Postpartum "mother warming"

In my quest to learn all that I could in order to prepare my body for pregnancy and, following that, to ‘know what to expect while expecting’, I neglected preparation for what was to follow birth. My attention was so focused on the preconception and birthing part of the story, somehow the very important post-partum chapter was all but forgotten. Through my experience of being an acupuncturist and working with pregnant, soon to be moms, this too often seems to be the case.

The rite of passage into motherhood carries not only a tremendous physical re-orientation, but also an incredible emotional and social adjustment. During this time, our body and mind are very vulnerable to pain, depression and dramatic hormonal fluctuations. Who we are has suddenly changed both physically and mentally. We have just been given a little miracle and with it a huge responsibility. This is accompanied by a learning curve like no other. It is so important to enter into this phase of your life with continued love and care and to not ignore attention to yourself and your physical and mental health and well-being. A healthy child is often a reflection of a healthy mother.

In order to set yourself on the right path for a healthy, strong and calm introduction to this new phase of life, I would like to share with you a simple post-partum treatment. Based upon the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM), I recommend Mother Warming following birth.

According to TCM, when a woman gives birth, we bleed and lose heat, essence and Jing, otherwise referred to as our life energy. This makes us incredibly susceptible to external pathogenic factors. In other words, our immune system is weak, making it much easier for us to get sick. In addition, hormonal imbalances occur which can have an effect on our milk production and leave us vulnerable to post- partum depression, to say the least. What can we do? Quite simply, warm ourselves up. The practice of Mother Warming does exactly this. It deeply warms, strengthens and facilitates healing in the post-partum mom. This should commence 4-5 days following birth.

Mother Warming is carried out through the use of Moxa, an herb known as Chinese Mugwort or Folium Artemisiae. It is a special herb in that, when lit either in loose or stick form, it has a deeply penetrating, warming effect unlike any other known herb. Moxa is applied to specific acupuncture points found on both the abdomen and the back. A qualified acupuncturist can show you where and how to apply the moxa so that subsequent treatments can be done at home.

And remember “ be as gentle and patient with yourself as you wish to be with your baby  ~ Raven Lang, midwife and TCM obstetric educator

Click here for more post partum health inspiration.

Benefits of Moxa:
- Reduces uterine cramping that often occurs after birth.
- Helps discharge excess fluid that has accumulated during pregnancy.
- Calms and centres the nervous system.
- Promotes rest and relaxation.
- Reduces post partum uterine bleeding.
- Helps to restore the organs to their non pregnant tone and size.
- Softens lumps
- Increases blood circulation
- Helps ease pain
- Strengthens the immune system.

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