After Birth Care
Asian Cultures always avoid allowing their bodies to be exposed to cold. Perhaps our Grandmothers told us not to wear midriff tops as it injures the kidneys, and maybe being modern women, we have considered this type of advice to be old wives tales and thought nothing of it. However in China today, expectant mothers, pregnant mothers and especially new mums are kept well away from the cold, and are advised to do so not just by their culture but in the hospitals as well.
The most important organ and meridian for conception according to Chinese medicine are the Kidneys. In relation to the other organ networks, the kidney is situated in the lowest position. Therefore has a large role to play in the function of the sexual organs, and sex drive. The kidney is the source of the human body, and the initial sprout of physical life in conception. Thus it is paramount that the mother and father to be have strong Kidneys.
The kidneys are thought of as the ocean of the human body. As oceans are situated on a lower level than the earth's streams and rivers, they draw every one of them to form one large body of water. So the kidneys rely on the strength of all other organs to support them, so they can then in turn nourish all other organs and the brain. Oceans may appear vast and inexhaustible, yet they still drain off some of their seemingly unlimited supply. The Kidneys can become drained from stress, cold invasion, birthing many children and sadly to say too much sex!
How much sex is too much sex? It depends on your age. As a guide line, under 25 years of age: 4/5 x a week should not damage the Kidneys, as the Kidneys are robust when we are young. However as we age our Kidneys vitality also ages and we must reduce our sexual activities, especially men upon ejaculation. From ages 25 – 30: 4 x a week, 30 – 35: 3 x a week, ect. This is a round about number, and is to be used as a guide line, just so people understand that as good as sex is, it is also draining when practiced too much.
Those who are knowledgeable in the art of nourishing life take care to shut off the lower exit, in the case of men, reducing the amount they ejaculate. However to generally protect the Kidneys we can protect the end point of the kidney channel at the foot, by doing this we mean; keep your feet warm! When cold enters the Kidneys it depletes the Kidneys Yang qi, or the fire of the Kidneys.
When we protect and shut off the lower exit there will be a nourishing cycle that is free of leaks. This will mean that the Kidneys can become robust and strong. When this happens there will be physical and mental clarity, constitution and fertility will be strong, and your body’s temperature will regulate. The art of longevity is all about the strength of the Kidneys.
As said above, for the kidneys to function properly they need to stay warm. When cold invades into the channel or the organ, the Kidney strength becomes depleted. This creates problems like; feeling chronically cold, low libido, chronic fatigue and also infertility issues with either conceiving or miscarrying, a damaged digestion and therefore metabolism problems (weight gain), lowered immunity, slowed blood circulation, and can prevent the body from holding organs in their right place (prolapse), that includes babies (miscarriage), increases the effects of aging, and can cause either constipation or serious urinary and fecal incontinence after birth, uterine over bleeding after birth and consequently if the yang is not treated, then over bleeding in later menstrual periods and subsequent deliveries.
Cold stops the movement of qi and blood, which then creates stagnation and eventually pain. Cold can easily get trapped in the womb, causing painful periods in the future and cause numbness during sex, loss of the ability to orgasm and stunt libido completely.
Preventing cold from entering the body would mean that NO cold packs should be used during labor, either to numb pain or to placed on the perineum right after birth to reduce swelling and pain in that area right after delivery.
Keeping your feet warm means if your toes feel cool, then they are cold and you need to put another layer of sox on, or some boots. In winter always wear sox and shoes, no open toed shoes, slip on’s and especially no thongs. If your feet are still cold with boots on then order some magnetic inner soles. At home always keep your feet warm, no bare feet in winter, always wear slippers or ugg boots, especially on cold tiles.
We must also keep the area of the uterus warm, especially after birth. During a womans birthing experience, either vaginal or Caesar, the woman’s internal body opens itself up to the external world, making the body vulnerable to external cold invasion. To prevent more cold from entering the body after your fatigued from birth (and generally, always and forever more) wear tops that you can tuck in, so you can keep your abdomen and lower back warm.
Do not eat or drink beverages that are cold in temperature, especially in winter. That means drinks straight from the fridge and any drinks with ice. Always heat up your meals. No raw foods in winter, and minimise raw foods throughout the entire year so that you always are eating at least 85% cooked foods. If you are going to eat raw foods always eat it at an end of a meal.
Panadol and antibiotics are both cold medicines and can damage yang. Where possible try to avoid these medications. If it is necessary to take these medications, try and keep yourself extra warm, and drink lots of hot tea.
You can also deplete your Yang qi by over working yourself, exhaustion and insufficient rest. It is important as a mother to a young baby that you don’t over exert your energy, as you will be doing enough by recovering from labor, making breast milk and having many sleepless nights.
Try and organise a family member or some friends to come and bring you some cooked meals for the first dew weeks after birth so you can just concentrate on breast feeding. Try and organize before the birth as much support for yourself as possible. You may even want to hire a house cleaner to come in for a few hours every week or fortnight for the first three months.
CHINESE MEDICINE FOR NEWBORNS AND NEW MUMS
Chinese medicine is perfect not only for the mother to be, but can help tremendously for the issues that may arise in the first few months after birth. Chinese medicine can treat:
For the Mum: Insufficient milk, Mastitis, Depression, Constipation, Headache and Fatigue
For your Baby: Constipation, Diarrhea, Colic, Restlessness, Sleeplessness, Not feeding properly, Rash.
We can also work with your new born through the immunization process if you choose to immunize, by helping their small bodies clear out the heavy metals that are used as preservative in immunization injections.