Nourishing Mother's Blood After Childbirth


From a Chinese medicine perspective blood deficiency is a natural and normal state of being after birth. In the case of true anemia or not, nourishing blood after birth is crucial for mother’s physical, mental and emotional health.

Again, healthy gut flora is crucial for nutrient absorption. If we consume high amounts of sugar and refined carbs, leading to yeast overgrowth, we are left with Candida. Candida is an iron loving pathogen that eventually results in mild to severe forms of anemia and other nutrient deficiencies. 

Blood Nourishing Foods:

Vitamin A is required to absorb iron. Most of these foods are high in Vit A in the form of beta-carotene. 

Beets
Coconut oil
Butter
Eggs
Liver
Grass fed meat
Blackstrap Molasses (super high in iron)
Kale
Chard
Collard
Bone broth-see recipe
Walnuts
Algae- chlorella and spirulina are best
Sweet potato
Carrot
Spinach
Turnip
Winter squash
Apricot
Chinese cabbage
Peach
Herbal decoctions- see herbal list

-Remember bright and dark pigmented fruits and veggies are highest in nutrients.



Nourish Blood by Moving Stagnant Blood

From a Chinese medicine perspective there is blood stagnation after birth, this is normal. This means with vaginal birth or cesarean birth mom's lower abdomen has mild (and sometime severe) blood stagnation, often leading to pain, constipation, etc. Incorporating these pungent or moving foods into mom's diet we are able to increase circulation and relieve possible swelling or aching in the lower abdomen.

Turmeric
Chives
Garlic
Vinegar
Basil
Leek
Ginger
Rosemary
Cayenne
Nutmeg
Spearmint


Foods to Nourish Spirit and Prevent Postpartum Depression & Anxiety:

Blood deficiency is the key element in postpartum depression and anxiety. The most important nutritional element in treating these conditions are fats and blood building foods (refer to list above).

I very commonly recommend:

-Cod Liver Oil- Green Pastures
-Basic Prenatal- Thorne research
-Chlorella, Spirulina or Wheat Grass
-FAT- butter, bone broth, coconut oil, avocado, meat, nuts, seeds, etc.
-Herbal tea with calming flowers
         -rose hips, lavender, chamomile, etc.

-Healthy diet and low inflammation is key for a happy mind, body and spirit!


-Disclaimer- As you know postpartum depression is not something to wait out. I strongly believe there is a strong emotional/spiritual component, that simply is not addressed with nutrition. I recommend women seek treatment from a holistic practitioner or counselor.  I have seen a lot of success with the use of individualized herbs, and acupuncture and wish for every mama suffering, she is able to reach out for help.


Feel free to email with questions. Katherinestarbird@gmail.com

Kat Starbird, M.Ac.O.M., L.Ac., birth doula