Motherhood is a special and joyous moment in every woman’s life. But this is possible if her health is taken care of during postnatal period. The postnatal period or Puerperium is called ‘Sutika kala” and woman is called ‘Sutika’ in Ayurveda. A woman is called ‘Sutika’ only after the placenta is expelled during labour.
The duration of ‘Sutikakala’ is usually 1-1/2 month (45 days). Great emphasis has been laid on postnatal care i.e. Sutika Paricharya, as during this period she restores her health and strength. Ayurveda compares the condition of woman after childbirth with that of a pot filled with oil up to brim. If the pot becomes unstable, the oil spills. So, if proper care is not taken during postnatal period, her health deteriorates
The first three months after delivery is very important for the mother. During this period, the expanded uterus shrinks back to normal position, ligaments, muscles and tendons associated with uterus start gaining back the lost power. Mother also recovers back the mental strength, which will be a bit low in the first week after delivery
AIMS OF POSTNATAL CARE (Sutika Paricharya)
- To restore the agni. (Digestive fire)
- Normalize the vata, which may vitiated after the delivery
- Optimize the quality of breast milk.
- To avoid exertion.
- Diet should be very light.
* To prevent the complaints during Sutika kala such as
- Loss of appetite
- Disturbed sleep
- Depression, etc
Internal medicines for post natal care
First stage:( 15days)
The medicines given in the first stage will help in the healing of surgical wound, increase production of milk, help proper digestion and bowel movements. Give relief to constipation, help contraction of uterus, enhance excretion of waste, relieve body pain etc.
Medicines recommended are follows:
- Dhanwantharam kashayam ,Dhanwantharam gulika……. 15 ml kashayam is to be mixed with 40 ml of luke warm water, and one gulika to be dissolved in the diluted kashayam. This must take in morning and evening before food (7am and 7pm)
- Panchmakolasavam : 30ml thrice a day after food.( 9am, 2pm & 9pm)
- Kurinji kuzhambu : one tea spoon at 10am and 3pm after food
Second stage: (15days)
The medicine given in this stage will help the nourishment of the body, improvement of general health, and toning up of the nerves and muscles. This also keeps away flatulence, gastric discomforts etc.
Medicine recommended as follows:
- Dasamoolarishtam and Jeerakaarishtam. : take 15 ml of each of these arishtam mixes well and take this mixture thrice a day after food. (9am, 2pm and 9pm)
- vidaryadi lehyam :1 tea spoon 10am and 3pm after food
Note: diabetic mothers should avoid all these medicines except kashayam and gulika. Because all other medicines contain sugar…
To calm the vata which was vitiated during post natal period. some special treatments are needed. It include abhyangam(full body oil massage) with Dwantharam kuzhambu and Pinda thailam. And ooshmaswedam (steam bath) followed by medicated hot water bath after applying kasthoori manjal over body. The water should boiled by adding Nalpaamaraadi patta
- Locally these treatments termed as Vethu kuli. It helps to strengthen the lower back, hip area, bones, muscles and ligaments.
- While bathing use pea powder instead of soap.
- Rasnadi powder should be applied over frontal head after bath.
Note: these external treatments should done only after the complete healing of wounds in case of caesarian session.
Medicines for the Baby
Apply Lakshadi keram over head and Nalpamaradi keram over body for massage and take warm water bath. The water should be boiled with Nalpamaradi choornam and filtered.
The above mentioned oils have antiseptic and anti allergic properties and these will provide strength to bones and muscles, enhance complexion and give nourishment to skin.
Ura marunnu gulika to be used after one month of the birth of baby.
(Rub one by fourth of one tab gulika with breast milk and give to the baby every weekend to avoid gastric problems)
Home Remedy for cleansing uterus
Mukkutti(Botanical name : Biophytum sensitivum)
After delivery, the leaves of this plant along with jaggery is cooked and given to the delivered ladies to expel the lochia and remains from the uterus.
Dietetics for the lactating mother
- Regular intake of canned foods, hot, pungent, and spicy food recipes should be avoided, as these decrease milk secretion. The best diet for a nursing mother is a simple, bland vegetarian menu.
- Also, Ghee and oils should be taken in adequate amounts to improve digestion, facilitate the evacuation of bowels, nourish the traumatized tissues, and subdue the vitiated Vata Dosha, which gets aggravated during the process of childbirth.
- Exposure to pollution and infectious climatic conditions should be avoided, since any infection to the mother during lactation period can easily be transferred to the child.
- Care should be taken while taking drugs during lactation, since many drugs are excreted through milk and might exert an adverse effect on the baby.
- Breast-feeding should be stopped in cases of breast abscess, when milk is infected. It should be squeezed out and discarded to avoid further congestion.
Home Remedies to Increase Breast Milk
- Breast feed frequently: Try to feed the baby as frequently as possible in an interval of two hours. This will increase the breast milk production considerably.
- Plenty of fluids: The production of the breast milk goes down when the body is dehydrated. Make sure that you drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated. Besides water you can also have other fluids like juice or milk to keep a track of fluid intake.
- Take ample rest: The body goes through a lot during the child birth. Taking rest should become your utmost priority. This will ensure that the body recovers after the delivery. Rest and relaxation are the best home remedies to increase breast milk.
- Have oatmeal: It is said that adding oatmeal to your diet does help in the breast milk production. Steel-cut oatmeal seems to be a good option. You can have a bowl full of oatmeal in the morning, afternoon snack or any time during the day.
- Remove the pacifier: The more the baby sucks the nipples, the more the production of breast milk. If your child is using a pacifier, it would be a good idea to take it away. This will ensure that the infant will suckle at the breast for a longer time.
- Diet: Some foods are said to be good for nursing mothers. Add sweet potatoes, asparagus, apricot, carrots, peas, pecans, green beans, green leafy vegetables (mainly moringa leaves) etc., to your diet.
- Herbal remedy: Studies have proven that herbs also assist in the production of breast milk. Some herbs like fenugreek, borage leaves, alfalfa, milk thistle etc can help you increase the breast milk naturally
- Use both the breasts to feed the child can prove to be very effective in treating low milk production.
- Breastfeeding women should avoid smoking as it is one of the major factors responsible for low breast milk supply.
- Nuts are very good for the production of milk in the body. Almonds, cashew nuts and macadamia nuts are very effective in promoting lactation.
- Soak ten almonds in water overnight. Then peel them, put them in a blender, add a cup of hot milk and pure them. Pour the almond milk into a glass and stir in a pinch each of ginger powder, cardamom and saffron and a teaspoon of date sugar (available in most health food stores) or honey. Drink this twice a day, morning and evening, to help strengthen the quality and quantity of your breast milk.
- Women with pitta or kapha doshas drink three to four cups of pomegranate juice daily to regulate lactation. Vata women should avoid pomegranate juice since it can aggravate Vata dosha.
- Powder of Asparagus recemosus (Shatavari) should be taken in the dose of 1 gm daily along with milk to maintain the quality of lactation.
[sws_green_box box_size=”600″] Article by,
Dr Apsara VR
Ayurveda medical officer, Dhanvandharimadam, Trivandrum.
Email :[email protected][/sws_green_box]