In China, the first few weeks after childbirth are called Chan Ru (Chan means childbirth, and Ru means mattress) or Zao Yue Zi (sitting the month). In traditional Chinese culture, women were prescribed bed rest for one month after childbirth. Female relatives would take care of both the new mother and the baby, allowing the new mother to restore her strength and energy. Specific herbal prescriptions were given to help shrink the uterus, stop bleeding, encourage lactation, and return vitality. In today's fast-paced society, few new mothers have the luxury of resting for a month after childbirth. Most women need to return to taking care of family or work before their bodies have had a chance to fully recover from the birth experience. This can lead to further health issues down the road, and is why acupuncture during the postpartum period is so important.
In addition to returning the body to a state of balance and optimal reproductive health, some of the postpartum conditions that acupuncture can treat are:
- postpartum depression, anxiety and "baby blues"
- decreased energy and vitality
- hormonal imbalances
- persistent bleeding
- lactation problems
- abdominal pain
- night sweats
- recovery from c-section and/or traumatic birth
- Debra Betts: Postpartum Recovery
- Sitting Moon: A Guide to Rejuvenation after Pregnancy, by Dashing Ni
- The First Forty Days: Nourishing the New Mother, by Heng Ou
- The Wise Mama Guide - by Lisa Abramson.
- Checklist for Postpartum Depression/Anxiety - helpful for identifying your postpartum symptoms.
- Postpartum Support International
- Jenny's Light (raising awareness of perinatal mood disorders)
- Supporting Mamas (supporting moms in the South Bay with perinatal mood issues)
- Solace for Mothers (support & resources for challenging childbirth)