In my practise I treat many women whose symptoms suggest a generalised stagnation in the body following childbirth.
Their symptoms often include swollen and painful feet and hands, carpal tunnel syndrome, disturbed digestion, dehydration and constipation, fatigue, dry skin, increased body odour, foggy-thinking, irritability and depression. These issues are so common that women have come to think of them as an inevitable part of that post partum phase. Whilst it is true that pregnancy and childbirth are taxing on the body and there is a very real need for rest and recuperation, this can be considerably easier with the right care.
The post partum body is engaged simultaneously in a multitude of physiological processes unique to this stage in life. The new mother is metabolising spent hormones from pregnancy whilst manufacturing and processing new ones associated with lactation and baby bonding. She is healing a wound on her uterine wall created by the detachment of the placenta. She is restoring the now-imbalanced muscular and skeletal systems to their former integrity. Psychologically we can see that the effect of oxytocin - along with many positive feelings of love and connection - increases sensitivity; whilst the suddenly-plummeting levels of progesterone creates low mood.
If we add to this the additional burden on the liver of processing any medication she may have been exposed to during her labour, we can see how the system can become overwhelmed. All of this has an impact on her energy, outlook and ultimately on her ability to see herself as a capable mother. On an energetic level, the heart space is wide open and vulnerable, whilst the boundaries are blurred to prioritise the needs of a highly dependent new being. Intuition is deepening and the crisp cognitive functioning of the former life, feels more evasive. On the journey to become a mother, personal identity gets recalibrated and without robust support on every level, this can be extremely challenging. Over time the tendency towards oestrogen dominance after childbirth can result in thyroid and adrenal dysfunction, contributing to further fatigue and anxiety.
Keep it flowing….
With careful treatment, we can address these symptoms and challenges, help restore better circulation, digestion and liver function which help to bring about relief. Post partum recovery can be much quicker and easier when this kind of support is in place. My focus when working with this life stage is to gently support the organs of elimination with herbs, homeopathic remedies and diet. I use body work and massage to encourage good circulation, tissue drainage and to restore structural integrity. It is very common for our emotional history to flow up to the surface at this time too. Creating space to air concerns, and appropriately meeting them with gentle remedies can restore lightness at the gateway of the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual realm of new motherhood.