Tuesday January 14th, 2020
As if having a new baby isn’t overwhelming enough, it can come with a swag of challenges that nobody seems to talk much about. Maybe because we don’t want to scare off mums-to-be or shock people out of having babies altogether. But I’m always of the opinion that information gives you the ability to take some control over situations you may otherwise be left feeling helpless and having some basic understanding of the body is key. Postpartum health is no exception and Chinese Medicine has some fairly profound wisdom when it comes to postpartum care.
Recovery after childbirth can most certainly be supported in a variety of ways and absolutely contributes to the health of both the mother and the baby during this time. Let’s face it, childbirth is a major event both physically and emotionally and if we are left exhausted and depleted after birth, it can set the scene perfectly for a variety of health issues to arise.
One of the most common concerns I see in clinic postpartum is post natal depression (PND). It is also most common that there is a connection between birth trauma and emotional issues that arise at this time. In Chinese Medicine we see the direct correlation between birth trauma and specifically blood loss and PND. Too often I have heard the story of a mother experiencing substantial blood loss during delivery, typically due to complications and after all the post delivery haze has lifted she never feels like she recovers emotionally. Post Natal Depression may also be a result of a history of emotional disorders too.
Whatever the situation, it’s always best to act and not sit and wait for things to ‘feel better.’ If you feel awful, there are many things you can do to set your body back on a path to better health.
Perhaps this is you or perhaps you know somebody who has experienced birth trauma. The reality is, you’re not alone although it can feel like you are living on an island with just you and your baby. Knowing this information before childbirth may just make all of the difference too.
But whether you’re here reading after the event of childbirth or before, Sunny Pills can be one of a few things you can add in your tool kit to give you some peace of mind since they are safe enough to be taken throughout this time as well as through breastfeeding.
Sunny Pills support the body in this phase as they help to nourish and replenish that which pregnancy and childbirth can impact and leave you extremely depleted.
The key ingredients in Sunny Pills target some of the key organs involved in hormones, energy, blood nourishment and recovery as they target the Liver, Heart and Kidneys. You can read HERE how these organs really play a role in our emotional health and wellbeing. But specifically because these ingredients tonify qi and blood they can be an important part of your recovery and treatment in not only the physical impact of birth but the emotional aspects too. Some of my favourite ingredients include Gui Zhi (Cinnamomum Cassia Twig) which helps to support blood circulation (also good for breast milk), Ziziphus jujubes var.spinosa is beneficial as it nourishes and supports the heart energy and has an anti anxiety effect. It doesn’t stop here, there are 16 herbs included in this formula all dedicated to your body in the best way possible post birth.
Alongside sunny pills there are also some specific lifestyle inclusions you can be mindful of during the ‘4th trimester’ that Chinese Medicine places specific importance on.
Traditionally in China it’s recommended that the mother is on bed rest for at least 30 - 40 days postpartum. In this time, your ‘village’ help support you and help make this all possible. Whilst we don’t all have this luxury there is certainly something to be said about reserving your energy for feeding and recovery. Taking time to recover isn’t something we don’t encourage enough in the west, we are often back into the swing of things prematurely which adds to overwhelm and stress and poor recovery. Take time to recover - it’s not exactly rocket science
Breast milk is also seen as an extension of blood and so there can be feeding issues as well as PND following considerable blood loss during birth. Use foods to nourish blood including slow cooked meats, ham hock soup, soups, stews and broths. Anything with the meat and bone being slowly cooked can really help replenish what may have be lost during pregnancy and birth. Adding in foods like red silverbeet stalks, berries and beetroot also assist in supporting and nourishing blood. Cooked foods are best - they are simpler to digest and place less load on the system.
Be sure to share with other family and friends how you are feeling and coping, especially with those who have children themselves. Again in the west we have adopted the idea we must navigate this time solo. It can be a tricky time but talking through the birth story can have a remarkable impact on recovery. For some it is a simple event and for others something that leaves you feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus. Being able to talk and draw on the wisdom of others really is key in this time. You don’t have to go it alone and others have been there to experience it too. Be proud of the fact that you now have a baby - that is an epic achievement in itself.
If you are suffering from PND it can be difficult to know where to start but having some knowledge into why you are feeling so low and a few small tools you can use to help break the cycle can be the key to feeling more like you again. Becoming a mum is a huge transition, adding complications to this can make it feel far bigger. Listen to your body and try taking things day by day. And my biggest tip when it all feels too much - think about the least capable person you know who has been able to grow a tiny human. If they can, you can!