Fatigue After Pregnancy
You would be tired too!
It’s not a walk in the park after the delivery of your child. After carrying an ever expanding unborn for 9 months, you can’t wait to go back to feeling like yourself again. But after the long labor and the nightly nursing you find yourself feeling exhausted, constipated, easily cold and even losing your hair! Don’t worry you are not alone.
A lot of women experience fatigue or complete exhaustion depending on the duration of the labor and how much blood/sweat was lost in the process of delivering the baby. Labor is called “ labor” for a good reason…because it is really hard work. So it is not surprising a lot of women will feel tired after this experience.
Often forgotten or overshadowed is that which is equally important to the health of the baby after the mother gives birth… the well-being of the mother. If she is lethargic or has lost her appetite, she will not be effective in producing milk for her baby. As such, a baby that does not get an adequate amount of nutrients from the mother will not thrive and may become weak or more susceptible to many health-related problems later in life.
In China, the new mother usually enjoys the time after the birth because she can now rest and be pampered. She should stay calm and happy because emotions such as anger, frustration, or worry can cause blockage of energy in the body thereby making it difficult for the breast milk to flow. It is equally important that the mother and baby stay indoors and keep warm for the first month after the childbirth. Pathogens such as cold, wind, and dampness are more likely to cause the mother and child health problems since they are most vulnerable at this time. A soup concocted of chicken and many nutritious Chinese herbs is eaten for the first few weeks after childbirth or until the mother has regained her strength and has replenished the blood loss during the delivery. It is necessary for the mother to nourish her blood supply, since blood is a source of breastmilk.
According to Chinese medicine, blood plays a crucial role in a women’s recovery after the delivery. Common problems associated with after childbirth can usually be found to stem from one of two conditions: a deficiency of blood and/or yin, or a stasis of blood. Symptoms arising from blood deficiency include fatigue, dizziness, loss of hair, constipation, aversion to cold, depression, and poor milk production. Stagnation of blood may result in abdominal pain and even psychosis.
Both acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be very effective in the treatment of the aforementioned conditions as well as others. These include: persistent lochia discharge, hemorrhoids, prolapses of the uterus, urinary difficulty, and profuse sweating.
Motherhood can be very rewarding and like everything else in life, you are going to enjoy it even more if you are healthy in body, mind and spirit. Your Acupuncturist/Herbalist will help you make those first steps toward regaining a balance naturally, and returning to your old self again.
Lynn Truong is a registered Acupuncturist and Herbalist who has taken a special interest in Women’s health. Lynn works at South Granville and can be reached at (604) 734-5966.