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A Look at Ayurveda During Postpartum Time

September 28, 2017

 

What is Ayurveda:

 

Ayurveda is an individualized ancient holistic health care system which translates to mean, “the science of life.” It works towards achieving and maintaining balance in the body, mind and spirit by way of living and everyday functioning. The most essential understanding of Ayurveda is the theory and practice of the five universal elements, which make up the 3 doshas. The five universal elements are used to understand each individual uniquely so that choices can be made in the way of living in order to sustain internal harmony - across physical, physiological and psychological levels. 

 

A person’s proportions of these five elements are what make up ones dosha constitution. The three doshas are vata, pitta and kapha. The term dosha refers to all ways of functioning within the living body. Lifestyle choices - eating routines, daily habits, seasonal changes, and so much more has an immediate effect on the balance within our body. When aggravation happens of our doshas, toxins are created (ama). The three doshas are vata (dosha of change, mobility; the primary dosha at work in the postpartum time), pitta (dosha of heat and transformation) and kapha (dosha of structure and stability).

 

Vata:

 

  • Vata directs the effect on moods and emotions during postpartum. The fluctuation of energy, strength, digestion, and state of mind are all considered vata driven.

  • Vata dosha is a metabolic principle governing childbirth, the nervous system, and other functions, and contains the qualities of dry, light, cold, mobile, empty, rough, clear, common to the subatomic principles called by the ancients, air and space.

  • The best ways to balance vata during the postpartum time is with food and loving care of qualities that are opposite qualities of vata. Vata dosha is made up of qualities cold, changing, mobility, light, dry, irregular. In the first 6 weeks following delivery, when a mother and her baby are given nothing but nourishment and loving care with the qualities of warm, stable, nourishing, heavy, and oily or moist - this helps to stabilize the fluctuations and instability that vata tends to trigger.

 

Overview of care:

 

  • There are commonly many obstacles (physically, mentally, emotionally) that a new mother faces following birth. (By new mother, I mean the first few weeks spent with your new baby, whether it is your first child or your eighth).

  • Mental states tend to respond particularly well after birth to the physical supports of dietary, lifestyle, herbal foods, and under qualified help, personalized herbal formulations and guidance.

  • Ayurveda works to balance condition of the new mother’s body after a hard labor, whether the delivery is vaginal or cesarean. Balance is made possible through preventative and rejuvenative care. This goes along with self-care; however in the first 6 weeks postpartum, support and help is needed to ensure that care is happening.  This is the time that perhaps it is MOST important.

  • Ayurveda says that by receiving care in the first six weeks after birth, this sets up patterns for mother and baby that last a lifetime. It can even benefit unborn generations. Stresses of any kind on new mama or baby can create congestion in the body, causing emotional and physical long-term impact. According to Ayurveda, choices made in the first 42 days influence a woman’s health and ability to be present as a mother for the