Transitions to Motherhood: A Chinese Medicine Perspective

By Dr. Eric Karchmer, PhD, MD (China), LAc /

Transitions to Motherhood: A Chinese Medicine Perspective

Pregnancy, childbirth, and breast feeding – these are some of the incredible things that a woman’s body can do. They are also profoundly depleting, as any mother will readily attest. Unfortunately, we often don’t recognize just how challenging the postpartum recovery process is. Some women are expected to be back to work just a few weeks after giving birth. And even if one has the luxury of not working for several months or longer, there is no guarantee that the recovery is smooth or complete. Some women may struggle with postpartum depression, insomnia, and other physical ailments for months and years after having children.

Moreover, breastfeeding is an additional energetic demand on a woman’s body that is further exacerbated by the fact that babies often don’t respect a mother’s need for a good night’s sleep.

It is important for all woman to take postpartum recovery seriously. Proper rest and diet are essential. But there are times when these basic measures don’t seem sufficient. That’s when I suggest that women consider some herbal medicine solutions to help facilitate this process. The DAO Labs PostPartum Bundle combines Mental Tranquility and Woman’s Formula and can give a major lift to many women who are struggling to recover after having children. All women go through profound hormonal shifts during pregnancy, child birth, and breastfeeding. There is also significant blood loss during delivery and the immediate postpartum period. Moreover, breastfeeding is an additional energetic demand on a woman’s body that is further exacerbated by the fact that babies often don’t respect a mother’s need for a good night’s sleep.

chinese medicine postpartum

In Chinese medicine, a new mother is often considered to be Qi and Blood deficient as a result of all these physical demands on her body. Mental Tranquility and Woman’s Formula are two excellent formulas to help with postpartum recovery since the former addresses Qi deficiency and the latter Blood deficiency. Individually, these formulas can address some of the specific troubles of the postpartum period. For example, Mental Tranquility is an excellent aid for managing disrupted sleep, continued vaginal discharge and spotting, and the postpartum blues. Women’s Formula, on the other hand, helps address the blood loss of delivery, which in turn can lead to constipation, insufficient breast milk, and the painful joints and muscles that many mothers experience.

Because each woman’s situation can vary, you might want to consult a local acupuncturist on how to best use these formulas. A general regimen that may apply to many women would be to first give one’s body adequate time to rest and recover after childbirth. The PostPartum kit can be used as a preventative, or if you know from previous experience that you might have a more difficult time adjusting to motherhood or if postpartum discomforts continue beyond six to eight weeks.  Simply take one dose of Woman’s Formula in the morning and one dose of Mental Tranquility in the evening.

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Dr. Eric Karchmer is a practicing Chinese medical doctor, medical anthropologist, and co-founder and Chief Doctor of Chinese Medicine for DAO Labs. From 1995-2000, Eric studied at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and today is both a licensed acupuncturist and professor at Appalachian State University. Eric can be reached at drkarchmer@mydaolabs.com.

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