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Relaxing Activities

Do’s:

1.   Cherish this one on one time with your newborn.


2.   Stay in bed all day in your comfy pajamas.


3.   Get a postnatal massage at home. Hire a masseuse who is specifically trained in postnatal massage and can concentrate their finger strokes on your abdomen to improve pelvic circulation. Avoid a belly massage if you are recovering from a C-section until at least 3 months post-surgery or when your health care provider gives you consent. Instead, request the masseuse to focus on your legs, arms, and back.


4.   Listen to relaxing music.

 

5.   Read a book that is positive and uplifting.

 

6.   Write about your postpartum confinement month experience. Recording your daily thoughts and experiences with your newborn and your overall post childbirth experience will be treasured years from now.

 

Don’ts:

1.   Don’t vacuum. Have your husband, mother, boyfriend, partner, friend, mother-in-law, or personal helper do it.

 

2.   Don’t exercise during the 30 days postpartum.

 

3.   Avoid going up and down the stairs to minimize strain.

 

4.   Avoid going outside and exposing yourself to wind, rain, and cold weather.

 

5.   Don’t carry anything heavier than your baby for at least the first four weeks following vaginal delivery and for the first six weeks following a C-section. Heavy lifting should be avoided to minimize the risk of uterine prolapse and to allow your pelvic tissues to completely heal. 

 

6.   Don’t leave your hair wet. Immediately blow dry your hair once you get out of the shower.

 

7.   Don’t do gardening. Immersing yourself in nature is a great way to relax but is too strenuous with all of the squatting and lifting. Delay your planting projects until you are fully recuperated.

 

8.   Don’t wash your hands with cold water.

 

9.   Avoid wearing high heels.

 

10. Don't have sex for at least 6 weeks postpartum.

 

11. Don't carry your 20 pound stroller. Wait until at least one month before you lift it in and out of the trunk.

 

12. Most importantly, don't try to do it all. Your goal is not to be a supermom. Your goal is to fully recover and replenish your body to its pre-pregnancy state during the 30 days post childbirth. Women in Asia who do the confinement month after pregnancy truly enjoy being treated like a queen and doing nothing but eating, sleeping, reading, listening to music, feeding the baby, and taking care of the baby. You will feel more rejuvenated, healthier, and more youthful after the 30 days of rest.

30 Days of Rest

For optimal health and faster recovery, you should commit yourself to 30 days of rest after childbirth where your primary focus is to nurture your body and feed your baby. The practice is known as the confinement month, golden month, Zou Yue Zi in Chinese, and Samchilil in Korean. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is essential that the mother relax and receive exceptional care so that she can recuperate and her womb can properly heal. This has been observed and practiced religiously in Asia for over 2,000 years where new moms are treated literally like queens and the mother, mother-in-law, or a hired “confinement lady” is exclusively responsible for taking care of the mother during her postpartum period.

Postpartum in Traditional Chinese Medicine

 

The first 30 days of postpartum is known as the confinement month and is absolutely essential according to ancient Asian traditions dating back 2,000 years in the Han Dynasty. Mothers post childbirth are cared for like queens to ensure proper recovery. They are encouraged to rest and eat warm nourishing food in order to accelerate womb healing, replenish blood lost during childbirth, strengthen their overall bodies, and prevent postpartum health problems.

What is Postpartum?

 

The postpartum period consists of the moment right after birth and the subsequent six weeks following childbirth.

This is the duration of time it takes for your uterus to revert back to its pre-pregnancy size. Postpartum is just as significant as any other chapter of the pregnancy and birthing process, yet current books and research solely focus on the baby, while you, the mom, drifts in the background like an insignificant participant. During pregnancy, labor, and birth of your baby, your overall health is depleted. Since you were constantly giving your nutrient stores to your baby, it is absolutely essential that you are replenished and cared for after birth. If you don’t take care of yourself after the birth of your baby, it may have a lasting negative impact in your overall health and well-being. 

Postpartum in the West

 

In the U.S., it’s all about prenatal care. During pregnancy, your Obgyn or Midwife regularly checks up on you to make sure that you are drinking enough fluids, getting plenty of nutrition, enough rest, and encourage you to do all that you can do to relax and enjoy this beautiful transition in your life.

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