Ayurvedic Tips And Herbs For Postpartum Care
Postpartum care for mothers is equally important as newborn care, for a healthy mother and child.
After 9 months of gestation with bloating, vomiting, sleeplessness, low back pain, cravings, emotional hurricanes, etc,etc finally leading to tedious long hours of labour and contractions, the new mothers are just as weak as Talc. After such an extent of temporary emaciation, rightful rejuvenation is a must to revise the lost aura of the mother.
According to the principles of ayurveda a separate set of treatment and rejuvenation techniques are mentioned typically for the Suthika or Postpartum woman. During pregnancy, all the tissue elements of the mother will be fully engrossed in ensuring maximum development to the fetus. In the 8th month of gestation, ayurveda understands that there is Ojas (quantum of immunity) between the mother and child. Due to all this and the heavy labour, the Ojas of the mother is completely ruined and it needs to be restored. This is what is explained in detail in Suthika Chikitsa throughout ayurvedic classics.
Traditional Methods Of Restore
Before we understand the methods and herbs used in ayurveda, it is also vital to know the traditional methods used to restore postpartum health and also avoid severe health complications later.
India being a land of many cultures and religions, there is no one generalised method for the techniques used in each category of individuals as restoration methods across the different landscapes.
Yet some common ideologies seen across the nation include:
- Religious purificatory bath in special herb infused water for both the mother and child during the first week postpartum.
- Herb infused cow’s milk is provided to the mother to promote galactogogue properties and purification of breast milk.
- After postpartum the lady is given meat soup named in different ways and cooked using different techniques according to the extent of emaciation faced by her.
- Certain ghees and preparations used to improve the immunity of the mother and through her the child is administered.
- Daily oil passage is another common feature seen across the nation as a postpartum ritual.
All the above mentioned and many other procedures are well practiced in the country and many other countries since generations. It is amazing to know that all these cultural rites do have some scientific explanation to offer.
Ayurveda’s Say On These Procedures
Ayurvedic acharya have had a great say in Suthihka Charya and the importance of well established rites for the mother. Unlike the methods used at home or traditional methods, ayurvedic principles are not those that begin after delivery but from the initial phase of gestation, but it only terms as so after the delivery of the baby. From the initial period of gestation the Ahara and Vihara or the food and regimen of the pregnant women are monitored and rightfully incorporated to ensure the optimal health of the mother and the child after delivery. Here I am only taking you through the rites done after delivery or the real Suthika Charya.
- Process initiates with a purification therapy to remove all the accumulated doshas in the reproductive tract during the entire span of gestation.even though some Acharyas do have the opinion that ejection of the baby itself a type of Sodhana for the body, mild detox is usually done for those mothers who have has complications or greater span of labour.
- After this therapy mild to moderate appertizes with jaggery predominance like some Arishta like Dasamularishta is given to the mother to awaken the digestive fire and also initiate the process of better blood formation to cope the loss during labour.
- Purificatory bathing using decoction prepared from the bark of milk exudating trees commonly called Ksri Vriksha is the next important method. While the mother is anointed with the oil infused with these herbs, so is the child given the same oil for massage. After which the bath is done using the decoction is preferred.
- After these, the mother is administered with galactogogues like Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) infused milk as milk decoction or Ksrirapaka to promote better breast milk formation.
- After these regular shodhana or purification of the breast milk is advised to safeguard the health of the child through external Lepa and through internal medication.
- Once the mother and the child have been stabilised, it is only after these extensive rejuvenation procedures are advised in ayurveda. Here, purely rejuvenative blends in the form of lehya, or milk porridge or others according to the taste preference of the mother. Yet Lehya is the best prefered method for maximum betterment of the immunity.
- Formulations or compositions in ghee or milk are administered postpartum for stimulation of Ojas, the quantum of immunity which is lost during the entire span of gestation and parturition.
- Lastly the procedure ends with extended rejuvenative formulation composition for a long term combined with intermittent mld purification for the body to ensure lifelong better immunity and health status for the mother.
Postpartum care is one essential phase in every mother’s life. It is vital that they get the care they have spent their lifetime to create and protect a life within them. Ayurveda rightfully explained the essentially for postpartum care across the original samhitha for the importance given to mothers more than just bearers of the next generation.
As the time transcends more people are finding the importance and essentiality of these ayurvedic procedures for they have experienced the goodness it offers. Ayurveda is a time tested reality that offers much more to the beholders than what can be perceived. Follow the path of ayurveda to fulfill your journey to wellbeing.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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