(but rarely is told) 

The First Forty Days

Childbirth is hard! Ask any mother and she’ll likely regale you with stories of waters breaking at the most inconvenient times, 24 hour + labours, splits, stitches and the pain.

But for most of us, we’d go through it again. In a heartbeat.

For partners of the birthing mother, it’s quite the eye-opener to see what the female form is capable of. Yes, the watermelon analogy is fitting. We are amazing!

So what happens next? In Chinese Medicine, this period is crucial.

Known as Chan Ru, the Sitting Month/Moon and the Golden Month, this period is a time for new mothers to rest and recover from the rigours of childbirth.

Giving birth can deplete Mum’s energy (Qi) and blood (xue), leaving her a wee bit Yin deficient (xu). If there has been a significant loss of blood, then even moreso.

So, although it is a big ask for new mothers to stay at home, feet up for the first month, there are some simple things that you can do to rest and replenish.

  1. Let friends and family do all the hard work on your behalf. Lovingly made meals, a load or two of washing, cleaning. Whatever they offer, take with gratitude.

  2. Eat well. Simple, easy to digest foods that are nutrient dense are best. Soup and porridge are ideal. Eggs, chicken, beetroot, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and fennel.

  3. Be gentle with yourself. This is a bloody hard time! You may think you’re all prepared (I know, you’ve been carrying Bub for 9 months), but the reality is, that this is a HUGE period of adjustment. You’re tired. Your hormones are all over the place. You’re scared. You’ve got this!

  4. Take time out. Away from baby. Sound hard? Believe me, some well earned you time will benefit EVERYONE. Go have acupuncture, a massage, mani/pedi, or just loll in a bath. You’ve earned it.

If you would like to know more about how Chinese Medicine can help you, click here to book a consultation.