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Ayurvedic Guide to Healthy Postpartum

Ayurvedic Guide to Healthy Postpartum

by Kottakkal Support June 27, 2016

New mothers can easily become fatigued and stressed out after an event as big as giving birth and just when they are also facing the challenge of caring for an infant! This is particularly true with new mothers who are doing all of this for the very first time. But if she has family and friends caring for her and showing her patience and love, she will have more energy and joy to give to her new child instead of feeling tired and sad. Postpartum depression is especially common in modern times, however with Ayurveda it’s possible to avoid it altogether!

The first three months after delivery are particularly important for a mother. Her body will be changing drastically again as her uterus shrinks back, her muscles, ligaments and tendons will begin to gain strength again and her mind and emotions will be adjusting to being a mother. The more nourishment and rejuvenation she does during the first three months, the stronger and healthier she will be for the rest of her life.

Bringing Vata dosha back into balance will be the main focus. Vata governs the actual process of giving birth so with such an increase in the dosha the mother’s digestion and immunity will be weak after delivery. The following recommendations offer specific instructions for postpartum care.

Foods

After giving birth, the new mother’s digestion is going to be weak. Because of this, it’s imperative that…

  • Eat only easily digested foods such as watery rice, vegetable soups and kitchari. All should be cooked with ghee. 
  • Avoid Vata increasing foods because they may cause gas, indigestion or constipation. Avoid foods with strong tastes that are pungent, bitter or astringent. Also, foods that are raw, dry, and cold. All foods should be cooked, warm and moist. 

Oil Massage  


Postpartum, preparation gives way to rejuvenation. If the rejuvenation of the new mother is not thorough in the first eight weeks, the exhaustion and stress are precursors to ill health.

  • Daily oil massage is extremely important for both the mother and baby after birth. It is recommended to start 5 to 10 days after the baby is born. It will help rejuvenate mind, body and spirit as well as help calm Vata dosha. 
  • It’s ideal if an Ayurvedic massage therapist can come to the house and massage the new mother, bring her warm tea and then draw her a warm bath to let the oil sink in through the layers of the skin. If that is not available, a self-massage with the warm oil can be just as effective. The new mother will notice a significant difference after five to seven days of this daily practice. The aches and pains from giving birth will begin to disappear.
  • The new mother will typically enjoy massaging her new baby herself rather than the therapist doing it. It can be a beautiful bonding time for the pair. The mother can gently massage the baby with the warm oil just as she would herself and then bathe the baby in warm water.
  • The best oil for a new mother and baby is Maha Bala Oil which greatly balances vata dosha. The main herb bala nourishes and supports female reproductive health, postpartum care, and nourishes bones, muscles and nerves.

 

Home Life

Now onto the next most important aspect of postpartum care – the mother’s immediate environment.

  • She needs to rest as much as possible, so family members should be cleaning the house and cooking all the meals for about the first six weeks. The house should be kept warm, quiet, clean and comfortable in temperature and smell.
  • It’s best if only immediate family and very close friends are allowed to interact with the mother and baby for the first few weeks to a month, though the mother should ultimately decide the time frame. After that, other people can be let in slowly and discriminately as long as the conversation is kept loving and positive. The infant and mother are both sensitive and susceptible to outside energies at this time, and should be kept away from negative influences.

Rest and Exercise

  • Some mild walking is encouraged but heavy lifting and rigorous work or exercise is not beneficial because it can weaken tendons and uterine muscles and leave the mother exhausted.

Rejuvenating Teas

  • Dashamoola tea is a powerful way to soothe Vata dosha in the pelvic region and aid in rejuvenation. Simply boil 2 cups of water with two teaspoons of Dashamoola. It can be consumed warm throughout the day in a thermos.
  • This next tea can increase breast milk production. Boil ½ teaspoon each of fennel and fenugreek seeds for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water. Drink warm throughout the day for improved digestion, hydration, lactation and rejuvenation.

Supportive Herbal Products

Ayurveda has specific recommendations depending on the mother’s unique state of imbalance. The following products are only general suggestions for most mothers.

  • Shatavarigulam balances both pitta and vata dosha. The main herb Shatavari is well-known for supporting the female reproductive system and balancing female hormones.  

  • Puli Leham balances both vata and pitta dosha. The main herb is garlic which helps support postpartum health by balancing the menstrual cycle.

    Lactokot Granule balances vata and pitta dosha. The main herb shatavari is a natural galactagogue that supports healthy breast milk production. It is a powerful supplement that supports postpartum care as it boosts energy and strength by nourishing all seven dhatus (body tissues).

  • Dashmula Arishtam balances both vata and kapha dosha, the main herb dasamula helps rebuild strength and rejuvenation during postpartum.

Recommending Ayurvedic practices for postpartum should take into consideration the new mother's unique birth constitution, current doshic imbalance, climate and time of year. Ayurveda takes all of these factors into account. Remember that like attracts like and opposite brings balance. If a new mother is in a cold climate she should emphasize foods and practices that are warming and grounding. If she is in a hot or warm climate, recommending things that are lighter, cooling and nourishing will be best. 

 

AYURVEDIC CONSULTATION

Kottakkal is committed to offering the highest quality Ayurvedic Healthcare. We offer two ways to have an Ayurvedic consultation. 1. Free 15-minute Consultation with our Ayurvedic practitioner, Julie Wardwell for when you need a product recommendation for a basic health problem. 2. In-depth Consultation with our Ayurvedic doctor, Vaidya Vishwanath Guddadar for when your condition is chronic with multiple symptoms.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Kottakkal Ayurveda products and information are not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. If you have serious, acute, or chronic health problems, please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the advice of a trained Ayurvedic professional, call (800) 215-9934 or email us at contact@kottakkal.shopWe will provide you with information to consult with Ayurvedic professionals. Always check with your doctor before taking herbs when pregnant or nursing.

 


Author

Kottakkal Support
Kottakkal Support



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