Postnatal Recovery

In traditional Chinese medicine, sufficient rest to ensure complete recovery from childbirth is paramount. This involves 30 days (or even 100 days in some classic texts) of recovery time post-childbirth. While this may sound like an excessive or antiquated practice, the woman is not only recovering from childbirth itself during this time but also from having been pregnant for nine months. This time is dedicated to physical rest and dietary practices to build blood and energy.

Acupuncture is recommended once a week starting 2 weeks post-partum for a total of 3 weeks in order to promote an efficient recovery. Acupuncture is helpful to promote healing, lactation and encourage emotional balance.

Specific foods have been documented throughout the history of traditional Chinese medicine to encourage lactation and promote recovery.

Foods that Build Energy
These foods include oats, white rice, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, mushroom, yam, date, grape, kidney beans, tofu, beef, tuna, chicken, egg, jasmine tea and spices such as; basil, cinnamon, clove, dill, fennel, fenugreek, ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme.

Sample Energy Building Meals

  • Oatmeal with dates
  • Roast sweet potatoes, pumpkin or yams with rosemary
  • Chicken stir fry with shiitake mushrooms and white rice
  • Shepherd’s pie with beef, mushrooms, carrots and mashed potato
  • Chicken satay with peanut sauce over white rice
  • Veggie stir fry with tofu, eggplant and mushrooms with sesame seeds on white rice
  • Whole grain bread with honey and dates

Foods that Build Blood

These foods include corn, sweet rice, beetroot, dark leafy greens, mushroom, apricot, avocado, date, kidney beans, sesame seeds, chicken, mussels, eggs, soy milk as well as iron rich foods such as red meat and spinach..

Sample Blood Building Meals

  • Rice porridge with soy milk, apricots and almonds
  • Dark leafy green salad with avocado and grated beetroot
  • Warm chicken salad with artichoke and avocado
  • Chicken and mushroom casserole with white rice
  • Scrambled eggs with parsley
  • Chicken, avocado and spinach sandwich
  • Kidney bean and mushroom lasagna with spinach salad
  • Any red meat dish (the maximum recommended intake of meat in traditional Chinese medicine is 2-4 oz per serving, 3-7 times a week)

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