Chinese medicine emphasises that the post-natal period (approximately the first 40 days after birth) is a time when it is essential that the mother conserves her energy and regains her lost reserves. Without proper care during this time, the risk of poor milk supply, prolonged depression and exhaustion may be increased. The ancient Chinese counselled that during this post-natal period the mother should stay at home and be attended by family, so that she could concentrate on the baby and herself! Although this level of support is not likely to be available nowadays, acupuncture and herbal treatment can help in this important period to balance body and mind and improve wellbeing.
Post-natal treatment commonly involves the smouldering of the herb moxa (artemisia vulgaris latiflora) in addition to needles. Moxa is believed to be very nourishing to the mother, particularly in her abdominal area. The use of moxa can be taught to friends or family, so that the treatment can be continued at home. The ancient Chinese referred to this practice as ‘mother warming’.