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Home > Newsletters > October 2005 > Health Preservation & Rehabilitation after Childbirth

Health Preservation and Rehabilitation after Childbirth

By Xiaomei Cai, L.Ac.

The time after childbirth is called the "puerperium" and is defined as the time during which the pelvic organs return to their normal condition. By convention the puerperium is said to last about 6-8 weeks. Puerperal care is very important for the mother to recover from childbirth and get back to her pre-pregnancy state.

According to Traditional Chinese medicine, there are three major ways to take care of this important period.

One of the main priorities after delivery is prevention of infection from implantation of pathogenic organisms in the birth canal. For this reason, the vulva and perineum should be kept as clean and as dry as possible. The mother should abstain from sexual intercourse in the first 6-8 weeks.

It is absolutely essential that a woman has adequate rest after childbirth.
Resuming a normal routine of work too soon or lifting heavy objects is very depleting to Qi and Blood. Sometimes, it can cause prolapse of the uterus. However, too much rest and lying down may also be harmful, leading to stagnation of energy. Moderate exercise is beneficial.

It is important for a woman not to be exposed to cold after childbirth as this may cause cold to invade the uterus leading to abdominal pain, body aches, cold or flu.

The mother should consume more nutritious and easily to digested foods. Four to five meals a day and soups are recommended. It is important to have enough vegetables to promote bowel movements. Consume blood-nourishing foods such as egg, liver, beef, chicken, carrots, spinach, wood-ear mushroom, peanuts and Chinese red dates.

In summary, the mother should maintain a good mood, get enough rest, eat well and be in a clean environment. With good puerperal care, she will benefit for the rest of her life.
This Month's Articles

October, 2005
Volume 3, Number 10

Getting Our Money's Worth?

Kick the Sugar Habit and Save Yourself from Diabetes with Chinese Medicine

Health Preservation & Rehabilitation after Childbirth

Recent Research

Ask The Doctor

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