Did you know that the best form of parenting is supporting your needs first?
When your baby finally arrives its common to be so occupied with their needs that you forget that you might need a little attention too. As mothers we are programmed to put the needs of our children first and foremost, that’s the essential selflessness of motherhood. Yet if you don’t meet your own needs for healing, nourishment, rest and support you’re not going to be able to give without depleting your reserves and potentially exhausting yourself. This then commonly leads to all those post natal issues: mastitis, post-natal depression, insomnia, breast feeding difficulties, prolapses, chronic fatigue and even future difficulties conceiving.
Standard Traditional Chinese Medicine practice is that to treat the Child, you must look to the Mother. Your baby is considered a part of your energy until 18 months and to nourish your baby it is necessary to treat and strengthen you, the mother.
Strong and healthy mothers lead to strong and healthy children.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine the physical act of childbirth strongly depletes a woman’s Qi (energy) and Blood. She is essentially empty, and yet her body is expected to continue nourishing and sustaining her newborn. When women birth as Nature intended they receive abundant hormones that support this process and it makes sense that ingesting the placenta is part of this design: replenishing Qi and Blood to ensure the mother is strong so that she can best care for her newborn.
We also traditionally live as part of large family units with ample support to allow the new mother to focus solely on resting and feeding her newborn whilst others attend to her and the needs of her other children. The Baby Moon is a custom where the new mother observed a month long confinement where all her needs were taken care of and she focused solely on the baby. (I’ve been told it’s two months if you have a girl.) Sounds good huh?
Such customs acknowledge the need to support a woman’s return to full strength in the post natal period.
Now lets put this into a modern perspective.
Many women now work late into their pregnancy so they are often already tired. Only a very small percentage of women experience natural, uninterrupted labor. Most experience a medically managed birth that interferes with their natural hormones and birth trauma is as common as it is ignored. It’s become so routine for women to have their babies delivered via caesarean that its easy to forget this is major abdominal surgery. The placenta is usually discarded as waste. The baby arrives and we don’t have the support networks that ensure mother and baby enjoy a Baby Moon. Instead women are pressured by media images to quickly return to their pre-pregnant state and resume working with babe still attached at the breast.
Isn’t it time modern women realised that you deserve better and this starts with the love and care you give yourself?
As a health practitioner I notice women come for treatments through pregnancy but then stop once the baby is born. Call me crazy, but you don’t have to be pregnant to look after yourself or to say you’re worth a little special time and care. Ok, it can be hard to find the time with a baby, but it is also now more then ever you need to prioritise yourself: your health, happiness and wellbeing.
The best form of parenting is supporting your needs first. It’s not selfish. It’s healthy, sustainable parenting.
Aside from the Baby Moon (rest!) and Placenta Encapsulation, other traditional self help practices that you can use to help your body recover in the post natal period include Chicken Broth as nutrition and Postnatal Sitz Baths for perineum repair. Moxibustion techniques such as Mother Warming are also easy to learn and can be applied by you or a partner to aid post natal recovery.
For caesarean births, Caesarean Scar Repair offers the opportunity to heal more then the physical scar, but also the energetic bodies affected by surgery and to process any unresolved emotional issues. For women who have experienced postpartum haemorrhage, Chinese Herbal Medicine are powerful supplements used for centuries to replenish Blood loss.
Contact me if you would like more information about postnatal self help techniques or postpartum services.
Babes in arms are welcome at your appointment. Please let me know if you will be bringing your little one so I can allow extra time incase your baby is unsettled. Unfortunately older (mobile) children are not suitable at an acupuncture appointment.