The Postnatal period generally refers to the six-weeks following childbirth. During this time the body starts to recover and to return to the way it was before pregnancy. In our society there can sometimes be an assumption and an expectation that a woman will feel completely recovered after this six week period. Many women would recognize that it can take much longer than this to feel ‘back to normal’. Some women find that it can be a struggle and experience low energy, depression and can have continued physical issues.
A woman isn’t only recovering from childbirth itself during this time but also from having been pregnant for nine months. Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes that the period needed for nourishment and the restoring of a woman’s energy can range from 30 – 100 days. This depends on an individual’s experience of pregnancy and childbirth and will vary for each individual. In clinical practice we often treat women who are experiencing a sense of not feeling they are back to full strength up to two years after having a child. This will partly be to do with how much energy is required to care for a child and may well be do with the particular pregnancy and birth experience and also to do with how their energy levels were before pregnancy.
Mother Warming is a treatment that is given to women 4-5 days following birth. The treatment involves the gentle warming of the acupuncture meridians that run through the lower abdomen and lower back. It is a very nourishing and strengthening treatment and can be taught to partners to be carried out daily for 10-20 minutes. It involves using a Moxa stick and warming acupuncture points (Ren 8 to Ren 2) on the abdomen and on the lower back for 5 – 10 minutes until they feel pleasantly warm. More info click here
The points are warmed using Moxa. Moxa is a dried herb called mugwort and is burned over the needles to warm them or used directly above the skin, over the acupuncture points. Moxa has an influence on the energy of the body and has the ability to circulate and nourish Qi and Blood and has a beneficial effect on a woman’s energy. It is also used during pregnancy to help turn breech babies and during the menstrual cycle to help relieve menstrual cramps. This is because it has been shown to circulate and stimulate blood flow in the uterus and pelvic area.
Mother warming can aid healing and give relief to any discomfort and help tone the uterus. It can also help the new mother have more energy and feel rejuvenated and is a great way to gently aid recovery from childbirth and restore energy.
It should be noted that this treatment would not be appropriate if there is any infection present or if someone is experiencing a lot of heat symptoms.