*The postpartum mother and baby are strengthened, nourished, and protected by a warm and breeze free home! If the house is breezy be sure to seal window’s, or take other preventative measures. Encourage the mom to stay inside at home for as long as is possible to protect her and to rebuild her strength.
- Bone Broth Soup is wonderfully nourishing and is high in minerals. Cook on low heat for 12-24 hours if possible.
- Vietnamese recipe for Pho: add star anise, fresh ginger, and cinnamon to be simmered with the bone broth. These herbs are warming.
- Conjee: Replenishes fluids and is strengthening to the digestive energy and therefore to the body. Conjee is essentially a rice soup. Make rice with 2-3 times the amount of water. Add veggies, meat, and spices as desired- to taste. Try not to add fried foods or dairy. “The Book of Juke” has many Conjee recipes.
- Strengthening Foods are: root veggies, chicken-builds energy, beef- builds blood (esp liver), red foods nourish the blood, warm nourishing foods. *It is very important to avoid raw, cold, and or frozen food
- It is wonderful if friends can rotate bringing meals that are scheduled ahead of time (before the birth). This is important for community building. Receiving support from family and friends help nourish the new mom.
- Nettles and red raspberry leaves help to build the blood and minerals.
- If ice was put on the perineum during labor: warm ginger tea soaks can help to reestablish healthy circulation.
Since postpartum and mental illness is somewhat common, it is important to protect women who have just given birth. Some simple ways to provide emotional support (if not severe):
- Warm broths= esp. a bone broth
- Nourishing and warm foods
- Red Berries- good for the heart and emotions, especially Hawthorne berry
- Fish oils and Vitamin B
- Community is important!
- It is important to have referral system set in place for more severe situations.
*Mother Roasting is done by burning moxa (which comes from the Chinese mugwort plant) close to the mothers lower abdomen and low back. This plant has a deeply healing and warming effects on the whole body- unlike any other. The heat relaxes and softens emotions, strengthens and tonifies the organs, stops bleeding, relieves pain and builds immunity. It benefits the mother and the baby: healthy mom= healthy baby. It is a good idea to call in an acupuncturist to perform the Mother Roasting. Ideally, the Mother Roasting should be repeat 5 times within the first 2 weeks postpartum.
If unable to use moxa, because the mother is sensitive to smoke, etc, then hot rice packs, cloth, water bottle can be used. These approaches will help to warm the mother, but are not as powerful as the moxa.
Caution: It is important to call in an acupuncturist or herbalist to perform the Mother Roasting. If using moxa on your own, please make sure that moxa is completely put out post-use. Do not use moxa on mother who has an infection and/or true heat signs (red eyes, red tongue, irritated, etc), or if the mother is very dry and/or having night sweats.
*If a woman had a difficult labor, is extremely depleted, or is having issues postpartum this is a great time to have her see an acupuncturist and herbalist to help resolve these issue and to strengthen her body.
*Coursework with Raven Lang: The Art of Obstetrics (helping women through all phases of childbirth and postpartum).
*Coursework at Five Branches University: Gynecology, TCM Dietetics, etc.