“in order to treat the child, treat the mother”
Chinese Medicine wisdom emphasizes the importance of the health of the mother after childbirth. The demands of pregnancy and giving birth place tremendous physical and mental strain on the body. Qi (energy) and Blood are lost during labour and must be replenished. It is very important to nourish, strengthen and repair this Qi and Blood, not only for the short-term benefits of producing adequate breast milk, but also for long-term health of the mother, and the possibility of future pregnancies.
In ancient China three months of bed rest for new mothers was typical to ensure full recovery. Family members would tend to day-to-day duties and cook various herbal teas and soups for the new mother during this period of time. However in society these days this is simply not practical in most cases. Lack of support and financial constraints often see new mothers having little time to care for themselves and recover, overdoing things and pushing themselves to the point of exhaustion.
It is important to also create positive health and lifestyle changes to ensure long term health for the entire family.