Mother Roasting: The Importance of Post Partum Care

Cameron Bishop DAOM, L.Ac

 

Most cultures have a history of honoring and caring for Mothers of a new born. Chinese Medicine classics state that the two most important times for rest and care of the female is after her first menarche and first child. These are times that a Mother's health can be influenced the most. Often a full month of rest or more is prescribed for a new mother.

 

To become pregnant, or for general post partum care it is said to keep the "Child's Palace" (The Uterus) "Happy, warm and well nourished". After birthing, many cultures have a tradition of wrapping the mother's lower belly or even laying with the baby on their chest in a very warm place to "roast" the mother. These treatments reduce post partum pain, create increased lactation, firm up the abdomen, and reduce hemorrhaging.

 

While after childbirth is one of the most important times to rebuild the body's blood supply and energy. Most western mothers rush back to work, fast food and diet sodas. We have heard in our culture of post partum depression. Post Partum Depression is a direct result, according to Chinese medicine, of the depletion of blood and resources from birth and poor post partum care. This "push through" their fatigue to get back to work can sometimes be accomplished, but sometimes leads to weakness or difficulty further on in life.

 

Some women start to have chronic lower back problems or the beginnings of lower back weakness from the pregnancy weight and weakened ligaments. Once a Mother has given birth, it is a critical time to strengthen up the back with acupuncture and herbs. Spring is the time when growth happens, so it is a time to focus on "the blooming." It is also important time to regulate and rebuild the constitution in general.

 

Women have a "Second Spring" which is menopause. If they take care of themselves during their first spring, then their Second will be easier. The second spring is a time to cultivate wisdom, become the matriarch and embrace being a wise woman. The first is about fertility, gathering and care.

Therefore, the second spring is the time to build the body- its blood resources, its energy and nutritional reserves.

 

Many women have written about the impersonal, mechanical and scary aspect of the hospital birth, with its' cold lights, unnatural child birth position and drugs. But, more and more we are seeing a recent trend in women ‘taking back their power' by choosing to do home birthing, and breast feeding - by nourishing their children in a way nature intended.

Birthing is a ritual which should be celebrated. "Roasting the Mother" should be the celebration that follows right after the arrival of a new born baby.

 

There is a long tradition in the use of Acupuncture, Moxibustion, herbal and nutritional therapy can aide the whole family in blooming. Proper care in Post Partum Care period can lead to healthier life, wellness, and smoother menopause.