Ayurvedic tips for the woman after childbirth
Childbirth is a great effort, both for the mother and the newborn. From an Ayurvedic point of view, the 42 days after giving birth play a very important role. In addition to a six-week rest after the birth, the following overriding factors are essential to draw new strength and stability.
Nutrition during the postpartum period
Nutrition plays a central role, because all nutrients are transferred to the child through the mother’s milk. After birth, Agni (the digestive fire) is weakened and Vata is out of balance. Vata is responsible for our energy, for movement and for nerve impulses. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends a Vata-reducing diet consisting of:
- fresh, warm and sweet vegetables
- nourishing liquids like soup or stews
- complex carbohydrates such as rice, oats, spelt or quinoa
- anti-flatulence spices such as fennel, anise, cinnamon and fenugreek (promotes milk flow)
Anything from the refrigerator should also be avoided, as this weakens the digestive fire. As a snack, fruit compote with porridge and soaked nuts is highly recommended. Dried fruit, which is soaked for a few hours, is also an ideal source of energy.
If possible, the mother should breastfeed the newborn, because breast milk is usually optimally adapted to the needs of the infant and contains all minerals and vitamins in a balanced ratio. Breastfed children are also less likely to fall ill – breastfeeding strengthens the immune system and protects against allergies. Diets should be avoided, because toxins (poisonous substances) are also stored in the fat pad, which are reintroduced into the bloodstream through the reduced calorie intake and are directly absorbed by the child through the breast milk.
Especially after pregnancy, daily oiling is an important part of building up new Ojas (the essence of the seven main tissues) and toning the tissues. Depending on the metabolic state and constitution, massages with silk gloves or herbal stamp massages are also appropriate – see the following link for more information. To strengthen the bond with the newborn, the child can be massaged daily with warm sesame oil – this calms, strengthens the nerves and ensures a peaceful sleep.
After birth, an empty space is created in the womb, which immediately fills with Vata. It is important that this Vata is carefully and completely removed so that the uterus can return to its normal size, all the organs can return to their usual place, and so the body’s own balance is restored. If this does not happen, post-pregnancy symptoms such as back pain, bloating, menstrual problems, depression, anxiety and nervousness can often occur. A first measure is to wrap the belly tightly with warm cloths immediately after birth.
Every woman is unique and has different needs. A correspondingly personalized analysis is therefore necessary to ensure individually tailored advice. However, the following recommendations are generally valid during the first six weeks:
- Wear an abdominal wrap (supports the abdominal muscles and provides support)
- Regular massage with Mahanarayana oil (soothing for the joints and musculoskeletal system) or matured sesame oil, followed by a warm bath or steam bath
- Eating warm, fresh food
- Sleep with knees tucked in (make sure to get enough sleep – if your baby sleeps during the day, lie down for 30 minutes as well)
- Drink enough warm water and anti-flatulence teas every day
- Chew or mix two grams of sesame seeds into meals daily (strengthens bone tissue)
- A suitable yoga program
The Ayurveda specialists of the Giardino Hotel Group are always at your disposal for constitutionally appropriate dietary recommendations as well as further tips.
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