In traditional Asian culture, the four to six weeks postpartum are a time for mother and baby to rest, eat well, and bond with each other. Sleep and proper nourishment are essential for the mother to recover from labor and childbirth and to build up her milk supply. Ideally, the mother will have supportive family and friends around to help so she can truly rest. In Asia, this four to six week period is called lying-in or “Mother Roasting” which relates to the importance of mother and baby staying warm and in bed. Many Western women might find the idea of staying in for a month less appealing or impractical. However, applying these principles will help prevent the possibility of postpartum issues such as depression, anxiety, poor milk supply, fatigue, mastitis, poor maternal bonding, and sleep disorders.
Lactation is one of the expected biological responses after delivering a baby. Breastfeeding is potentially a highly rewarding endeavor; however, many women have challenges with their milk supply. Oversupply and undersupply can create problems for new mothers and their babies. Fortunately, East Asian medicine has many treatment options to address these common issues. Lactopoeoisis, regulated by the endocrine system, begins in the 18th week of pregnancy with the proliferation of breast tissue. If a mother has had difficulty breastfeeding in the past she can begin treatments during pregnancy to help promote healthy breast functioning.
Mood disorders can also occur postpartum and good Acupuncture care can help alleviate these symptoms along with other quality maternal mental health care.
There are specific postpartum Acupuncture and herbal treatments aimed at helping mothers recover optimally as well as treating any issues she may be experiencing. These treatments are administered weekly for the 4-6 weeks following birth or any time after birth in which the issues arise and can address the following concerns:
Aesthetic concerns and Scarring
Insufficient Milk Supply
Recovery from Hemorrhage and Blood Loss
Spontaneous Flow of Milk