Congratulations, your little one is here safely and has become the centre of your world. But what about you: how do you recover? The Chinese have ancient and very relevant ways to do this. So here are some of their secrets.
Babies are formed of blood and Qi, inheriting their mother and father’s Yuan Qi which we see as their DNA. They are then nourished ideally by their mother’s colostrum and milk and slowly build their immunity. After 9 months of building this baby from her blood and Qi, the mother can also lose a lot of blood during childbirth. She may do a lot of yelling and screaming during birthing which will deplete her nervous system, leaving her shaky and fragile and anaemic. Now she has to cater for the little one and suffer a lack of sleep as well.
To boost her energy she stays indoors with her baby, in a quiet, darkened area (to allow her and baby’s fragile nerves to recover). She is attended to by her mother or other close relatives (less chance of infection from outsiders) for thirty days. It is considered a high risk to both their health for them to go outdoors or into loud noisy areas like shopping centres. It is a time for her to connect with her baby and build back her energy with good food and rest.
The food is specific. It is very Yang and warming, boosting the Qi and blood and tightening the tendons and pulling them back into place, so the uterus becomes strong again and she has a good milk supply. There are many safe herbal remedies for her ailments at this time and during her pregnancy and these are prescribed by registered Chinese medicine practitioners.
Providing there is no signs of infection or fever, fried rice with rice wine, blackened ginger and chicken is eaten for 30 days. Plenty of vegetables are eaten as well.
Wine is also drunk each day and black pepper is liberally sprinkled onto food to “burn” out any residual placenta and internal blood clots. This wine is often gifted to the new mother and can be found in large Chinese grocers.
A recipe of pigs’ trotters, eggs and sweet blackened vinegar is also used for tightening the mother’s tendons and restoring her body to its shape. This recipe is also excellent for repairing a damaged Achilles heel and leg tendons. I will be posting these recipes on my website www.baysidechinesemedicine.com soon. You can keep track of these and other health tips by following Bayside Chinese Medicine on Facebook click for more info.