POSTPARTUM CARE ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA
WHY IS POST-PARTUM CARE IMPORTANT?
You need special care for your body after giving birth to regain the energy and strength. After pregnancy and delivery, you will change both physically and emotionally. Lots of things like lack of sleep, taking care of baby, anxiety over baby’s health, hormonal changes, wondering and worrying about your body shape, other physical discomforts like vaginal discharge, cramps etc. may affect you during this postpartum period. The postpartum period is usually six to eight weeks from the day of your delivery. This period is considered as highly sensitive period and all the post-partum care systems as per the Indian culture ,plays a great emphasis on encouraging fast healing, boosting immunity and improving the production of milk.
POSTPARTUM CARE ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA
According to Ayurveda good health depends upon the balance of three doshas – Vata, pitta, and kapha. Imbalance in any one of them causes ill health. Delivery related problems are due to the imbalance of vata dosha. Thisimbalance is treated in Ayurveda through rest, massages, food and herbal preparations.
POSTNATAL OIL MASSAGE AFTER DELIVERY
- Most known and followed in the southern Part of India, Kerala,Ayurveda post natal care is slowly becoming popular in rest of India as well. Ayurveda details a holistic approach to postpartum care and recommends medicated herbal oil massages for the mother to strengthen ligament, joints, muscles and overall body. This full body oil massage given to mother after delivery increases blood circulation, relieve tension in muscles and melt away stress, soothe the aching body and ease the process of recovery. It is also known to increase production of oxytocin that will result in better breast milk flow. Moreover, considering the fact that the body just went through a major transformation, oil massage is the right step forward towards regaining your old health and glow.
- There are different types of oil that suit different body types, so you need to visit and Ayurveda doctor to get the right advice. Ideally you need to continue the massage routine for first 40days to get maximum benefits. However many moms stop well before this due to time constraints.
WHEN CAN NEW MOTHERS START OIL MASSAGES?
If you have had a normal delivery, then you can start oil massage as soon as you are back home. Most moms start it within the first 5 days. If you have had a C-section, then you need to give the wound some time to heal before you start the massage, generally after 1-2 weeks. Please confirm with your Doctor before starting the massage.
HERBAL BATH FOR MOTHER
Hot water bath infused with herbs which are naturally Anti-inflammatory and Anti-septic is practised during the postpartum period, in order to help heal and reduce the pain of the stitches faster. Usually soaps are not used to wash away the oil, instead powdered Green gram powder or chickpea flour are used. These natural cleansers also helps in getting rid of any pigmentation around the neck and face.
This is another important practise during the postpartum period, when you are pregnant, your body, especially the tummy area, opens up so much as the uterus and abdominal walls stretch to accommodate the growing child. Fat also accumulates in this area. Once the baby is delivered, these muscles do not contract immediately, nor does the fat disappear-giving the mother a ‘still 7 months pregnant look’ and loose flabby abdominal walls. Post-partum belly wrapping is also a traditional practice followed by many sects in India, and in some other countries as well. It is believed that tying the stomach after the delivery results in:
- Reduced fat around tummy region
- Toned abdominal muscles
- Speeding up ‘flat tummy journey’
- Supporting the internal organs including the womb
- Reduced back pains
- Comfort (due to better posture)
- Instant and natural tummy tuck.
AYURVEDIC DIETRY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NEW MOTHER
Diet during this period in Ayurveda is designed in such a way in order to balance the vata dosha. The digestive system being very sensitive during this period, Ayurveda insists on eating easily digestible food and gradually go back to regular diet towards the end of 40 days.
Warm, fresh and oily food that tastes sweet (Do not mistake this for refined sugar. In Ayurveda, sugar means natural sweeteners like honey, rice, fresh fruits, yam etc.) Sour and salty food are focused.
Cold foods are avoided as they are hard to digest and will draw water from the body causing constipation and bloating. Hence raw salads are not recommended due to its cold and gas forming nature. Timing and quantity of meals are another important factors. Breakfast around 8am, lunch around 1pm and dinner around 6pm. Notice the 5 hour gap between each meal.
Dried fruits and nuts can be taken but should be consumed only after soaking them, as consuming them as it is can lead to constipation by drawing out water from the body.
Kashayams, lehyams and arishtams will be given to the mother to rebuild the resistance power, increase the lactation and rejuvenate the body after delivery.
If you are not healthy and happy after delivery, it’s your child who will suffer more. Never hesitate to sleep whenever your child is sleeping. Never eat left over foods. Always eat freshly prepared warm food.