Building Health in the Postpartum Period

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by Hilah Zohar, Holistic Practitioner

Most cultures around the world have the tradition and understand the importance of the postpartum 4th trimester. In the Chinese tradition this is called the Sitting Moon period which lasts from 30-40 days. In the Jewish tradition it is known as Kimpetorin and lasts from 30-60 days. This is the time to heal and restore. We know if the new mother is cared for in the first month, even if she was not healthy before, her health will be rebuilt.

In this special window of time the mother has healing restorative treatments preformed. This also helps prevent postpartum depression that is so prevalent in our present day culture.

I will explain some of these treatments and what I offer.

Mother Roasting

After giving birth it is essential that the new mom is kept warm for the first 6 weeks. She has lost blood, energy and heat and is depleted. To aid in her recovery and restore energy I do what is called “Mother Roasting”. It is keeping the mother warm specifically using moxa. Moxa is the herb mugwort, it is rolled in a stick and lit. It is held over the skin at certain points on the lower abdomen, lower back and on legs till the area is warmed. The treatment should be repeated often and is experienced as very comfortable, relaxing and revitalizing.

Moxa’s warmth penetrates deeply and is an effective treatment to warm the uterus and softens lumps. It has been shown to help dry up lochia, prevent or treat hemorrhage, shrink the uterus back to normal size and stimulate milk production, it replenishes the mother’s energy and encourages healing.

Chinese Medicinal Herbal Teas

Chinese medicinal teas are used in assisting women in their post partum recovery. For the first week after delivery the mother is given a formula to support milk production and help remove old blood from the uterus, this shortens the length of time that the mother bleeds. Then for the following three weeks the formula is changed to strengthen, build and fortify her
system.

Post Partum Massage

Massage is an important healing tool in post partum care. It helps realign the pelvis, spine, neck and shoulders to relieve soreness, stiffness and pain after birth and from nursing.

Visceral Manipulation

Pregnancy, childbirth and your growing uterus creates extra pressure and displaces vital organs. Visceral Manipulation is a gentle non invasive touch that encourages normal mobility, tone and motion of organs and connective tissue, improving functioning of individual organs and organ systems. Visceral Manipulation has been used in many traditional cultures to facilitate the new mothers healing.

Sitz Baths

Sitz Baths sooth, reduce swelling and heal the micro tears and burning sensation upon urinating that happens after childbirth. Heat increases circulation, which allows the fluids sitting in the tissues to be carried away, while fresh oxygenated blood brings nutrients and speeds healing. A blend of herbs is used in creating the sitz brew.

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