Becoming a mom can be one of the most exciting experiences in a woman’s life, but for some woman with that joy comes a range of difficult emotions. It’s natural to worry about your little one after birth, and most new moms will experience some form of ‘baby blues’ but if emotions such as crying, anxiety, sadness, irritability and difficulty sleeping become more severe and persist longer than two weeks after giving birth – this may be postpartum anxiety.
Postpartum anxiety is when a new mom is unable to relax and feels consistently anxious, constantly and excessively worrying about the health and safety of her child.
In Chinese medicine, postpartum is seem as an extreme blood deficiency (Yin deficiency). When a woman is pregnant, the blood in her body doubles in volume to support her growing baby.
During and after giving birth, a lot of blood is lost.
It is therefore vital that the blood is nurtured before and during pregnancy. It’s also important to try and create a stress free lifestyle to ensure that the woman’s blood is not being used to help keep the body sustained during stressful times, but to nurture the body and baby and to allow for a better recovery after giving birth.
Chinese medicine addresses the root cause as well as the symptoms of postpartum anxiety, by using herbal formulas and/or acupuncture.
Food is also seen as medicine. When there is an imbalance in the body due to poor nutrition this may cause the mind to suffer. Especially during pregnancy and postpartum, the mother’s body needs nutrients that will help nurture her and her baby. Having the proper nutrition will help support her mental health.
Warm cooked foods that are easy to digest are great as well as infusing dishes with warm spices such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and black pepper.
Other foods that nourish the blood, include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Sweet Rice
- Dried Logan Fruit
and of course, bone broth!
Here is a fantastic recipe:
- 1.8kg whole chicken
- 12 cups of water
- 60 grams of dried logan fruit (long yan rou)
- 40 grams of angelica (dan gui)
- Any sorts of other root vegetables are also really good to add in such as carrots, celery and spring onions.
Place all ingredients into a pot, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for two hours. Season with salt and pepper.
Herbal ingredients can be bought from a Chinese grocery store, with the dried logan fruit found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. The soup is best had several times in a day and will also help prevent the joint pain that is common after the childbirth as bone soup contains marrow and in addition to nourishing blood, also nourishes essence and kidneys.
If you are a woman who wants to create the healthiest version of yourself so that you are less likely to have issues post pregnancy, then please get in touch, as I have a great 3 month pre-conception program that is designed to do this for you!