Taking Care of Yourself While a New Mom

Many people have heard about the benefits of receiving acupuncture when trying to get pregnant and while pregnant, but what about after you deliver your baby?

Anyone who has given birth knows that there is a time for healing, whether you had a complicated delivery or not.  The first month is especially beneficial, called the “golden month” in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Then there’s time after that first month, when the mother may find the need to start doing more things as she gets used to the norms of having a new baby. It seems common that the hustle and bustle of life quickly returns and the mom who feels she can do it all and forgets to take a little bit of time for herself. It is hard to make that time when you have a baby that really needs their mom in the early months, needless to say if you have more children that need your attention too.

As a mom of a 5-month old and a two-and a half-year old, the days and the weeks fly by. Each week, I feel like maybe I’ll be able to take some time for myself. It really seems to only happen when I keep it high up in the list of priorities. Every day I remind myself that I can take care of myself and of my kids at the same time, and it will even benefit them as I am able to feel better and stronger. I remind myself that it is not a weakness to take care of yourself, nor does it mean that you are not taking care of your children.

From my own experiences, I can find many reasons to seek out acupuncture. With my first child, my labor was very long and I did not sleep for over 48 hours. When I finally did sleep, it was of course only a few hours at a time and this lasted for months. I was very depleted, tired, and although I was trying to eat the best foods possible, I felt like I was not getting the nourishment I needed. Within a few months of the birth our little family moved, which took even more adjustment- from just simply getting used to the new house to finding anything in a box, while holding a baby, nursing, and so on…

In hindsight, I wish I would have made the time to seek more treatments, so that I could have felt better sooner. It seemed to take about to year to adjust to everything and I started to finally feel more like myself again.

This second time around, I am fortunate to say that the birth of my baby was a much shorter labor, and I seem to have healed with more ease. Yet, I am now learning how to take care of two little children. I find myself tired and overwhelmed at times and needing that break – a beneficial break that would nourish my body and soul.

It is taking that moment to breathe deeply, stand up straight, move my body in a way that loosens up that hold that I’ve set into my body from carrying my baby to chasing my toddler around slightly bent over.

It is taking that time for an acupuncture treatment, for a massage, or a long walk that helps. I recognize the benefit each time I able to get a treatment and keep my body’s energy moving.

It is not always easy, but I will get better at it.

To all of you mothers out there, continue the spirit Mother’s Day and be good to yourself!

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Tuuli Massignan, C.Ac., mother of 2

8 Branches Chinese Medicine

May 8, 2016

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