The initial week soon after delivery is of immense importance. Both mother and the newly arrived baby need attention and special care. Ayurveda explains in detail regarding mother care. Here is the detailed Ayurvedic post natal care in the first week after delivery.
Importance of first week post-natal care
Why is care of the mother in the first week after delivery so important?
The process of child delivery is caused due to Vata activity. Vata will be immensely increased soon after delivery. The digestion power, hygiene and immunity will also be very low in the mother. Hence special care to balance Vata and to strengthen the mother is very necessary.
Soon after delivery, the mother’s uterus starts involution (retracting back to its smaller, normal size). Lactation slowly begins, mother’s mental health will be a little unstable.
To ensure normalcy in above proceedings, Ayurveda offers special care.
Disclaimer: All these information is just for information. Consult your doctor before trying any of these.
Ayurvedic post natal care
In the first week after delivery, the following procedures and diet should be followed.
Just before her breakfast, lunch and dinner, Take 3 tablespoon of cooked rice. Add a pinch of salt, black pepper and turmeric. Let her have it, and then her food.
Some start oil massage after 5 days, some, after 10 days.
Massage with Balaswagandhadi taila / Ksheera bala taila is explained. It helps to strengthen the ligaments, muscles, tendons, joints of the whole body. It soothes the skin and relieves pain.
Ghee / sesame oil – Based on mother’s convenience for intake, ghee or sesame oil is administered in the dose of 5 – 10 ml twice a day. Administering raw ghee as such might cause digestion problems. Hence it is traditionally advised to give the ghee along with 2 – 3 grams of herbal powder mix. This powder mix is a combination of equal parts of – Ginger, long pepper (root and fruit), Chavya (Piper chaba) and Chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica). This combination of herbs along with ghee provides much needed strength to the digestive system and the whole body. It is also useful in avoiding cold and infections.
In Rural India and in folklore Ayurveda practice, they make a laddu out of dry fruits, called Gondh Ki Laddu or Edible Gum Laddu.
It is administered from 2nd week till 3 – 4 months to improve strength and immunity of the nursing mother.
After ensuring that the administered ghee is completely digested, a gruel prepared with rice / barley and long pepper is administered.
Rice gruel with little quantity of ghee along with hot water is administered twice or thrice a day.
Cooked rice and boiled vegetables, boiled vegetables smoothie can be given.
Kashayam prepared with Vata balancing herbs like Dashamoola, Bala is administered once or twice a day in the dose of 10 – 20 ml once or twice a day.
Nigella sativa / Kalonji Kashayam:
Some administer Kalonji Kashayam – Take a teaspoon of it in a vessel, add 2 cups of water, boil and reduce to 1 cup, Filter it.
Mother can have it in the evening at about 7 pm, freshly made and hot. – If she feels it is bitter, she can take a little jaggery or honey after taking it.
This Kashayam is to be given only till 10 days after delivery.
Jaggery and water – Is administered. It improves the mother’s strength instantly and relieves tiredness. Dose: 100 – 200 ml per day. The above mentioned 3 grams of herbal powder (long pepper root and fruit, ginger, Chitraka, and Chavya) is also administered along with jaggery and water.
Warm water or at least boiled and cooled water is advised.
Overall, Ayurvedic post natal care for the first week concentrates on Balancing Vata with intake of ghee, oil massage and rice / barley gruel.