Chinese Medicine Provides Relief for Postpartum Depression
Tele-medicine is great for Postpartum care!
Chinese Medicine recommends a "staying in" period for new mothers and babies to support healing and integrate the new baby into the family. New mothers and babies are fragile and need rest and time to recover from the birth. The "lying-in" or "staying-in" period is 30-90 days, depending on the birth and the health of the mother.
During the period following pregnancy, a woman's body goes through many changes. Your digestion experiences fluctuations, you adjust to breast feeding, and self-care becomes more challenging because you have a baby to care for. Many new mothers experience fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, and postpartum depression. Nutrition is very important, and I encourage staying warm (especially the feet, hips and belly).
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression affects mothers in many different ways. Below are some common signs and symptoms:
- Feeling overwhelmed or trapped
- Problems concentrating or focusing
- Headaches, stomach aches, blurred vision (signs of tension)
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Insomnia/sleep deprivation
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Dizziness, hot flashes or nausea
- Mastitis, clogged ducts (inflammation, pain and soreness/obstruction of the mammary ducts)
- Deficient or excessive lactation
Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine for Postpartum Symptoms
The postpartum period (up to 9 months after delivery) is the most crucial time of life to be taking herbal formulas to replenish the body. Proper diagnosis is important at this time since each woman has a different experience.
Chinese Medicine can be very helpful in treating postpartum symptoms, including fatigue, depression, headaches, nausea, swelling, and pain. It is particularly effective in treating mastitis and increasing breast milk supply.
Care needs to be taken in the postpartum period to ensure proper recuperation. Traditional societies allow a woman proper rest and rejuvenation time, incorporating ample rest, cooking for the woman and her family and allowing her time to bond, integrate and replenish her qi and blood. Women should be expected to rest and abstain from normal activities for at least 3-4 weeks after a non-complicated delivery and for at least 6 weeks after a cesarean delivery.
Returning to normal activities usually causes depletion and women end up in an exhausted state. Mothers can be prone to headaches, fever, low milk supply, digestive issues and mood issues.
Herbal Medicine is used to boost the immune system, improve digestion, mood and regulate milk supply. Acupuncture is used to relieve pain and restore balance.
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