In China, the first few weeks after childbirth are called “chan ru.” Chan means childbirth, and Ru means mattress. In traditional Chinese culture, women were prescribed bed rest for one month after childbirth. Female relatives would take care of both the new mother and the baby, allowing the new mother to restore her strength and energy. Specific herbal prescriptions were given to help shrink the uterus, stop bleeding, encourage lactation, and return vitality.
In today’s fast-paced society, few new mothers have the luxury of resting for a month after childbirth. Most women need to return to taking care of family or work before their bodies have had a chance to fully recover from the birth experience. Growing and birthing a child greatly depletes the body’s qi and blood. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can accelerate recovery time.
In addition to returning the body to a state of balance and optimal reproductive health, some of the postpartum conditions that acupuncture can treat are:
- postpartum depression, anxiety and “baby blues”
- decreased energy and vitality
- low milk supply
- hormonal imbalances
- persistent bleeding
- lactation problems
- abdominal pain
- night sweats