Post-partum during Winter in Melbourne is…

beautiful! And freezing cold! Life has been wonderfully hectic with moving from Sydney to Melbourne, leaving my beloved practice at House of Fertility and Healing, being pregnant, halfway through my Masters degree in Chinese Herbal Medicine and then mothering this gorgeous little baby girl, Chiara! After birthing a baby, this “post-partum” period is sacred, time to rest as much as one can, stay indoors… yes, winter is ideal for this time as you are less tempted to go outside and be busy. It is a time of surrender, eating soup and drinking warm herbs and teas, breastfeeding, doing pelvic floor exercises and looking after your teeth (they can be more sensitive during pregnancy and neglected once you have your tiny bundle of joy to attend to!).

Post-partum is life after giving birth

Some things I have really enjoyed doing and would love to share with you and anyone you know who is about to enter this space:

  • Chicken Soup – easy and simple for the new mother, keep the ingredients simple with ginger, spring onion, rice, salt, slow cooked to get the nutrition from the bones. Here’s a nice recipe.
  • Acupuncture & Moxa – I have had regular treatment from myself and my acupuncturist Anoushka from Restore Acupuncture in Alphington and she has kept me amazingly well! She just miraculously “fixed” my very sore left hip 8 weeks after birth!
  • Herbal Tea: calendula, raspberry leaf, nettle and ginger along with a cup of roasted dandelion root tea with milk – yummo
  • SRC Recovery Shorts: I wore them religiously for the first six weeks as I had diastasis (transverse abdominal muscle separation) now every second day and lots of pelvic floor exercise which is helping immensely.
  • Hug-a-bub Baby Carrier: by two weeks postpartum I was walking my six-year old son to school to and fro in the freezing cold Melbourne winter (ok it’s not that cold compared to many places) in my ski jacket and baby Chiara tucked under in a hug-a-bub she was happy and toasty warm as could be!
  • Chinese Herbs: for three days postpartum I took Sheng Hua Tang, a classical formula and then on to the Shi Quan Da Bu Tang the warming, all great qi and blood tonic! When I caught the flu three weeks after birth, I took Yin Qiao San and later Qi Qing Hua Tan Wan and recovered really well compared to most who keep getting sick.
  • Herbal Sitz Baths: from inspiration Wellness Mama.
  • Teeth Care: brushing teeth well, flossing, Himalayan salt gargle and then oil pulling with coconut oil.
  • Lots of Love: this is a time to be good to ourselves and adore our healing bodies which have miraculously birthed a beautiful baby not criticise them for soft pudginess and weight gain! Slowly but surely if you are good to yourself you will regain your strength and vitality. And soak up that love from your partner, family, friends and baby, such a special time!

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xx Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, @Ivanhoe

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