundalini House to make your booking 03 9482 4325 or email@example.com or book online
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