Warmth and Post-Partum - an Ayurvedic Perspective

Warmth and Post-Partum - an Ayurvedic Perspective

Originating in India, Ayurveda, meaning ‘knowledge of life’, is one of the oldest whole-body healing systems; especially revered in post-partum where keeping warm in body and mind is understood to be pivotal to restoration and rejuvenation post-childbirth. More specifically, to calm vata- the mind-body element governed by ether and air.

After birth, with the loss of energy, blood, and fluids, the dinner-plate sized wound in the abdomen and the onset of sleep deprivation and fatigue, the mother is full of the light, dry and cold qualities that define a vata state. It is understood within ayurveda that we must bring balance to this state by nurturing the mother with the inverse; heavy, oily, smooth and most importantly, warm.

During this time of immense physiological and emotional change, warmth, both through applied heat and warm foods is highly beneficial to combating blood stasis and promoting healthy circulation. Looking to traditional cultures that employ innate bodily wisdom to post-partum care, we can see the invaluable role of warmth on gently bringing the post- partum body back into a state of repair and nourishment.

In Latin America, the abdomen is wrapped in cloth to keep the belly warm and new mothers lie above or near a fire source.

In India, you drink herbal infusions and receive warm oil massages to soothe your nerves and circulate healing heat to all parts of the body.

Thai women practice yu fai: a practice where the mother, wearing warm clothes and wrapped in blankets, lies on a wooden bed over a warm fire for 30 days to flush out retained blood, increase involution of her uterus, flatten her stomach, remove stretch marks and heal perineal tears.

In East Asia, you drink slow-simmered, nutrient-dense soups that supply protein, iron, and antioxidants to aid tissue repair and rebuild your blood supply. In China, specifically, the concept of ‘mother warming’ denotes a once-off moxibustion technique to warm the meridians of the body, increase circulation and dispel coldness.

Actively warming the body to balance the loss of ‘hot’ blood during birth is a critical element to post-natal care. So, what are some accessible ways we can counterbalance the post-partum vata state and bring warmth into the body?

Wear socks or slippers (warm feet = warm womb)

Warming herbs and spices in meals and infusions (cinnamon, ginger, black pepper,

rosemary) - like in our Titscuits

Drink warm, nutritive liquids like bone broth & meat stock, teas, warm milk (avoid

cold drinks and ice) - like our Let It Flow Latte & Lactation Infusion.

Cover the head, neck, lower back and belly when in cold environments.

 Practice womb/belly massage with herbal-infused oil like our Womb Magic Oil warmed between the hands

Add nutrient-dense fats to your diet to counterbalance dry vata qualities.

Eat adequate bio-available protein from animal sources to activate thermogenesis (internal production of heat).

The care we take in nurturing the post-partum body back to a state of warmth, energy, vitality and nourishment reveals itself not least in the immediate post-birth period but carried into subsequent births and down the line of womanhood. This sacred time of internal repair and renewal is only possible with a foundational endeavour to keep warm and deeply nourish the new mother.

Gabriella x 

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