Golden month: postpartum care

I love supporting women to regain their strength and re-balance postpartum. There are increasingly more resources available on the Golden month as we collectively become aware of how important this phase is to the health of our mothers, and our communities. This month I was reading a sweet little book “Golden Month” on supporting women in the post-partum. The author, a Chinese medicine practitioner, has collected stories of the post-partum period from around the world and found many commonalities of what constitutes good care across many traditions.

The four essential ingredients in postpartum care:

  • rest
  • massage and warmth
  • mother warming
  • nutrient dense food for new mothers.

I think we could add emotional support and social connection to this list. This was intrinsic to traditional practices the author learned of where mothers were often surrounded by family, but may be missing in many modern settings.

A new mother recently shared with me that she wants to eat SO much at the moment, even though “all she is doing is sitting all day breastfeeding” her 3-week old baby. As Jenny tells us in Golden Month “lactation demands more of the mother’s energy than any other stage of reproduction: her energy requirements increase by 25-30%” And this is after the Qi expended and Blood lost during labouring and birth. So don’t hold back on feeding yourself, your body needs it! Food and rest… so necessary.

Mother warming is a practice from Chinese medicine where the lower pelvis and lower back are warmed with moxa (a burning herb compressed into a stick). This boosts the Jing, is soothing and supports energy.

There is so much we can do to support our new mothers by following the wisdom of our elders.

Feel free to reach out, get in touch, if you or someone you know would benefit from some TLC during the post-partum. A couple of acupuncture treatments (including moxibustion) in the 4 weeks after birth can be really supportive.

There are also many local businesses that support new mothers, with home-delivered nutritious food and other services – check out the Coal Coast Baby magazine for a bunch of amazing people to help!